MTM Enterprises/Productions

Compiled by James Fabiano and Jason Wuthrich

Just to make sure you know, MTM stands for the initials of the company's co-founder, Mary Tyler Moore.


Nicknames: "The MTM Kitten", "Meow"

Logo: Over the years, the logo has been tweaked colorwise and according to certain shows, but here's the basic concept: An "M" flies backward from off screen, then splits into two. In the space left between the two letters, two "T's" come from the top and bottom of the screen and join to form one. This completes the initials of the company, and the "T" shrinks when a gold circle appears over it. Under the letters are the words "ENTERPRISES INC." (or whatever MTM is calling the company at the time) Back to the circle, it is ribbon-like and decorated with stars and the letters "MTM" on top. Inside is an orange striped kitten who meows once, obviously in parody of the MGM lion.

Trivia Note: The cat's name was "Mimsie," though nicknames such as "Dick Turpin" and "Dick Marino" have also been used in naming the cat.

Movie Version?: A still version of this logo did turn up in the movies, notably the Orion Pictures Release of "Just Between Friends" and possibly more. This is a still of the "Red/Blue Letters" version of the logo, and is shrunk to a considerably small size. No music, animation, or "meow" is present.

TV Distribution: A still version of the logo was used for MTM's TV Distribution division. It has the regular "MTM" (in gold), and under that and a line are the words "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION GROUP." The circle and picture of the kitten are much bigger, and the kitten looks like he's smiling.

Variations: First here are the little differences in the logo, along with dates in which they were used:

  • 1970-71: One "M" was red-orange, the other was red, and the "T" was blue and formed by the merging of a light blue "T" and a green one.
  • 1971-78: The "M's" are both red-orange, and the "T" light blue.
  • 1978-83: Company now identified as MTM Productions Inc.
  • 1983-91: Company identified as MTM Enterprises Inc. The "M's" are now red.
  • 1992-95, 1996-98: All letters are gold, the words "An International Family Entertainment Company" appear, after MTM was bought by the Family Channel.
  • 1995-96: 25th Anniversary logo; on a white background is a black "25," with a similarly colored MTM under that. The kitten appears in the rounded part of the "5."

Now, one thing that the MTM logo was known for was that often, it would be custom made for whatever show it appeared at the end of. This means the kitten's appearance would sometimes be different. Here are those variations:

  • The Duck Factory: As the logo forms, a off-screen voice states, "Where's the cat?" Instead of meowing, the cat says, "Quack!"
  • Graham Kerr: The kitten wears a chef's hat.
  • Hill Street Blues: The kitten would wear a policeman's cap. The logo also said "An MTM Enterprises Production" instead of the standard message.
  • Lou Grant & Paris: There is a still picture of the logo.
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The kitten usually meows normally, however, on the 2nd episode, the kitten's meow is higher-pitched, rather shrill. On Episode 71, the meow is replaced by Miss Moore herself, saying "Th-th-th-that's all folks!", a line spoken by Mary Richards during that episode.
  • The Bob Newhart Show: The 1972 Christmas episode features a wreath in place of the MTM ribbon.
  • The New WKRP: Dubbed with Les Nesman Jr. exclaiming "Ooh!"
  • Newhart: The kitten meows... in Bob Newhart's voice. On the final episode, the cat yells "QUIET!", (the two Darryls' first and only word)
  • Remington Steele: The kitten wears a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap and meerschaum pipe. While meowing, the pipe drops out of its mouth and falls in front of the word "Productions".
  • St. Elsewhere: The kitten is wearing a scrub suit and a surgical mask, which is animated to look like a mouth is moving underneath when he meows. On the final episode, he is hooked on life support on a hospital bed and then dies.
  • The Steve Allen Show: The kitten (who also wears Allen's famous eyeglasses) lip-syncs Allen's "Schmock!"
  • White Shadow: The cat (who is not Mimsie, it's a different black and white cat) is pawing at a basketball. Also has "An MTM Enterprises Production" and no animation in the letters.
  • Xuxa: Another dub job, instead of "meow," the kitten says "ciao"
  • Home Video: The kitten holds a remote control. After meowing, the kitten hits "rewind". The picture winds backwards (and loses color), and the kitten meows again.

FX: The splitting, dropping, merging, and shrinking letters.

Cheesy Factor: Simple animation, and the kitten's animation is a bit choppy. And when the kitten is dressed according to the show, his clothes seem to be pasted on or poorly animated. On the White Shadow variation, the cat's movements are caused by looped footage.

Music: None really, except in 1996 when a 5-note jingle was added. Other than that, the end theme usually finished over it and that was it.

Availability: Uncommon, MTM has since been dissolved into 20th Century Fox when Fox acquired IFE, but you can still see the logos on some cable and syndicated reruns, depending on the prints. Nick At Nite/TNN's prints of "Newhart" and "WKRP" kept the MTM logo, but usually, shows like "America's Funniest Home Videos," and "Remington Steele" on PAX will have the 20th Century Fox logo instead. The 20th Television logo has also been spotted on Rescue 911 and St. Elsewhere reruns, as well as on Hill Street Blues (which speeds up the end credits as well in order to plaster the 20th). So basically, the MTM logo can only be seen on older prints of their shows.

Scare Factor: Median, the silence, the "meow" the fading out of the music, and the kitten coming out of nowhere might catch some people by surprise. Other than that it's mostly a cute logo.

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