Columbia Pictures Television

Compiled by Eric Hartman, Jason Jones, James Fabiano, Matt Williams, Ryan Mead, and Michael Bode

Columbia Pictures Television
1st Logo

Nicknames: "CTP," "The Pretzel," "Three-Note"

Logo: Against a red background, the letters "C-P-T" appear one by one. They are all yellow, and as the picture moves outward, each initial appears on screen. The "T" is in the middle of and on a higher plane than the "C" and "P," which slide upwards diagonally to merge with the "T" to form a stylized logo, which looks like a pretzel. On either side of the logo's stem are the words "COLUMBIA" and "PICTURES," and below that "TELEVISION." Under all that is the message, "A DIVISION OF COLUMBIA PICTURES INDUSTRIES INC."

FX: The letters appearing, screen backing away, the letters "combining."

Cheesy Factor: Animation that looks about as rough as its predecessor, the S From Hell. The design also looks somewhat rushed, leading many to believe that this may be a placeholder logo.

Music: An abridged version of the Screen Gems '65-'74 theme. The three opening notes bring forth the three initials in the logo, and appear to be played faster than on the SG version.

Availability: Extremely Rare, the only recent sighting of this logo was on an airing of "Police Story" on Black Starz!

Scare Factor: If it was as well known as SG '65-'74, it would probably not be well liked because of the presence of that music.

2nd Logo

Nicknames: "The Abstract Torch", "The Sunburst", "The Starburst", "The TorchBurst"

Logo: We see a bright torch light, as if in sunburst, appear against a black screen and as it shrinks, it changes into a more "abstract" torch light: an orange half circle, or a semicircle, with thirteen white rays in the center and the words "Columbia Pictures Television" under it. The entire logo then slowly backs away as it fades out. This logo is actually the second half of the Columbia Pictures movie logo, and aside from a different color for the abstract torch, the footage also seems to be played faster than it is in the movies.

Urban Legend: It is rumored that "A Unit of the Coca-Cola Company" was seen at some point on the Sunburst logo. Many members of CLG have thought they saw the Coca-Cola info at some point, but no video evidence has been found yet. The dates are quite questionable, and Coca-Cola may have used the Sunburst for distribution only. It is said that this was used on What's Happening reruns during the mid 80s and spring 1982 episodes of "The Young and the Restless."

FX: The sunburst shrinking and turning into the abstract torch. Nice effects, but are even better when combined with the Torch Lady in the movies.

Music: The television theme is a variation of the theatrical inspirational music. Was also written by Susanne Ciani. In an interesting note, some people find it appropriate for the company that would be owned by Coca-Cola, as the effects in the song resemble the sound of pouring and fizzing soda.

Music Variation: Some syndicated showings of this logo have a shorter version of the music, only playing the second half.

Availability: As with other Columbia logos, it will be hard to find because of the editing habits of Sony. However, it still turns up every so often: at least one episode of Witt-Thomas' "Soap" on Comedy Central kept the logo, and local stations may have older prints of programs such as Spelling-Goldberg's "Charlie's Angels" with it intact. It has also been spotted on UK prints of "Fantasy Island," followed by the Columbia TriStar International Television logo.

Scare Factor: Low, this was/is a favorite of many.

3rd Logo

Nickname: "80s Torch Lady"

Logo: We see the standard Columbia Pictures logo, the lady holding a light torch on top of a pedestal, in her 1980s incarnation, resembling Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. The words "Columbia Pictures" appear on either side of the torch lady, the word "Television" underneath, and underneath that, either "A Unit of The Coca-Cola Company" (with Coca-Cola in their logo font) or sometimes nothing at all. The woman's torch "shines" after the music ends.

Variations: There are several versions of this logo, namely in bylines, company name, and animation:

  • Gold Company Name, byline is "A Unit of The Coca-Cola Company" with "Coca-Cola" in its familiar logo font (1982 version)
  • Gold Company Name, smaller Coca-Cola byline with "Coca-Cola" in its familiar logo font (1986 version)
  • Gold Company Name, normal Coca-Cola byline, dark and muddy Torch Lady, no animation (anyone know if there was a version of this logo [with the Coke byline] with animation?)
  • Blue/Ivory Company Name as seen in the movies, byline is changed to "A Unit of Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc.", (network version, 1988; syndication prints have "Distributed By" on top)
  • Gold Company Name, Columbia Pictures Entertainment byline, animation (alternate 1988 network logo)
  • Blue/Ivory Company Name, no byline (network version, 1991)
  • Gold Company Name, no byline, animation (alternate 1991 logo)


  • The company is referred to as "A Unit of Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc." from 1988-1991.
  • For television distribution, the logo had the words "Distributed By" over the Torch Lady.

FX: The Lady's torch "shining"

Music: From 1982-1987, a shortened, slightly higher pitched version of the Sunburst music was used. In late 1987, when the byline changed from Coca-Cola to CPE, the music was changed to a 6-note horn-driven jingle. Also consider that Columbia's logo editing habits were so sloppy during this era that sometimes this logo was plastered over a Screen Gems or Embassy logo with the original logo's music still intact.

Availability: The Columbia-Tristar logo has plastered itself to all old Columbia logos, but it just might pop up on some older prints of shows. With the new Sony logo coming into place, this could be easier to find, When USA reran "My Two Dads" recently, this logo was intact on most episodes. Comedy Central's print of the movie "Hairspray" used the 7th variation listed in the opening (w/the 87-92 jingle).

Scare Factor: It depended on the music used:

  • 1982-87: Low, the "sunburst" music and the Mona Lisa torch lady did not mix, but most will not mind.
  • Late 1987-92: Median, the loud music/dark background combination might startle some people.

