Columbia TriStar Television
Columbia TriStar Television was a merger of Columbia Pictures Television and TriStar Television (after branding Columbia TriStar Home Video). It was founded on February 21, 1994 and the same day, SPE renamed Columbia Pictures Television Distribution to "Columbia TriStar Television Distribution". With Columbia TriStar International Television (formerly "Columbia Pictures International Television") already in operation since the early 1990s, all three became part of the "Columbia TriStar Television Group". On June 4, 1994, CTT folded Merv Griffin Enterprises and took over the rights to Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, and used a logo since the inception by September. However, CPT and TriStar continued producing their own series until TriStar Television became in-name-only in 1999 and CPT folded in 2001. Columbia TriStar Television was officially incorporated on July 12, 1996. On October 25, 2001, CTT and CTTD were merged into "Columbia TriStar Domestic Television" with CTIT remaining. On September 16, 2002, CTT was reincorporated as "Sony Pictures Television".
1st Logo (September 1994-May 27, 2000)
Nickname: "CT Boxes", "Split Boxes", "Still Boxes"
Logo: On a solid blue background, we see two boxes, the left one contains the Columbia Torch Lady ('90s version), and the right one contains the TriStar Pegasus (again, '90s version over Columbia cloud background). 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.
Trivia: This is basically Columbia TriStar's home video logo, but "HOME VIDEO" is edited out to put "TELEVISION" in, the background is solid blue, both boxes have a very thin black border instead of a regular gold border, and a Sony byline is added.
FX/SFX: Just a simple fade in and fade out or none. On GSN as well as Project G.e.e.K.e.R., the logo fades out like the 1992 CPT logo, the names and bylines dims out first, then the background and logos fade out, and the names fade out.
Music/Sounds: A re-arranged version of the infamous CPT '93 theme done by Steven Kaplan.
- Like CPT, from 1994, the logo theme was re-orchestrated.
- From 1996-2000, the logo would fade out at the last note. This wouldn't happen on Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune.
- On some episodes of Early Edition from the 4th season such as "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", it uses the 1993 TriStar Television theme.
- On the VHS promo for Godzilla: The Series, it's silent, except for non-U.S. releases that carries the logo theme. It was also used on Jeopardy! on the Philips CD-i.
- On some airings of season 4 Early Edition episodes, the 1993 TriStar Television music is heard over the logo.
Voice-overs: From September 1994-November 1996 on Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, there were different announcements over the logo and fanfare:
- Jeopardy! (Johnny Gilbert):
- (September 1994-1995): (On the credits) This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. (Later turns to the Jeopardy! title card) (on the CTT logo) Jeopardy! is a production of Columbia TriStar Television. (on the 1990 logo) Distributed by King World.
- (1995-November 1996): (On the credits) This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. Jeopardy! was created by Merv Griffin. (on the Jeopardy! title card) Produced by (on the CTT logo) Columbia TriStar Television. (on the 1990 King World logo) Distributed by King World.
- Wheel of Fortune:
- (September 1994-Early 1995): (on the Wheel of Fortune/Califon card with the drum roll) Wheeeeel of Fortune is produced by (on the CTT logo) Columbia TriStar Television! (on the King World logo) Distributed by King World!
- (Early to summer 1995): Created by Merv Griffin. (On the Wheel of Fortune/Califon card with the drum roll) Wheel of Fortune is produced by (on the CTT logo) Columbia TriStar Television! (on the King World logo) Distributed by King World.
- (September 1995-1996): This is Charlie O'Donnell speaking. Wheel of Fortune was created by Merv Griffin. (Later turns to the Wheel of Fortune/Califon card with drum roll by a page flipping effect. O'Donnell would sometimes announce on this card) (On CTT logo) Produced by Columbia TriStar Television. (On the 1990 King World logo with the theme) Distributed by King World.
- (Johnny Gilbert) (November 1995) (on the Wheel of Fortune/Califon card with the drum roll) Wheeeeel of Fortune was created by Merv Griffin! (on the CTT logo) Produced by Columbia TriStar Television. (on the 1990 King World logo) Distributed by King World.
This was the time when both game shows were taken over by Columbia TriStar Television.
Voice-over Variant: A rare variant just like the 1997 logo. Charlie O'Donnell says "Columbia TriStar Television" over the fanfare. This is also presumably done to blend in with the spiel at the end of the program and cover up the end reference to King World. This happened in 1997.
