Carlton Television (UK)
Carlton Television began broadcasting on January 1, 1993 as the third holder of the ITV franchise for London weekdays, after outbidding the much-loved Thames Television - for which it had previously made two unsuccessful takeover attempts - in the auction-style 1991 franchise round. The company quickly became notorious for its low-budget and poor-quality programming - a stark contrast to its predecessor - and for having an appetite for corporate acquisitions. These included fellow ITV stations Central and Westcountry - both of which were rebranded with the Carlton name in 1999 - and the license and broadcast facilities of HTV, as well as Technicolor and the film libraries of ITC Entertainment Group and The Rank Organisation. Carlton eventually ran into financial difficulties (spurred on by ONdigital, a failed digital television joint venture with Granada, and an expensive TV rights deal with the English Football League that went bad), and on February 2, 2004, it merged with Granada to form ITV plc. Subsequently, the Carlton name was dropped from most uses, with ITV reinstating the Central and Westcountry names, while Technicolor Corporation was sold off. The Carlton archive holdings (including the ITC, ATV/Central, Westcountry, HTV, London Films and Rank Film Distributors libraries) are now the property of ITV plc.
1st Logo (1991-1992)
Carlton Television (1991)
Logo: On a white background, a roll of film flies through the air, spinning. The film roll creates two blue lines. Once the roll of film has left the picture, the word "CARLTON" in a Bembo font zooms in below the top blue line, while the word "TELEVISION" in the same font zooms in below the bottom blue line.
Variant: A still version was used on some programs.
FX/SFX: All CGI animation.
Availability: Extremely rare for the animated version. The still version was seen at the end of programs produced by Carlton during the early 1990s, some of which aired on the Children's Channel. This ident did not air on the channel itself.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (January 1, 1993-September 1995)
Logo: On a purple-tinted background of a slightly moving palm tree, we see "CARLTON" in Gill Sans at the top left corner of the screen, with the "T" smaller than the other letters and resting in the "L".
- In January 1993, 70 variants consisted of one or more people, supposedly representing "ordinary Londoners", fading in over the background and announcing to the viewer: "You're watching Carlton" or "This is Carlton, Television for London." For instance, the very first logo, broadcast a few seconds after midnight on January 1, 1993, featured town crier Maurice Jones shouting out the latter and ringing his bell three times, as the Carlton logo morphed into the word "LONDON" above. For these variants, the background color and style varied.
- In late 1993, the idents were revised to only have 25 standard ident of people doing activities, along with 4 montage versions. Different music was used and "You're watching Carlton" or "This is Carlton, Television for London." was no longer used.
- Sometimes, the ITV logo of the time would be shown at the bottom right with "Part of the" above it and "Network" below it.
- The closing variant consisted of "A CARLTON PRESENTATION FOR" and the ITV logo below, in the middle of the screen. This was a still logo.
- A 1994 ad for Del Monte parodied this logo. The text "CARLTON" was changed to "CARTON", and The Man from Del Monte (played by Brian Jackson) appeared pouring juice into a glass cup. An announcer says "You're watching...Carton" at the end.
FX/SFX: Just the moving background. None for the closing variant.
Music/Sounds: A synth theme combined with an uninspired 8-note fanfare usually played on a trumpet. In the variants not featuring "ordinary Londoners", a voice-over would sometimes say: "You're watching Carlton, Television for London" or "This is Carlton, Television for London". For the closing variant, it's the end title theme from any show.
Availability: Extinct. The closing variant would appear on various shows of this era such as The Bill.
Editor's Note: None.
3rd Logo (September 1995-November 1996)
Logo: We see the Carlton logo fade in over a background of colored lights, and on some the colours changed during the idents.
- Alternatively, we see side profiles of the letters of the Carlton logo, made of glass, which slowly turn round to face us.
- In both cases, the background can be one or more of six colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
Trivia: This logo was produced by the promotions team at Central Television, which Carlton acquired in 1994, so it's no real coincidence that the aforementioned background colors are the same as the colors in the Central "cake".
FX/SFX: The background animation.
Music/Sounds: An excellent futuristic theme.
Editor's Note: None.
4th Logo (November 1996-September 1999)
Logo: We see the Carlton logo against a coloured background.
- For idents, there were many animated variants of the logo (well over 50), and the background color in each one varies between each variant.
- There is an international variant on a purple background.
FX/SFX: None for the still variant.
Music/Sounds: None for the still variant. A four note theme which comes in different sounds for the animated variants.
Availability: The ident variants are extinct. The international version was seen on season 4 of Cadfael.
Editor's Note: None.
5th Logo (September 1999-2003)
Logo: Over a blue (or orange/gold) background with revolving stars, we see the Carlton logo, which looks just like it did before, except with a drawing of a star on the upper right. The then-current ITV logo is shown below, along with the URL "www.carlton.com".
- On American-produced shows, "AMERICA" appears just below.
- There were many animated variants of the logo which begin with a heart shape varying in different styles. The heart shape then glows white into this logo. All Carlton regions used these idents.
- For international distribution, the following texts have been added: "Distributed by" in a small font above the name, "INTERNATIONAL" below the name, and "Carlton International Media Ltd." on the bottom of the screen. This logo is completely still.
- Some programmes have the text "A CARLTON PRODUCTION."
- Local variants have a heart-related animation played first. After the heart is formed, a star on its upper right shines, revealing the background.
FX/SFX: The stars. Pretty decent animation. None for the international variant and the production variant.
Music/Sounds: A 4-note theme followed by the last 3 notes which comes in different sounds. There would also be an announcer announcing the program or movie airing on UK broadcasts. For the international variant, it's silent, although on episodes of The Dreamstone, the end of that show's theme finishes up over it as it appears shortly after the Central logo. Over the production variant, the end theme plays.
- The ident variants are extinct and appeared in the regions Carlton owned (London weekdays, Central, Westcountry and eventually Wales/West in 2001 after Carlton purchased HTV due to rights reasons).
- As for production variants, they are still quite common. It replaced the WB logo on The Big Brawl on Showtime.
- The production variant was seen on programmes such as Dale's Supermarket Sweep.
- The Carlton International logo is surprisingly common, and was used as a subject of plastering. It plastered over the ITC logo on some of that company's shows and feature films throughout the late 1990s up to Carlton's merger with ITV plc after which the original ITC logos were reinstated (on most TV episodes) or replaced with Granada International, Granada America, or ITV Studios logos (on feature films) on newer prints.
- It also plasters the CTE logo on some re-runs of Central-produced shows like Bullseye and Family Fortunes and even appears on re-runs of Carlton-produced shows airing in the UK itself following the normal end cap, as well as a few Carlton America releases.
- Still intact on Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids, which is now airing on Nickelodeon UK.
- The still/silent version of the logo also appears at the beginning of international PAL DVD releases of The Brave Little Toaster and made a surprise appearance on a Thanksgiving Day rebroadcast of the 2002 adaptation of Pollyanna on PBS on November 24, 2016 as well as episodes 9 through 12 of the third season of The Dreamstone.
- The Carlton America logo is saved on many TV movies made by them. As noted above, the Carlton International logo appears afterwards on most airings.
- The Carlton International logo remains intact on Shout! Factory TV prints of Borderline, Dead on Time, State Park, Russian Roulette, The Purple Plain, and A Summer Story (1988), as they use older prints.
- The Carlton International logo was seen French prints When He Didn't Come Home.
Editor's Note: None.
- Carlton Television on TVARK