PolyGram Television

Edited by Sean Beard

Background: PolyGram Pictures Ltd., the short-lived original film production company founded by Jon Peters and Phil Guber (1979-83) of PolyGram Records, also had a television division,whose logo was similar to the PolyGram Pictures ID seen on feature films. This division managed to survive until 1987 while PolyGram Pictures was closed by PolyGram N.V. in late 1983. PolyGram re-entered movie production in 1986 (the new film unit being known as PolyGram Filmed Entertainment),ultimately returning to television.

The other logos used by PolyGram in the 1990s (once it bought ITC and The Samuel Goldwyn Company's library) are also detailed here.

PolyGram TeleVision, Ltd.
1st Logo

Logo: On a metallic sky-blue background, the PolyGram logo appears almost completely formed with the letters P,G,T and V in large, thick uppercase letters (but still closely matching the font used in the PolyGram print logo. As this appears, the uppercase letters spread apart revealing the rest of the company name (in thinner font,again closely matching the PolyGram print logo) and the line of stars slide into place under the company name. Streaks of glare pass over various parts of the logo.

FX: The line of stars zipping into place,the larger letters splitting apart,the glare streaks passing over the logo.

Cheesy Factor: Near Time-Life Television levels with crude early CGI animation (the line of stars and the "glide-in" of the rest of the company name)

Music: Either the closing of the end theme music or silence

Avaliability: Extremely Rare-give yourself a round of applause if you locate this anywhere. Apart from a few TV movies and the few films PolyGram made between 1979 and 1982 (which were later syndicated by
King Features Entertainment) plus the panel-discussion show "Agronsky and Co.", PolyGram in the early Eighties had virtually no presence outside music. Their very limited TV output, whenever aired should have this logo intact folowed by the MGM Lion.

Scare Factor: Given its omnipresence in music (and familiarity from album covers and print ads), the PolyGram logo as seen on a TV screen might've actually inspired awe rather than fear given its look.

Logo #2
(UK and international only)

Background: After buying ITC Entertainment Group in 1993,PolyGram renamed the company PolyGram Television Ltd. and affixed the following logo on prints of ITC shows aired in Britain (see below;the US division kept the ITC name and logo [operating as ITC Distribution,Inc.] until 1997).

Nickname: "CLANG!"

Logo: On a black background, we see the legend "PolyGram Television" in thick, white font "fold" itself into place (clicks and a whirring noise are overheard as this happens). A thin red line then glows briefly and
shrinks into position under the company name. Once the red line is in place, a dull metallic "CLANG!" is heard.
This was modelled after the PolyGram Records print logo of the era (1989-98).

FX/Music: The same as the 1994-97 PolyGram Video logo.

Cheesy Factor: The same PolyGram Video-style flipping letters and shrinking red line,the "CLANG!"

Availiability: Extremely Rare-if you've seen this,you were very lucky indeed. This was primarily a distribution logo in the UK and other countries except the US.

Scare Factor: Minimal, the "CLANG!" might startle a few but all and all harmless.

PolyGram Television/International/Visual Programming Ltd.
Logo #3 (overall;2nd US logo)

Nicknames: "PolyGram Wing Man", "Icarus"

[Note: This is an abridged version of PolyGram's final (1996-99) movie logo-a more complete, detailed description of which can be found in the PolyGram Filmed Entertainment section. Only the tail end of the sequence was used on television.]

Logo: On a ominous-looking darkened, cloudy skyscape, we see a winged man take flight from a steep cliff surface. As he begins his flight, he freezes still. As the Icarus stops, light streaks pass over him. The phrase POLYGRAM TELEVISION, in a stylized font and centered under the winged man, zooms into place (also with the same streaking EFX). Both the Icarus and company name appear to be living crystal.

FX: State-of-the-art CGI animation (the full version of which was never used by the television unit).

Music: None, or the end theme music's outro


Avaliability: Extinct. Immediately following the merger of PolyGram and Universal Studios, PolyGram logos from most 1996-99 PolyGram Filmed Entertainment films and television programs were deleted and replaced with the current Universal Glittering Globe. The "Maisie" credits had the PolyGram Icarus and credit replaced with the current Universal print logo (on episodes currently seen on Noggin) and a credit for Universal Visual Programming Ltd. above it.

The ITC library was later sold to Carlton International Media,while the remaining pre-March 1996 PolyGram film library was sold to MGM. Outside off-air tapes of "Motown Live!","The Crow:Stairway to Heaven" and ITC library shows from the two years this logo was used (1997-99),this is history.

Scare Factor: The dark skyline and winged man might very well unsettle some viewers (especially if unfamiliar with the Greek fable about Icarus, the man who constructed a set of wings and tried to fly to the sun) as well as the freeze-frame and CGI effects animation used thoughout but should be of minimal effect for those who had never seen this ID before. This remains among the best CGI logos of recent years, regardless of its dark look.

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