Availability: Actually quite rare.
- It appeared on GSN up until their infamous "Dark Period", then was replaced with the then-current CTT logo.
- It was spotted on Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune (both until spring 1997), Men in Black: The Series (until 2000), Channel Umptee-3, Jumanji: The Series, several S1 episodes of Godzilla: The Series, and some network shows. Usually during this time, however, whatever logos the shows were always using were used; "C-T mania" did not start until 1997.
- Was last seen back in 2002 on reruns of Men in Black: The Series on Nickelodeon's short-lived "SLAM!" block. Although the said show was last seen on The Hub (now Discovery Family), the CTT logo was replaced by the SPT logo there.
- It can also be found on VHS releases of the 1998 movie Godzilla on a Godzilla: The Series promo.
- Was also seen on The Dana Carvey Show episode "The Taco Bell Dana Carvey Show" on DVD, several early season 4 episodes of Early Edition on FamilyNet and Malcolm & Eddie, as well on a French airing of some episodes of Just Shoot Me! and UK airings of certain season 7 episodes of Mad About You.
- When GSN reran the 1994-1995, 1995-1996, and 1996-1997 seasons of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune over a decade ago, this logo was plastered by the 1997 CTT logo and keeping the voice-overs from the '94-'95 and '95-'96 seasons intact.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (September 18, 1995-2003)
Nicknames: "CT Boxes II", "Split Boxes II", "The Sliding Boxes", "The Boxes of Boredom", "The Boxes of Annoyance", "The Boxes of Plastering"
Logo: It's almost the same as the sky variant of the 1995 Columbia TriStar Home Video logo, except "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" replaces "HOME VIDEO" and the Sony byline is intact. Plus, the cloud background in the TriStar box is replaced with the one from its movie logo and the text has the drop shadow effect.
Standard Variants: Depending on the unit that the show originated (Television, Television Distribution, or Domestic Television), the logo was modified accordingly.
- The Television variant of this logo was introduced in February 1997, with it having a number of differences to the Television Distribution variant. In this version, the word "TELEVISION" along with the Sony Pictures byline, do not have the drop shadow effect while the words "COLUMBIA TRISTAR" still have the drop shadow effect intact. Plus, the logo has the red-pink tint and the Sony byline is in a different font (as Helvetica).
- There is a version used for CTTD, where a darker box with the animation of the clouds (footage re-used from the 3rd CTHV logo) zooms back and then splits to form the logo (similar to the 1993 Columbia TriStar Home Video logo). This version was seen on Walker, Texas Ranger, Seinfeld, and Born Free: The New Adventures.
- On widescreen international versions of some programs such as season 2 of The King of Queens and seasons 3-5 of Dawson's Creek on French airings, there is a widescreen version of the CTT and the CTDT logo.
- On 1997-2002 episodes of Jeopardy!, there would be a freeze frame effect at the end of the logo. The logo would sometimes fade out instead of disappearing.
- Starting in late 1999 on some series, the logo was expanded in ratio size in observance to High Definition programming. This version has been nicknamed "Enhanced Boxes of Boredom". The animation here is a bit cheaper and is filmed, the Torch Lady along with her cloud background both have a zooming out effect as the box splits, the TriStar Pegasus animation is slowed down a bit, the boxes have a thin white border and the text doesn't have the drop shadow effect and are in blue color. The "Television" and "Television Distribution" units were merged together on October 25, 2001, forming Columbia TriStar Domestic Television with "DOMESTIC TELEVISION" below the boxes with the SPE byline a bit smaller.
- There is an off-center version of the 2001 byline variant which was spotted on a 2004 airing of Jackie Chan Adventures on Cartoon Network.
- There are three versions of the Domestic Television variant of the logo. The first version is where the logo is up close and looks like the boxes are almost touching the screen. The second version is where the logo is in the letterbox format, stretched to fit the screen. The third version is where the logo is in the far-distance known as the "Open Matte" boxes and the SPE byline is a bit bigger and not bold.
- There also was a variant featuring an "in association with" on the top left corner of the logo on CTTD.
- There are also black and white variants of all three logos.
- On some TV movies like Rag & Bone, Into Thin Air: Death on Everest, and Double Platinum, there is a filmed version of the logo for CTT.
