CBS Special Presentation

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Logo descriptions by codyfinke6, mr3urious, and kc86er

Logo captures and videos courtesy of sterlingyoyo, WREYtube, tyson83782, jlehmann, videoholic2008a, SwozyGustafsson, HulkieD, stiffkids2006,Mr.Logo, Edc4, and ClosingLogosHD

1st Logo

(1970?-1973)

Left: The regular text

Right: The starburst appears

Nicknames: "CBS Starburst", "CBS Explosion"
Logo: On a black background, the text "A CBS SPECIAL PRESENTATION" is shown aligned to the left. Then, the "A" in "PRESENTATION" flies off, being replaced by a yellow and red starburst/explosion that increases in size.
FX/SFX: The "A" flying away, the starburst/explosion.
Music/Sounds: A four-note horn fanfare that is synced to the starburst's animations. The theme is lifted from "So Old, So Young" by Morton Stevens, which was used as the theme to CBS's special movie presentation bumpers of the time.
Availability: Ultra rare. It's long gone from television, but it can be seen on the Lorimar LaserDisc of The Lily Tomlin Special - Vol. 1.
Editor's Note: A pretty cheap and very strange logo.
2nd Logo

(1973-1992)

Nicknames: "Classic Special", "Shadow Special", "A CBS Special Presentation", "The Charlie Brown Logo", "It's Christmas Special Time!", "The Grammy Awards Logo"


Logo: On a black background, we see the word "SPECIAL" (in the Avant Garde font) spinning toward the camera with a yellow, orange, pink, and blue "trailing" effect. As we zoom inside the "C" in "SPECIAL", the word "SPECIAL" in white zooms out, and then turns neon pink when it stops zooming. As this happens "A CBS", above "SPECIAL", and "PRESENTATION", under "SPECIAL", appear suddenly.
Trivia: This was parodied on some special episodes of Animaniacs in 1993-1996, with "ANIMANIACS" in place of "SPECIAL" spinning toward the camera, and the finished phrase reading "AN ANIMANIACS SPECIAL PRESENTATION", with "SPECIAL" in red and the other text in yellow. The music heard is a different bongo-driven orchestral fanfare.
Variants:
FX/SFX: The effects of the trailing "SPECIAL" text.
Music/Sounds: A series of bongo drums, leading into a jazzy horn fanfare. The music is an abridged version of "Call to Danger", composed by Morton Stevens for the soundtrack of the original Hawaii Five-O series.
Availability: Rare.

  • This appeared on special programs and especially many holiday specials that were broadcast annually during this period, including the Garfield TV specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas (back when CBS held the broadcast rights before ABC acquired them), Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, every Grammy Awards ceremony until 1990 and the Star Wars Holiday Special. As such, if you have old tapes of CBS from this period, this should probably be an easy find considering this intro's longevity.
  • Outside of off-air recordings, it can be seen on The Making of The Deep on the U.S Blu-ray of The Deep.
  • It was also seen on Hulu prints of the 1971 TV special The Cat In the Hat and The Lorax (preceded by the 1995 Paramount logo).
  • Editor's Note: One of the most famous and most popular logos on television, thanks to the music and longevity. The effects are dated nowadays, though most agree this adds to its charm.
    3rd Logo

(1991-1993)

Nickname: "The Space Special"
Logo: On a space background, we shift to a rippled blue glass (kind of looks like a washboard), and the word "SPECIAL" in yellow-orange color goes through the rippled plexiglass. The glass zooms out to a computer animated gray/white gradient BG, and the word "SPECIAL" appears on the rippled plexiglass in red, and "CBS" in yellow is above the word "SPECIAL", and "P R E S E N T A T I O N" in white is shifting below "SPECIAL", and a black CBS Eye logo shifts from top to next to "CBS".
Trivia: This logo is patterned after CBS's "The Look of America" campaign used in 1991-92.
FX/SFX: Nice CGI effects.
Music/Sounds: Starts out with a roll up, then a 14-note fanfare, then a dramatic 6-note loud fanfare, ending with an echo gliss.
Music/Sounds Variants:

  • One version used the music from the CBS Mini-Series intro; apparently this was used on the second special if there were two broadcast in a row.
  • An announcer may speak over the music.
    Availability: Extinct. Check your old tapes. Early appearances of this logo can be seen on specials such as The 33rd Annual Grammy Awards.
    Editor's Note: While not as well remembered as the last logo, this intro still boasts some cool CGI for the time as well as a neat design.
    4th Logo

(1992-1996)

Note: This logo is based off of the ID CBS used in this era.
Nicknames: "This is CBS", "That Logo from the CBS Movie"
Logo: On a dark background, we see a blue CBS eye logo with many lights appearing along with one through the CBS eye and we zoom in. Then we fly through the interior of the eye and see the stacked lines that make it up. Then, we shift up and zoom out to the words "CBS SPECIAL", made of the lines like the interior of the eye, floating over the blue CBS eye at an angle, with a blue light projected through the eye.
Variant: A variant exists saying "CBS SPECIAL MOVIE". This appeared in promos for Simon & Simon in Trouble Again, possibly among others.
FX/SFX: CGI effects.
Music/Sounds: A dramatic synthesized tune, then the CBS jingle.
Availability: See the above logos as well. Programs that used this were "Hallmark Hall of Fame" movies and "CBS Soap Break", among others.
Editor's Note: None.
5th Logo

(1994-1997)

Nickname: "Flaming Eyemark"
Logo: On a white background, the CBS eye logo slowly fades in, filling with fire. we see a CBS eye logo, filled with fire. "CBS" is floating across it, and "CBS SPECIAL PRESENTATION" appears several times, with each copy descending and fading away. As the gold words "SPECIAL PRESENTATION" float across the screen, a black CBS eye eclipses the background, and another, smaller one eclipses the flaming CBS eye, casting a glow. As all this happens, a large, 3D text (in the Didot font) says:
6th Logo

(1997-1999)

Nicknames: "Welcome Home", "Fireworks and Lights Special", "CBS Goes Pyrotechnical"
Logo: We start out traveling through the doors of the CBS Television City with several people walking by. As the doors are open by two red-uniformed ushers standing on both sides, we see the CBS eye, and then fireworks shoot out. The words "CBS SPECIAL PRESENTATION" in its Didot font are revealed from the fireworks. This appears on a yellow light CBS eye. We finally zoom out.
FX/SFX: A combination of live-action and CGI are used here.
Music/Sounds: The music used during CBS's "Welcome Home" era.
Availability: Same with the logos above.
Editor's Note: None.
7th Logo

(2000-200?)

Note: The logo was used during the "Address is CBS" era.

Nickname: "CBS 2000"

Logo: TBA

Variant: On Good Grief, Charlie Brown: A Tribute To Charles Schulz, we hear the remixed version of "Linus and Lucy" which was followed by Charlie Brown saying: "Regularly scheduled program will not be seen tonight. Now a special presentation, Charlie Brown here! Join me and the gang for our tribute to our creator Charles Schulz. CBS Next!" it features clips from various Peanuts specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

FX/SFX: Nice CGI graphics.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: Extinct.

Editor's Note: TBA.

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