Logo description by James Fabiano and Eric S.
Logo captures by Shadeed A. Kelly, Eric S., and snelfu
Editions by Shadeed A. Kelly and Logophile
Video captures courtesy of JohnnyL80, MacBookPro1990, Matthew Mayfield (Logophile) and Michael Strum
On September 16, 2002, Sony Pictures Entertainment decided to retire the Columbia TriStar name and logo from its television division, renaming it "Sony Pictures Television". For the first time since 1974, the Torch Lady or anything resembling Columbia's symbol is nowhere to be seen; instead, the corporate logo for Sony Pictures was introduced to television viewers for the first time.
(November 15, 2002- )
Nicknames: "The Shining Bars", "The Bars of Boredom", "The Bars of Annoyance", "SPE Bars", "Sony Bars", "The SPE Parallelogram", "Lightbeam in Parallelogram", "Lightbeam in Striped Parallelogram"
Logo: Against a lined background, the words "SONY PICTURES TELEVISION" (all in the Sony typeface and stacked word-by-word with "SONY" being largest) emerge and downardly zoom away from the screen. The three words aren't directly stacked at first, but as the animation progresses, they slide into place. a horizontal line is drawn between the "PICTURES" and "TELEVISION". While this happens, a flash of light appears on the left side of the screen., and the lines in the background themselves back away as well, eventually moving back to the upper part of the screen and into a diagonal pattern to form the logo. The flash dissipates and we see a oblong orange-white glare surrounding the logo and words, which shrinks into the bars to give it a shine. The finished logo appears against a shaded navy blue background. The logo is a striped parallelogram.
Trivia: This logo first appeared in fall 1991 on broadcasting ads in magazines such as Variety, around the time when SPE was founded.
- A rare filmed variant of the logo exists.
- There is a longer version of this logo featuring an extreme close-up of the "stacked" names at the beginning of the animation. It starts off with a bright white light and later reveals the names as the light dies down. While the logo finishes, it shows a longer shot of the logo.
- In July 2003, there is an even shorter version of this logo that starts from where the 3rd-to-last note of the theme plays.
- In 2004, the phrase "DISTRIBUTED BY" appeared above the logo, it was still until it faded in above the logo on the 2006 version of Chain Reaction and season 4 of The Newlywed Game both on GSN, but the font is in Times New Roman on those said game shows. Early shorts on Crackle's C-Spot has the phrase above the name rather than the logo. for the rest, the phrase was placed on a black screen, which later fades to the SPT logo.
- In 2005, an updated widescreen version was introduced. It consists of just a solid blue lighting effect in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, where the reflection of the Bars would usually be. Sometimes this version was squashed to fit a 4x3 TV, and has been featured on several movies, first-run productions, and classic series on television and DVD.
- There is also a black & white variant for classic shows by Screen Gems.
- In 2008, there is a black screen that reads "DISTRIBUTED BY" before the SPT logo. This only appears on web shows on websites like Crackle, MySpace, YouTube, and Hulu, among others such as C-Spot or Penn Says.
- Another variant has "DISTRIBUTED BY" in a small font above the SPT name rather than above the SPT logo. This appeared on early shows on Crackle.
- On pre-2011 episodes of Watch What Happens: Live, the logo is a still shot on a gray-like background.
- On a 2010 airing of The Three Stooges short "The Sitter Downers", the 2005 variant was shown in black & white.
- Starting on the 4th season of The Newlywed Game, the text reads as "DISTRIBUTED THROUGH" above the logo.
- Sometimes the logo can appear a little up-close.
- There is also a version with extra brightness on both 2002 and 2005 versions in color.
- On Robot Chicken since season 6, there is a still version of the logo.
- A superimposed in-credit variant exists. This can be found on international shows like Niñas Mal.
- Starting with the second season of Masters of Sex and newer episodes of The Queen Latifah Show, the Sony logo is seen first. Then, the light flashes to reveal the short SPT logo.