4th Logo

Nickname: "90s Torch Lady"

Logo: We see a still picture of the standard Columbia Pictures logo, a woman (Columbia, a representation of the USA, also rumored to be resembling actress Annette Benning) holding a light torch on top of a pedestal. The word "Columbia" appears in large, silver letters behind her at the very top, similar to the classic Columbia Pictures logo of the 1930s-1970s. Underneath the woman are the words "Columbia Pictures Television," and underneath that, the words "A Sony Pictures Entertainment Company."

Byline: For TV distribution, the text above appears, "COLUMBIA PICTURES TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION"

FX: None, its a still logo

Music: From 1992-1994, the 1988 music for logo 3 was used. Starting in 1994, a 6-note majestic tune is heard; full of brass instruments.

Availability: This was used by itself on "Days of Our Lives", even during the C-T era, but the Sony logo is now used in other current shows and reruns. Can be seen occasionally on older prints on Columbia reruns like "Designing Women" on Lifetime. But chances are you'll see the Columbia TriStar or Sony logo.

Scare Factor: None, It's a very unpopular logo, but there's nothing scary about it.

Colex Enterprises

Background: Colex was a partnership between COLumbia Pictures Television and LEXington Broadcast Services Company to distribute classic Screen Gems/Columbia shows

Logo: On a blue background two sets of three red lines come from either side and merge into one set of three. A blue "Colex" written in cursive drops down onto the lines and at the bottom a four-pointed star passes, leaving behind the word "ENTERPRISES."

FX/Cheesy Factor: Logo seems to be totally made of '80s computer effects. The star has a "shadow" effect.

Music: A oversynthesized 9-note tune, two pairs of four ascending notes (second higher than the last) ends with one last high note and a "ping" when the star finishes writing out "Enterprises." Sounds like MIDI music, or something out of an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System game.

Availability: Is extinct as it would most likely be replaced by other syndicators or later Columbia logos. However, on Encore's Mystery Channel's print of "The Canterville Ghost" (80s) this was retained, even after the '92 Columbia logo! It was also recently found on a repeat of "Father Knows Best" on TV Land.

Scare Factor: Non-fans of oversynthesized jingles (like the people who dislike the Screen Gems logo of 1965-74) may not like this much.

Coca-Cola Telecommunications

Logo: On a black background is a red box with the Coca-Cola "wave" in it outlined in black (the space under it is decorated with horizontal black lines). Under that is:

Coca-Cola (in the Coca-Cola font)

Coca-Cola (again in the font) TELEVISION
Exclusive Distributor

The "Exclusive Distributor" line is not exclusive at all, there has been a version seen without it.

FX: None

Music: A light, synthesized 6-note tune.

Availability: Seen on Punky Brewster and Dinosaucers, among other shows. However, since Columbia reportedly put their '80s Torch Lady at the end of Punky reruns when they were more common, it would stand to reason that this logo would be replaced today by the Boxes of Boredom.

Scare Factor: Low

Columbia TriStar Television
1st Logo

Nickname: "Early Boxes of Boredom"

Logo: On a blue background, we see two boxes-- the left one contains the Columbia Torch Lady (90s version), and the left contains the TriStar Pegasus (again, 90s version over Columbia cloud BG). Above the logo, "COLUMBIA TRISTAR" is seen, with the words positioned over their respective logos, and on the bottom is the word "TELEVISION" and the standard Sony Pictures Entertainment byline.

In A Hurry?: This is basically Columbia TriStar's home video logo, but "HOME VIDEO" is edited out to put "TELEVISION" in, and a Sony disclaimer is added.

FX: No animation used for this logo.

Music: The infamous CPT '93 theme.

Availability: Actually quite rare-- appeared on GSN up until their infamous "Dark Period", then was replaced with the current logo. Also could have been spotted on Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and some network shows. Generally during this time, however, whatever logos the shows were always using were used; C-Tmania did not start until 1997.

Scare Factor: Not scary at all.

2nd Logo

Nicknames: "The Sliding Boxes," "C-T," "That &!$%ing C-T Logo," "(I Hate) the C-T Logo" and "The Boxes of Boredom"

Logo: We start out with a background of clouds, and a blank square is shown. The square divides into 2 where the current Columbia Torch Lady appears in the left square and the TriStar Pegasus in the right. The words "COLUMBIA TRISTAR" appear above the boxes and "TELEVISION" or "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" on the bottom with "a SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT company" below everything else.


  • On some Game Show Network reruns (mostly old episodes of "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune"), Charlie O'Donnell says "Columbia-Tristar Television" over the fanfare. This is presumably done to blend in with the spiel at the end of the program and cover up the end reference to King World.
  • There is another version where a darker box zooms back and then splits to form the logo.
  • The company name was changed entirely to Columbia TriStar Domestic Television in 2001. The logo was also expanded in ratio size in observance to High Definition programming. This version has been nicknamed "Enhanced Boxes of Boredom."

FX: The box spliting

Music: Usually the same music as Columbia logo #4. However, on some TriStar produced shows (especially "Mad About You" and "Early Edition") the ending of the original Tristar movie theme or even TriStar's 92-99 television theme was played.

Music Variation: Sometimes a shorter version of the jingle is used, only about the second half the standard version. This version of the music sounds like a reorchestration and not a truncation of the regular logo. This is mostly seen on the "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" variation of the logo.

Availability: Starting to become more uncommon than in years past. With this outfit being changed to the Sony name, it will no longer appear on new prints of classic Sony-owned shows or those in production. However, this logo is still not hard to spot, although it's mainly on near-recent prints of shows reran on cable, like "All In The Family" on Nick At Nite or "The Critic" on Comedy Central, to name a few. But this logo should gradually disappear from view.

Scare Factor: None, you'll only be annoyed about how many times you've seen this logo.

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