Embassy Television was formed in January 1982, reincorporating the former T.A.T. Communications Company (formed in 1974) founded by Norman Lear and Jerry Perenchio after the duo acquired Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation and merged it with T.A.T. by becoming "Embassy Communications, Inc.". Embassy also introduced Embassy Telecommunications (reincorporating the distribution division of T.A.T. Communications Co. and also folding the former PITS Films) as the television distribution arm. In 1985, Lear and Perenchio sold Embassy Communications, Inc. (which included Tandem Productions and Embassy Television) to the Coca-Cola Company (former parent of Columbia Pictures Industries). When Diff'rent Strokes was canceled in 1986, Coca-Cola merged Embassy Television, Embassy Telecommunications, and Tandem Productions into the holding company and Embassy Communications ceased to exist as a holding company to become a full serviced television studio, who later merged with Columbia Pictures Television on November 24, 1986 and became "Columbia/Embassy Television", however Tandem remained as an in-named-only division of Embassy Communications. On December 21, 1987, Coke spun-off its entertainment business and sold it to Tri-Star Pictures. Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. was renamed to "Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc." and merging the Columbia and Tri-Star Pictures theatrical banners. By January 2, 1988, the Embassy Communications logo was phased out and was replaced by the Columbia Pictures Television logo, but the series by Embassy Communications retained the copyright for its series until March 19, 1988 (the last production to use an Embassy copyright was the final season Facts of Life episode "Big Apple Blues" while others began using the ELP copyright by February 1988), when Embassy Communications was renamed as "ELP Communications", but was under the production banner of Columbia Pictures Television from 1988-1994, and Columbia TriStar Television from 1994-1997 (both studios however, still produced their series individually). ELP Communications is a joint venture between LEP Holdings and PEP Communications that was formed on December 21, 1987. In 1998, after Beakman's World was canceled, Sony Pictures Entertainment retired Embassy Television. However, Embassy currently remains as an in-name-only unit of Sony Pictures Television.
1st Logo (September 25, 1982-1983; November 16, 1985)
Nicknames: "☆E", "Still ☆E", "In-credit ☆E"
Logo: A boldface "E" in Futura Medium Bold BT extended to feature a star cut-out can be seen in white, with the stacked text "EMBASSY TELEVISION" next to it in the same font and color. These words were positioned to the right of the "E" logo, and "AN" and "PRODUCTION" is featured above and below the logo except for the remaining early 1982 episodes of Silver Spoons, which doesn't feature "AN" and "PRODUCTION".
- The in-credit text co-existed with the in-credit logo, the same day Silver Spoons debut along with the premiere of season 4 of The Facts of Life.
- This logo was designed by Chermayeff & Geismar Associates of New York.
FX/SFX: None, although a few season 8 episodes of One Day at a Time actually had this logo scrolling with the closing credits on some episodes.
Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show.
Availability: It's on the end credits of almost all 1982 episodes of The Facts of Life, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, and Silver Spoons. Square Pegs used this until 1983. As an in-credit logo, it is usually left alone. However, TV One prints of The Jeffersons omit the logo, cutting straight to the SPT logo after the Embassy copyright notice, but it's retained on most early season 9 episodes that had this on FOX Retro in Italy (translated as "I Jefferson"). The all-text version can be seen on the pilot episodes of Square Pegs and Silver Spoons. The in-credit text was used again in 1985 on two of the 227 episodes "Pity the Poor Working Girl" and "Football Widow", before the 1984 Embassy Television logo appears. The in-credit logo was first used on The Facts of Life Goes to Paris.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (November 13, 1982-December 1987)
Nicknames: "☆E II", "Spinning Star", "Rolling Star", "Spinning ☆E", "Rolling ☆E"
Logo: Same as the 1982 Embassy Pictures logo, but with a few differences. The logo is sped up, and the bottom text would just appear underneath the logo rather than fading in. Under it would read one of the following:
- "EMBASSYTELEVISION" in a straight line. (network shows, 1982-1986)
- "EMBASSY TELECOMMUNICATIONS" stacked and aligned to the left. (syndicated programs, 1983-1985)
- "EMBASSY PAY TELEVISION" stacked and aligned to the left. (subscription programs, 1984-1988, this variant has "EMBASSY" in the Arial font)
- "EMBASSY TELECOMMUNICATIONS" stacked and aligned to the middle. (syndication, December 1985-September 1986)
- "EMBASSY COMMUNICATIONS" stacked and aligned to the middle. (network and syndication, 1986-January 1988)
Byline: Starting in 1986, a byline reading "A unit of The Coca-Cola Company" would be displayed under the logo, with "The Coca-Cola Company" in the corporate font (Loki Cola). Starting in 1987, "A unit of" would now be non-italicized and in all capitals.