- On the DVD releases of the final two seasons of Sanford and Son, the logo fades in and out, although the main version is used on the season 5 episode "Steinberg and Son".
- FXX airings of Sony-owned movies have this logo, however sometimes it is cut off early.
- On a PAL release of The Real Ghostbusters, the long version is used but the normal music is heard.
- On a April 16, 2017 HBO Signature Caribbean airing of Pixels, the logo was silent with the music playing 5-6 seconds after the logo cut to black.
- On CBS airings of S.W.A.T, the logo is in the 21:9 aspect ratio.
FX/SFX: Words flying down, bars zooming back and tilting, the white flash and glare shrinking into the bars.
Cheesy Factor: This logo looks rather dated nowadays, and is an obvious product of the early 2000's.
Music/Sounds: A majestic 5-note synthesized orchestral theme composed by Mike Jones (who also did the theme song for Penn & Teller: B.S.!), which sounds vaguely familiar to the Habanera section of Bizet's opera Carmen.
- The long version has a descending piano tune before the main fanfare, and the last note is held much longer.
- Another music variation has only the last three notes of the theme re-arranged. This version began in July 2003.
- In 2005, there is another short version with the last half of the animation of the standard animation of the logo. Used on the ultra short-lived series Sit Down, Shut Up and several final season episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures.
- Sometimes, when used along a co-production or co-distributor ID, the first few notes of the music for this logo will play over the last few seconds of said ID before going into this visual logo. This has happened on such syndicated shows as Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, back when King World Productions (now "CBS Television Distribution") was still in operation. But now until October 2007, the CTD music plays on the CTD logo, and the SPT theme plays on the SPT logo.
- Sometimes the logo uses the Columbia TriStar Television theme. This version was spotted on Dragon Tales: Whenever I'm Afraid.
- Starting in 2003, high and low tone versions were used.
- Another version exists having a bell-type twinkle mixed into the standard theme.
- On some shows like 2004-07 episodes of The King of Queens, the end theme plays over this logo.
- Middle season local reruns of Good Times and Sanford and Son would have the first four notes of the standard theme playing first, followed by the finishing of the final notes from the SPT long version theme.
- The Sony Pictures Television International sounder is sometimes used, particularly on DVD releases of shows like Married... With Children and on Antenna TV's print of the Sanford and Son episode "Sanford and Gong."
- There is also a silent version.
- Another variation would have the 1993 CPT theme. This happened on several TV Land airings of Just Shoot Me!.
- A few season 7 episodes of The Jeffersons on TV One have the SPT and short CTTD themes playing at the same time.
- On The Three Stooges short "Cash and Carry", there is a 2005 low tone version.
- On Antenna TV's print of the season 5 All in the Family episode "The Jeffersons Move Up" and TV One's print of the season 1 Jeffersons episode "George's Skeleton", the short Columbia TriStar Television theme is heard.
- On the DVD print of the S1 That's My Mama episode "Clifton's Con", the 1982 CPT music is heard over this logo.
- This logo is silent sometimes on movie networks like Starz and Starz Encore.
- On the CTHE DVD print of the S3 Married... with Children episode "The Gypsy Cried", it has the first note of the 1988 CPT theme before going into the SPTI theme.
- On several international prints of May-June 2013 episodes of Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless, the 1994 TriStar Television theme is heard.
- On the Mill Creek S4 release of Married... with Children, one episode has the 1988 CPT theme.
- When Crackle had the season 2 Mad About You episode "It's a Wrap", the TriStar Television logo variant's audio played over this logo, but the "And then the stupid horse with the wings" part has been cut, leaving Paul Buchman (Paul Reiser) to say "Then you have the sound of the racetrack, the thing with the hand--s".
- One 4:3 airing of the TV movie Breakaway had the Columbia TriStar Domestic Television music playing over the logo.
- On Party of Five, the Columbia TriStar Television music plays over the logo.
Availability: Ultra common. In fact, it might be the most common logo ever.