- On German shows such as Powder Park and Rita's Welt (translated as Rita's World), there is a still in-credit version of the CTTD logo superimposed into the credits. Plus, "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" is replaced with "FILM UND FERNSEH PRODUKTIONS GMBH" (translated in English as "FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS LTD") and it doesn't have a drop shadow effect.
- On several Columbia TriStar Television Distribution-produced shows like The $treet, the words "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" are set in Eurostile Thin, while the Sony byline is set in Futura Medium. Plus, the words (except for "COLUMBIA TRISTAR", which is the only text remaining in its standard font) don't have the drop shadow effect.
- There is another version of this variant seen on a handful episodes of What About Joan?, in which the logo is stretched to 4:3 and the text "IN ASSOCIATION WITH" is seen above to the left.
- An extremely rare filmed variant for CTDT exists and appears on the TV movies Blood Crime and Breakaway (also known as Christmas Rush). Both movies can be found on DVD.
- On DVD prints of the Get a Life episode "Married", the logo stutters and shakes, presumably due to a master tape error (à la The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "Dadzilla").
- There is also an extremely rare enhanced variant for CTTD. So far, it has been seen on the TV movies The Linda McCartney Story and First Shot (the latter using a filmed version), which were last seen on Sony Movies (however, a recent airing of the latter had SPT instead, while the DVD has Domestic Television instead). It can be also seen on some episodes of the final season of V.I.P. on CTV.ca.
- A still version was seen on ATF (1999).
- On original airings of the Seinfeld episode "The Betrayal", the Television Distribution logo plays in reverse while the audio plays forwards (the Castle Rock Entertainment Television logo, which is also in reverse video and forward audio, follows the logo, adding more to the "backwards" effect presented in the Seinfeld episode).
- A warp speed version of CTDT (with the ending theme) was spotted on an Escape (now Court TV Mystery) airing of The Juror.
- A black-and-white version of the Television Distribution variant (apparently in telecine format) was spotted on a Retro TV print of the Naked City season 2 episode "The Day It Rained Mink". This plasters the original Screen Gems Torch Lady logo.
FX/SFX: The boxes fading in and sliding, and the animation of the Columbia and TriStar theatrical logos in the boxes.
Music/Sounds: Same as the last logo. NBC, CBS and ABC airings used their generic themes. Starting in 1999 with CTT (and later CTDT), the first note is cut off.
- Sometimes a shorter version of the jingle is used, only about the second half of the long version. This version of the music sounds like a re-orchestration and not a truncation of the regular logo. This is mostly seen on the "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" variation of the logo. However, it was also used on the "DOMESTIC TELEVISION" variant of the logo on 2001-2002 episodes of V.I.P.
- On some TriStar produced shows, the 1992, 1993, and 1997 TriStar Television themes were used. However, some shows produced by CTT such as Cupid used the 1993 TriStar Television theme as well. This was started in 1997. On some current prints of the TV movie The Advocate's Devil, the TriStar theme plays over the filmed version.
- The 1988 CPT theme was also heard on this logo on several Three Stooges shorts part of Stooge TV on The Family Channel, particularly Goof on the Roof. Short version of CTTD only.
- On The Jeffersons episode "984 W 124th Street, Apartment 5C" aired on Me-TV, the 1988 CPT theme is heard under the CTTD logo due to botched plastering.
- The 1993 CPT theme was also heard on the CTTD logo on 1996-2001 episodes of Ricki Lake and the 1999 CTT logo on Phantom Investigators and Bette.
- On several 2001-2002 episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures, there was a high and a low tone included based on the theme song. On the short-lived series Secret Agent Man, it used the standard, high, low, and very low tone variants.
- On Married... with Children: The Most Outrageous Episodes: Volume 2, at the end of the episode "If Al Had a Hammer", the Sony Pictures Television logo music is heard on the third version of the CTDT logo.
- On CourtTV Mystery's airings of the film Eyes of Laura Mars, the SPT theme is heard over the 1996 CTTD logo.
- On Crackle prints of the Sheena episode The Fool Monty, the high pitched SPT theme plays over the alternate "Eurostile Thin" CTTD logo.
- On some Game Show Network reruns (mostly old episodes of Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune (excepting the 1988-1990 seasons), and Headline Chasers), 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. On the 1994-1995 and 1995-1996 seasons on both shows, the original voice over is intact, but plastering the 1994 logo with this logo. This even happened on reruns of game shows where this situation was not needed, such as the 1976 network version of Break the Bank, and on a rerun of The $25,000 Pyramid finale on New Year's Eve 1999, as there was no voice over in the end.