Trivia: Their slogan was "We keep America Laughing!".
Transition Variants: Depending on the show or TV special/movie, the logo was inserted in an interesting way. Instead of a straight fade/cut to the logo, the first part of the logo animation is superimposed over the final shot of the credits before the background fades to blue. There may be other effects applied to it.
- On 1982-1985 season episodes of The Jeffersons, the end credits faded to a shot of skyscrapers. Over this image, the "E" star logo appeared (and the music started), rolling in over this background. The background soon faded to blue, and "EMBASSY TELEVISION" appeared like normal over this image. Surprisingly, this version is/was in pretty good circulation out of 6 late season episodes aired on Nick @ Nite, 4 of them have this logo.
- The shows 227 and Women in Prison also had their effects, but without the skyscrapers and each episode of 227 had different images with the Embassy Television and Embassy Communications logos.
- On The Jeffersons season 10 episode 17 titled "A New Girl in Town", the Embassy logo appears blue when animating at first. The skyscraper background from the end-title credits later changes to the blue background and the Embassy logo later turns white.
- On the 1984 TV special Greater Tuna, the full logo animation is superimposed into the background, and after its done forming, the background fades to blue. Also, the logo, name, and registered trademark symbol have shadows.
- Beginning in the 1984-85 season, there is a registered trademark symbol that appears next to the name. This was because Embassy was registered on June 26, 1984. This would last until 1986.
- The background of the Embassy Television and Embassy Communications logos would appear in either royal blue, light blue, or purple. In 1987, the Embassy Communications logo was animated on a teal blue background.
- On The Jeffersons season 10 episodes "Mission Incredible: Part 1", "I Do, I Don't", and "And the Winner is", there is a straight cut to the logo without the skyscraper background in the way while the logo is animating.
- On the 1987 TV movie Guilty of Innocence: The Lenell Geter Story, the "☆E" appears darker gray on a dark teal background with the text "Embassy Communications" and the byline "A unit of The Coca-Cola Company" in shadow mode in white.
- The TV movies Firefighter and A Place to Call Home has the logo lettering in shadow mode.
- A filmed variant of the logo exists.
FX/SFX: Same as the 1982 Embassy Pictures logo, but with the text appearing instead of fading.
Music/Sounds: A high-pitched, 6-note synthesizer tune with the last note holding, followed by a pound holding the note while the 6th note is held with an additional four notes sped-up a little under the held 6th note and and a fifth note rolling noticeably with a final pound note at the end. This was composed by the late Ray Colcord.
- From 1983-1988, the first note was cut off. This was sometimes used on many seasons of TV series such as S1 of 227 and Who's the Boss?, S5 of The Facts of Life, the final season of Diff'rent Strokes, E/R, One Day at a Time, and was also used for Embassy Pay Television.
- There is a low toned variant that was only used for the 1987 version in syndication.
- On the original E/R episode "Enter Romance," the 1st few notes are missing from the logo.
- The logo is silent on the 1983 TV movie Grace Kelly.
- On The Jeffersons season 9 episode "Mr. Wonderful", the end-title theme plays over the logo.