- Seen on new series and a tremendous amount of new prints of classic shows, off-net syndication series, TV movies, and theatrical films on television. It's quite infamous and annoying for removing and replacing old logos on many pre-2002 Sony TV programs. Some examples include Mad About You, 227, Sanford and Son, and Married... with Children. The only three pre-2002 shows that did not have this logo were Walker, Texas Ranger on Cloo and USA Network, and All in the Family and The Jeffersons on TV Land, and the only pre-2002 shows that currently don't have it are One Day at a Time (1975) on Antenna TV and season one of Sledge Hammer! on Me-TV (season two uses this logo).
- The long version is not as common as the standard version, but it was seen on every episode of Jeopardy! from 2002-07, The Nat Berkus Show, and the DVD release and Crackle prints of Odyssey 5 (except for "Astronaut Dreams", which uses the normal version instead), but it may appear on some classic and off-network shows. It also appears at the end of every episode of The Three Stooges on the DVD Collection volume sets and can also be found on many other TV on DVD releases from 2003-04 such as the third season of All in the Family, the first season of Who's the Boss?, and the third and fourth seasons of Sanford and Son (from 2005 onward it went to the standard version, despite the 2004 releases of the third season of Soap and the fifth season of Sanford and Son using that version), though it also makes a surprise appearance throughout the first season of The Spectacular Spider-Man, released on DVD in 2009.
- The low tone theme is uncommon and was last seen on early episodes of Stuart Little: The Animated Series last aired on HBO Family and the 1976 TV movie Banjo Hackett on DVD, while the high tone (both 2002 and 2005 versions) theme appears on The Boondocks on Adult Swim and Netflix, many Three Stooges shorts on IFC, and seasons 7-9 of All in the Family on DVD via Shout! Factory, among other shows and certain films on television.
- As for the short version, it's fairly common and it appeared on The Shield on local syndication and Spike, the ultra short-lived series Sit Down, Shut Up on FOX, and reruns of Joan of Arcadia including Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital. The version with the SPTI theme was spotted on the 1971 film The Anderson Tapes on TCM. It can also be seen on Sony Movie Channel in widescreen. For series outside the US, it's seen on the series incarnation of the 2007 movie Niñas Mal (translated as Bad Girls) on MTV Latin America and nuvoTV. and Bienvenida Realidad (translated as Welcome Reality). This was oddly seen at the end of an episode of The Jeffersons on Antenna TV before the show's credits, with the CTT logo after the credits. The logo however followed the Nickelodeon Network logo on DVD prints of made-for-TV movies like The Last Day of Summer, Shredderman Rules, Gym Teacher: The Movie and Spectacular!, but current TV prints plastered the logo (alongside the Nickelodeon logo) with either the 2009 or 2017 Nickelodeon Productions logos, like on TeenNick's prints of Spectacular! This strangely appears at the end of a Roku Channel print of Lake Placid.
Scare Factor: None. The animation is clean and nice, yet boring, but it's not a favorite of most logo fans due to its very excessive appearance and omnipresence. In fact, it plasters even more than the Columbia TriStar Television logo did! (though the long version isn't nearly as hated as it is not as common). Arguably one of the most hated logos of all-time, although when it first appeared in 2002, it was not as hated as it is now because it had yet to become as common.
Copyright Stamps: Here is some information about the copyright stamps on the Sony Pictures Television series:
- 2002-: Copyright © [YEAR] Sony Pictures Television (Inc.) All Rights Reserved.
- 2002-: Copyright © [YEAR] Califon Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Wheel of Fortune)
- 2002-: Copyright © [YEAR] Jeopardy Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Jeopardy!)
- 2002-: Copyright © [YEAR] CPT Holdings, Inc. (Used on The Young & the Restless and international series)
- 2002-2007: Copyright © [YEAR] Columbia TriStar Television, Inc. and CBS Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on The King of Queens)
- 2002-2003: © [YEAR] Columbia TriStar Television Distribution. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Judge Hatchett)
- 2002-2004: Copyright © [YEAR] Columbia TriStar Domestic Television. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Pyramid)