Desilu Productions

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Logo descriptions by Jeffrey Gray and indycar
Logo captures by Eric S., V of Doom, Shadeed A. Kelly, snelfu, indycar, CSKing, Pygmalion X, TheEriccorpinc, and ClosingLogosHD
Editions by V of Doom, Shadeed A. Kelly and indycar

Background

Desilu Productions was a production company founded in 1950 by then-husband-and-wife comedy duo, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball (hence the name of the company), producing very successful TV shows and films between the 1950s and 1960s. In 1960, Desi Arnaz sold the pre-1960 shows to CBS since Ball and Arnaz couldn't work with each other anymore. They later divorced the same year. In 1962, Arnaz sold his holdings of Desilu to Ball. In 1967, she sold Desilu to Gulf+Western Industries, which merged Desilu with Paramount Pictures, the company became the television arm of Paramount in July renaming it to "Paramount Television" (now "CBS Television Studios") months later, while she formed her then-new company "Lucille Ball Productions, Inc." and Desi Arnaz formed his own company named "Desi Arnaz Productions". Currently, all of the Desilu Productions television library is owned by ViacomCBS through CBS Television Distribution.

1st Logo (October 15, 1951-May 21, 1963)

Logo: Desilu did not use a logo until 1952. As superimposed or scrolling on the end credits, we see the text:

A
DESILU PRODUCTION

From 1951-1952, the copyright stamp fades-in below. From 1952-1963, this would fade to the "script" logo.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: The closing theme from any show.

Availability: Seen intact on all I Love Lucy episodes on Hallmark Channel and DVD. This was also seen on The Untouchables and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.

Editor's Note: None.


2nd Logo (September 15, 1952-March 11, 1968)


Nickname: "Desilu Script"

Logo: Over a specialty backdrop, we see the words "FILMED IN HOLLYWOOD BY" ("Filmed in HOLLYWOOD and MEXICO by" on The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour). The word "Desilu" is written in a cursive font, either in black, white, or in a 3D-ish appearance. Then, a round ball dots the "i". The copyright information appears at the bottom. This phrase was shortened to "FILMED BY DESILU" in 1957.

Trivia: The logo was designed by visual artist Howard Anderson Jr., who also designed the titles and effects works for I Love Lucy, among other shows.

Variants:

  • There is a still in-credit variant that appeared on shows that were filmed on location.
  • Another in-credit logo has the Desilu script name between "A" and "PRODUCTION"
  • At the beginning of some programs, the word "Presents" is seen below.
  • For Desilu Sales, Desilu's distribution arm starting in 1962, the text "Distributed by Desilu Sales, Inc." is seen in a script font on a gray background.

FX/SFX: The "drawing effect".

Music/Sounds/Voice-over: Music played during the end of the show. Some I Love Lucy episodes have an announcer saying, "I Love Lucy is a Desilu Production". Even some with that have "Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz will return next week at the same time".

Availability: Seen intact on any shows that originally had it.

  • The superimposed version can be seen on shows like I Love Lucy on Hallmark Channel, the Star Trek pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before", The Lucy Show, and The Untouchables (1950s version) on Me-TV.
  • The in-credit variant was seen intact on some filmed on locations shows, such as The Andy Griffith Show, I Spy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and That Girl, among others.

Editor's Note: The animation in this logo is primitive, but it's well-remembered by fans of I Love Lucy and Star Trek.

Final Notes: This logo was used on the final two seasons of The Lucy Show, which used the 1966 Desilu logo and the 1968 Paramount Television logo at the end.


3rd Logo (September 8, 1966-December 1967)


Nicknames: "Merging Circles", "Multi-Colored Circles", "Color Desilu Logo"

Logo: On a black background, six multicolored (red, pink, and orange) circles surround a white one and then merge together with it to form a blue circle, which backs away upward as the word "Desilu" is written in a yellow cursive font. As the circle takes its place over the "i", it turns white.

Variants:

  • When Desilu merged with Paramount Pictures in 1966, the Paramount copyright stamp and print logos would appear under it.
  • On Star Trek reruns from 1978, the Paramount copyright is chyroned in. Then they would cut to the then-current Paramount Television logo or the 2006 CBS Paramount Domestic Television "Eye in the Sky" logo afterward. Some older prints will have the logo with the chyroned Paramount copyright, but will not be followed by any Paramount logo. This has been seen on the 1980 Paramount Home Video releases of Star Trek: Television Classics, Volumes 1-5. A version with a pink tint, due to film quality, can be found on the 1984 Laserdisc release of The Menagerie: Parts I & II under the Television Classics collection.
  • There was a red Desilu logo seen on Mission: Impossible.
  • There's another variant where the year reads as "1967" appears instead of reading in Roman numeral style.
  • There is another version of the previously described variant where the copyright notice is partially on the Desilu text. This oddity is known to have been on original prints (and also Sci-Fi Channel airings) of the Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Home media releases by CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution will have this variant replaced by the standard version of the logo (with the Paramount Pictures and Norway Corporation copyrights).
  • A B&W variant exists on 16mm prints of said colors.
  • On some recent prints of seasons 5-6 of The Lucy Show, a Desilu Productions copyright has been chyroned in under the logo. These also plaster over the original Paramount copyrights, if any.

FX/SFX: The circles merging in a kaleidoscope fashion, moving, and changing colors, the "drawing" effect.

Music/Sounds: A five-note horn fanfare; starts on a light note as the circle forms. This would later be used on Paramount Television's 1st logo. Sometimes this music would play faster. All were composed by Wilbur Hatch.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • 1966-1967 season episodes of Mission: Impossible would sometimes have "bump" music (the basis for the "M:I" theme) as the fanfare. This was also reportedly seen on non-remastered versions of the Star Trek episode, "Charlie X".
  • Some 1967-1968 season episodes of Mission: Impossible episodes had a battling loud rendition of the fanfare. This would later be used on Paramount Television's first logo in early 1968.
  • In other cases, it's silent.
  • In the remastered S3 Star Trek episode "The Paradise Syndrome", the 1968-69 Paramount Television fanfare plays underneath the Desilu logo, which inexplicably appears at the end of this episode as the result of botched logo plastering.
  • On the original effects version of the Star Trek episode "Return to Tomorrow" as seen on the "Roddenberry Vault" compilation, the final note of the early 1968 Paramount Television logo's music can be heard for a split second after the Desilu logo finishes and just before the CBSTD logo begins. This is most likely an editing mistake made while inserting the Desilu logo over the original Paramount logo.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • Currently seen on Star Trek on Me-TV (as of March 2016) and BBC America.
  • It was also last seen on Star Trek reruns on TV Land and in local syndication and some Mission: Impossible episodes on the former ALN (now "YouToo TV"). When Star Trek is shown on Canada's Space: The Imagination Station, this logo was presumably kept with the Paramount copyright without the Paramount TV logo.
  • It's also intact on early episodes of Mannix, as well as The Lucy Show.
  • Currently DVD releases of the first season of Mission: Impossible retain this logo with the Paramount copyright byline, but do not follow this with any Paramount logo.
  • Seasons 1 & 2 of the original Star Trek on Blu-ray have retained this logo (followed by the CBS Television Distribution logo), with this logo strangely replacing the January-September 1968 Paramount Television logo.

Editor's Note: The animation is still primitive here (and the battling loud version of the fanfare may startle some viewers), but again, this is a well-loved and memorable logo by many.