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Filmways, Inc. was originally founded in 1958 by Martin Ransohoff. It was acquired by the Orion Pictures Company in 1982; the same year, Filmways Television was renamed as Orion Television and Filmways Pictures was folded into "Orion Pictures Corporation" in June. Today, The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction (both were distributed by Viacom Enterprises but are now owned by CBS Television Distribution, while Orion Television retains the copyright on all episodes that have not gone into the public domain), Thundarr: The Barbarian and Fangface are both owned by Warner Bros. Television after Turner Broadcasting acquired the pre-1991 Ruby-Spears Productions library. Eye Guess, The Face is Familiar and Personality are owned by Sony Pictures Television via Stewart Television and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman/Forever Fernwood is owned by SPT with ELP Communications owning the copyright. The remainder of the Filmways Television library is currently owned by MGM Television with Orion Pictures owning the copyright.
1st Logo (1958-March 6, 1974)
Nickname: "Filmways Globe"
Logo: We start with a small globe of Earth, horizontally stretched out in the center of the screen. The globe has longitude (left to right) lines on it, and the equator extends beyond the globe, with little Richter-scale like lines on part of it. The globe is on a blue, starry background, with most of the stars clumped in the upper left and right hand corners. From behind the globe, the text "A FILMWAYS", in a 3D font and arched to match the globe's position, zoom-in a north-forward direction. Shortly after, the text "TELEVISION PRESENTATION" fades-in below the globe. Sometimes, the Seal of Good Practice appears below. You can see clouds in the background flying to the right.
- On the 1962 to 1964 seasons of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction, the Filmways logo would fade to the text "Produced in association with the CBS TELEVISION NETWORK" and has the Seal of Good Practice near the text. The clouds are flying to the left direction.
- On the 1964-1965 season of the shows mentioned above, the logo is still with the Filmways on the top left of the background, and the CBS mention on the bottom right.
- There is an extremely rare in-credit variant with "VIDEO LTD. PRESENTATION" just below and the standard CBS notice at the bottom right. This was seen only on The Face is Familiar.
- Another variant, contains both color and another still version. Similar to the second variant above, but however, on the bottom right of the screen, the text "In Association With PhilDil Productions" is seen. This was seen only on The Pruitts Of Southampton.
- On the pilot episode of Mister Ed titled "The Wonderful World of Wilber Pope" from 1958 the logo was superimposed in the credits, without animation. Other than that, everything else (the text and the globe) is the same as usual.
- On Eye Guess, the logo was seen as an in-credit on the game board all in white. Also features both latitude and longitude lines. However, the continents nor the long radar equator line weren't featured. The in-credit also appeared on the game show Personality.
- For the color version in 1965, the stars are sparkling while the animation takes place. The clouds remains still.
- On Ozzie's Girls, the logo cuts into the first half of the 1971 Viacom logo (which itself ends when "Viacom" is revealed).
- On Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, there's an in-credit mention saying "A T.A.T. COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY PRODUCTION IN ASSOCIATION WITH FILMWAYS". When it was later known as Forever Fernwood during season 2, the text said, "PRODUCED BY T.A.T. COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY AND PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH FILMWAYS, INC."
FX/SFX: The waves and the zooming-up of "FILMWAYS" with the rest of the text.
Music/Sounds: At least on Filmways' more successful shows, there would be a voice over saying "This has been a Filmways (television) presentation". Those who uttered the phrase are listed below. The in-credit variant uses the end theme of the show. Several voice-overs who said the phrase on this logo on the shows they appeared on:
- Petticoat Junction: Kate Bradley (played by Bea Benaderet). There was a male announcer's voice-over on season one.
- Green Acres: Lisa Douglas (played by Eva Gabor) says it with "Dahhling".
- The Beverly Hillbillies: Bill Baldwin (announcer of the show's sponsors, seasons 1 to 3) and Ellie May Clampett (played by Donna Douglas, seasons 4 to 9).
- Mister Ed: Roger Addison (played by Larry Keating, seasons 1 to 3) and Mister Ed (voice of Alan "Rocky" Lane, seasons 4 to 6).
- The Addams Family: It usually had it silent, but on a few episodes, the usual phrase was said in a deep baritone voice. Sometimes, it was Ted "Lurch" Cassidy, but he used his normal speaking voice.
- On the second episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, the same voice-over says "This has been a Filmways production".
- Ozzie's Girls: Both Brenda (Jennifer Sykes) and Susie (Susan Sennett) announce excitedly in unison: "This has been a Filmways presentation, distributed by Viacom!" The logo then cuts into the following Viacom logo (see above). The show's closing theme was heard over all that.