- On the CTT logo in 1999, it sometimes plays the last half (2 1/2) notes of the short CTTD theme and was heard on Dilbert. One variant is even higher.
- On the end of the VHS promo for Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (found on the 2002 VHS of Spider-Man), the music is silent on the second version of the CTDT logo.
- On the short-lived series The $treet, only the final note of the logo music is heard on the CTTD logo.
- Some episodes of Father Knows Best on Antenna TV have the Colex Enterprises logo music playing over this logo. This is due to a really bad plaster.
- In other cases, the ending theme of the show plays over it.
- One S2 episode of The Guardian had the CTDT logo silent.
- On international printings of the 1999 Annie remake, the two first notes are cut off.
- On one S1 episode of The Guardian on DVD, the CBS Television Distribution theme is played on the CTDT logo due to a plaster.
- There is another version of the CTT theme that has a reverb effect and the last note cut short.
- It's not very hard to spot despite being less common than before, although it's mainly on near-recent prints of shows reran on cable, like Walker, Texas Ranger on Cloo, the first season of The Guardian on TV Guide Network (later renamed TVGN, and currently Pop), and most of the final season episodes of Early Edition last seen on FamilyNet, TV Guide Network and Syfy.
- It also occasionally appeared on Sony-owned programs on GSN like Russian Roulette, seasons 1-5 of Hollywood Squares, the Donny Osmond version of Pyramid, and the short-lived Party of Five spin-off Time of Your Life, in which CTV Throwback's prints retain it. It also appeared on every episode of Harold and the Purple Crayon on HBO Family--even though it no longer airs nowadays, the CTT logo always remained on the show and was never plastered over with any other logos. However, the DVD releases and CTV Throwback prints plaster it with the Sony Pictures Television logo.
- The CTDT logos can also be seen on season 2 DVD releases of All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Good Times, and The Jeffersons, and a couple episodes on the season 4 DVD release of Punky Brewster (with the NBC Enterprises or NBC Universal Television Distribution logo following it, this was kept on one episode on Peacock but with the 1982 CPT and the current NBCUniversal Television Distribution logos following this logo), and was last seen on reruns of Mad About You on Antenna TV (plastering the 1992 TriStar Television logo), among others. CTTD or CTDT can also be spotted on several Sony classic movies on TCM occasionally.
- As for the high and low tones, they're extinct and were last seen on most season 2 episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures when it was reran on Cartoon Network. Current prints of season 2 plaster the logo over with the SPT logo (like when it popped up on Disney XD at one point). The low-tone variant was also seen on the short-lived series Secret Agent Man when it was aired on UPN. CTTD can be found on Sleepless in Seattle and The Quick and the Dead on TBS and TNT, The Jeffersons episode "Lunch with Mama" on TV One, and some films on ThisTV like Swamp Thing, Casualties of War or 1941. The latter title was followed by the SPT logo. CTDT was found (followed by SPT) on the Married... with Children episode "Have You Driven a Ford Lately" on TBS.
- The short version was commonly seen on the animated version of Dilbert (also on UPN and preserved on Russian airings). It was also last seen on 1998-2002 episodes of Dawson's Creek on The N (now TeenNick). However, it's preserved on the first two season DVDs of said show.
- The "open matte" version was seen at the end of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner on Centric. The first filmed version appeared on some TV movies like Rag & Bone, Into Thin Air: Death on Everest, and Double Platinum, and is preserved on the DVD releases of the latter TV movies.
- A widescreen filmed variant of the 1999 Columbia TriStar Television logo was spotted on an HBO Asia airing of Call Me Claus (followed by the 2014 version of the Sony Pictures Television logo) and the Hulu print of the 2000 TV movie The Three Stooges (followed by the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo).
- The black-and-white variant of CTT can be seen on several episodes of The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin on Antenna TV, and the episode "Yo-o Rinty" used the 1993 TriStar Television theme with it. It also appears on several episodes of Gidget on Antenna TV, which happens to be TV Land's prints plastering the "S from Hell".
- On Netflix, this can be found on most episodes of The Tick.
- CTDT can also be found on S1 episodes of The Shield on Crackle and the region 1 DVD release. It can be also found on BounceTV's airings of Blue Streak.