- On The Jeffersons episode "Hail to the Chief", the Embassy Television theme's timing is off while the logo animates.
- On The Facts of Life episode "Bus Stop", the 1988 Columbia Pictures Television theme plays over the logo. This was a result of a double plaster.
Availability: Depending on the variant:
- Embassy Television: Uncommon. It first appeared on season 1, episode 8 of Silver Spoons. It's seen on S1 eps. of 227 on DVD, Encore Black, and Sony Crackle. It has been surprisingly preserved on season 8 (1985-86) episodes of Diff'rent Strokes on Encore Black (the Embassy logo was only used in the final season). It's also on the complete first season DVD releases of Who's the Boss?, as well as most 7flix airings of said show in Australia and Silver Spoons. It's retained on S9-11 episodes of The Jeffersons on Me-TV but doesn't appear on TV One's prints, with the exception of the season 11 episode "Last Dance". However, it appears on all episodes from seasons 9-11 on FOX Retro in Italy (translated as "I Jefferson"). It's also retained on three 1984 episodes of The Facts of Life seen on Logo titled "Love At First Byte", "Talk, Talk, Talk", and "Bus Stop". The logo is sen on generic credits on the network. However, all episodes from seasons 5-7 have the Embassy Television logo retained when released by Shout! Factory and aired on Me-TV. It's also retained on the first two seasons of Who's the Boss? on Sony Crackle and the second season of the same show on Amazon Prime. It also appeared on the 1984-85 short-lived sitcom E/R (not to be confused with the more familiar 1994-2009 drama ER), the TV special Greater Tuna, as well as the short-lived Double Trouble and It's Your Move when Lifetime and USA last reran those shows respectively in the '90s.
- Embassy Telecommunications: Ultra rare/near extinction. It has been seen on a 1984 episode of Diff'rent Strokes on BET (it may appear on Antenna TV or Encore Black) and at the start of the CBS Saturday Night Movie edited version of Blade Runner.
- Embassy Pay Television: It's extinct and have been replaced by later distributor logos from Embassy Communications to Sony Pictures Television over the years.
- Embassy Communications: Rare for the 1986 version and it's seen on the TV movie Firefighter, retained on season 8 of The Facts of Life on Me-TV and the Shout! Factory DVD release, all season 2 episodes of 227, and all season 3 episodes of Who's the Boss? both on Sony Crackle. The gray "☆E" dark variant is extremely rare and can be seen on Guilty of Innocence: The Lennell Geter Story, in which the Sony Pictures Choice Collection DVD-R as well as recent broadcasts of Sony Movie Channel retains it. The 1987 version is ultra rare and was originally seen on season 1 and early season 2 episodes of Married... With Children (the last being "You Better Watch Out"), the short-lived sitcom The Charmings, 1987 episodes of Who's the Boss?, 227, The Facts of Life, and the short-lived sitcom Women in Prison before January 2, 1988. This was also used to plaster older Embassy Television logos as sighted in a rerun of a season 1 episode of Double Trouble and some season 5 episodes of Silver Spoons. But most reruns and the DVDs of Married... With Children have it plastered over with the SPT logo. However, it is retained on The Facts of Life S9 episode "Adventures in Baileysitting" and the first episode of The Jeffersons on TV One called "A Friend in Need". It was surprisingly retained on a few S8 episodes of One Day at a Time on Antenna TV reruns, but are obscured due to split-screen credit crunching.
Editor's Note: It's a favorite of many who can cherish its charm and cheesiness, as well as appreciate some of the special variations like from The Jeffersons that been praised by those who've seen it as very professional and cool.
Here is some information about the copyright stamps on the Embassy series and TV movies:
- 1982-1986: Copyright © (year) Embassy Television. All Rights Reserved.
- 1985-1986: Copyright © (year) Tandem Productions. All Rights Reserved. (Only used on the final season of Diff'rent Strokes)
- 1986-1988: Copyright © (year) Embassy Communications. All Rights Reserved.