- It's seen on The Beverly Hillbillies (although some 1970s prints of the show plastered this logo with the 1971 or 1976 Viacom logos, but have since restored the logo) on Me-TV (usually with either the 1986 or 1990 Viacom logos or the CBS Television Distribution logo on restored prints following this logo), Green Acres on World Harvest Television and Antenna TV and MGM DVD releases, The Addams Family last aired on Hallmark Channel around the Halloween season and its MGM DVD releases and Mister Ed on ThisTV and Antenna TV and also on Shout! Factory DVD releases.
- The in-credit variant is extinct and was last seen on Eye Guess and Personality on GSN. The Ozzie's Girls variant is extinct, due to the show not reairing since it ended in 1974.
- When The Beverly Hillbillies was shown on Nick at Nite in the early 2000s, this logo was followed by the 1995 Paramount Domestic Television logo.
Editor's Note: A nifty logo from the '50s that remains well-remembered and a favorite by many as it was involved in some classic television shows from the time period.
2nd Logo (1975-1976)
Nicknames: "Cheesy Filmways", "The Telephone Logo", "Droste Filmways", "Telephone Beeps"
Logo: A small Filmways logo, which appears in a stretched Bauhaus 93 font, is seen on a blue background. Another Filmways logo appears behind it, which is larger than the logo that appeared first. This effect repeats four times, making the logo looks like it appears in a Droste effect. The additional logos disappears piece by piece, in order of appearance, leaving a much larger Filmways logo isolated. A copyright appears on the bottom.
FX/SFX: The logos appearing piece by piece.
Music/Sounds: Telephone chimes that change in pitch as the logo forms.
Music/Sounds Trivia: The telephone beeps, when translated to numbers, spell out "345-9989".
Availability: Woefully extinct. This recently surfaced on an unsold pilot for ABC titled Mason.
Editor's Note: A rather intriguing, but still cheesy logo, for its early Scanimation, telephone beeps, and the first appearance of the familiar Filmways logo, which would be kept and refined in the following years.
3rd Logo (November 7, 1976-1977)
Nicknames: "Boring Filmways", "Effortless Filmways"
Logo: On a black background, "FILMWAYS", colored blue and in a rounded font called Bauhaus 93, fades in and out.
Variant: The logo may appear in-credit on some programs.
FX/SFX: The fading in and out.
Music/Sounds: Silent or the closing theme of the program.
Availability: Extremely rare. So far it's only known appearance is the TV movie 21 Hours at Munich.
Editor's Note: The Filmways logo has been redone to look less strange, but other than that, it's just boring.
4th Logo (1977-March 21, 1981)
Nickname: "Filmways Trail"
Logo: On a black screen, many orange and cream-colored "FILMWAYS" zoom up from the bottom of the screen toward a white "FILMWAYS". All the multicolored "FILMWAYS" merge into the white "FILMWAYS". They are all in the same font as above.
- In 1980, the registered trademark symbol appears next to the name.
- A variant exists where the trail animation is much slower than usual.
FX/SFX: The merging of the "FILMWAYS" text.
Music/Sounds: A seven-note descending bell tune with guitars playing or the closing theme of the show.
- There is a variant that includes a synth orchestra.
- On 240 Robert, two musical variants were heard. One had the music in a psychedelic mood, while the other had a deep sounding brass/woodwind ensemble.
- A slowed-down version of the fanfare was heard on the series Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
- It can be seen on Fangface (with the closing theme finishing over it) and the first season of Thundarr the Barbarian (with the logo theme).
- It also appeared after the original Hollywood Squares (with the theme music played over it).
- The Netflix Instant streaming print of Disaster on the Coastliner has this logo intact (following the Orion Pictures logo).
- The slowed-down music variant is extinct. It was only seen on Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson which only aired on WGTE Toledo in 1982.
Editor's Note: While the animation at the time was decent if a bit unrefined, it's known by some for its groovy and catchy theme.
5th Logo (October 8, 1981-June 5, 1983)
Nickname: "Abstract F"
Logo: A shortened version of the 1981 Filmways Pictures logo, but with the text "FILMWAYS TELEVISION" instead.
Trivia: By this time, the company was also known as Filmways Enterprises.
- A variant exists where only the text "FILMWAYS" is seen below the logo.
- There is a variant which also only reads "FILMWAYS" but the text is green.
- A still variant exists.
FX/SFX: Same as the 1981 Filmways Pictures logo.
Music/Sounds: A shortened version of the fanfare from the 1981 Filmways Pictures logo, the closing theme from the program or none.
Availability: Very rare.
- It was used until it was folded into Orion Television in 1983.
- This was seen on The Best of Saturday Night reruns (60 minute syndicated cut downs) and on the first season of Cagney & Lacey. However, on reruns of the latter shown a few years ago on TNN, the 1982 Orion Television logo plastered over all the first season episodes except for one episode (which in turn had the Orion logo right after this logo).
- It appears on the 2012 season 1 DVD release of Cagney & Lacey by VEI under license from MGM Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- This also appeared on the television movie Return of the Rebels.
Editor's Note: Same as the 1981 Filmways Pictures logo.