- The CTTD logo first appeared on Stooge TV, a Three Stooges hour program on The Family Channel in 1996. This can also be found on the Seinfeld 100th Episode VHS tape released in 1995 as part of a promotion with General Mills.
- Both CTT and CTDT variants can be found (in HD) on S1 episodes (and the first four S2 episodes) of The Guardian on iTunes and Paramount+. The CTTD logo is also seen on five episodes of The Edge (while the rest retain the 1992 TriStar Television logo) on DVD, which can be bought .
- The "darker box" variant of CTTD has also been seen on two early 2000s pitchreels for revivals of The $100,000 Pyramid and The Gong Show on Wink Martindale's YouTube channel.
- The enhanced variant of CTTD is ultra rare as most shows using kept using the standard variant until CTDT took over in 2001.
- The "Eurostile Thin" version of CTTD is a tough one, but it can be currently seen on season 2 episodes of Strong Medicine on Start TV, as well as on The Roku Channel and Tubi prints. It also appeared on V.I.P. and Sheena (both of these being first-run syndication shows), as well as on some episodes of Oh, Baby (in which the CTV Throwback prints retains it) and season 2 of the the Showtime original series Rude Awakening, among others.
- The logo was also shown surprisingly intact on PBS Kids Sprout (now Universal Kids) airings of Dragon Tales.
- The CTTD version appears on season 1 episodes of Sledge Hammer! last seen on Me-TV, following the New World Television logo and followed by the SPT logo, and was seen on at least one episode of The Donna Reed Show on Me-TV.
- It can also be found on Australian airings of The King of Queens on Channel Eleven and current international prints, usually followed by a CBS Broadcast International or CBS Studios International logo.
- CTT makes a surprise appearance on Laff's print of the film If Lucy Fell.
- It also surprisingly appeared on one episode of Barney Miller on the Shout! Factory DVD set.
Editor's Note: This logo is a mixed bag for many people. On one hand, it's a well-animated and scored logo for the era, with the help of the re-orchestration and usage of the CPT. On the other hand, this logo was disliked by people for several years due to its over-common presence and usage of plastering old logos. This logo would also pale in comparison to the Sony Pictures Television logo, which plasters logos in a much worse manner and on a larger scale.
Here is some information about the copyright stamps on the CTT series and TV movies: Note: During the formation of CTT on February 21, 1994, all series were merged under the CTT banner. However, both CPT and TriStar studios still used their respective copyright stamps on their series from 1996-1999:
- 1994-1998, 1999-: Copyright ©[YEAR] Jeopardy Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Jeopardy!)
- 1994-1998, 1999-: Copyright ©[YEAR] Califon Productions, Inc.All Rights Reserved. (Used on Wheel of Fortune)
- 1996-1998, 1999-: Copyright ©[YEAR] Adelaide Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on animated shows)
- 1996-1998, 1999-2002: Copyright ©[YEAR] Columbia TriStar Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
- 1996-1997: Copyright ©[YEAR] ELP COMMUNICATIONS (Used on the final season of Beakman's World)
- 1996-1998, 1999-2002: Copyright ©[YEAR] Columbia TriStar Television Distribution. All Rights Reserved.
- 1996-1998, 1999-2002: Copyright ©[YEAR] Columbia Pictures Television, Inc.All Rights Reserved. (Used on Ricki Lake)
- 1998-1999: Copyright ©[YEAR] Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Company Medien KG.All Rights Reserved.
- 1998-2001: Copyright ©[YEAR] Trackdown Productions, Inc.All Rights Reserved. (Used on Rock & Roll Jeopardy!)
- 1999-2000: Copyright ©[YEAR] TriStar Television, Inc. and CBS Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on the final season of Early Edition)
- 2001-2002: Copyright ©[YEAR] CPT Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on The Young and the Restless)
- 2001-2002: Copyright ©[YEAR] CORDAY PRODUCTIONS, INC. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Days of Our Lives)
- 2001-2003: Copyright ©[YEAR] Columbia TriStar Domestic Television. All Rights Reserved.
In 2002, CTT became Sony Pictures Television. When CTT became SPT in 2002, the third version of the CTDT logo (also known as the "Open Matte" boxes) was used until 2003 on the 5th season of Hollywood Squares (H2) in syndication. The first two versions ended in 2002.