Group W Productions
Group W was a company of Westinghouse Broadcasting, a division of Westinghouse Electric Company. The parent company was also in fact named after its founder, George Westinghouse. Westinghouse Broadcasting was established in 1920 with the introduction of the world's first commercially licensed radio station, KDKA Pittsburgh. This company did not have a standard animated logo until 1980. In 1995, Group W Productions was renamed and reincorporated as "Eyemark Entertainment" after the merger between CBS and Westinghouse.
1st Logo (1963-1980)
Nicknames: "W", "The Big W", "The Original Big W"
Logo: We see a chyroned in-credit text "Produced by WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING COMPANY" (in Group W's corporate font) with the abstract Westinghouse W logo, consisting of two slanted wedges and a small triangle design, positioned either above or below the company name after 1967.
- There is a version with the words "GROUP" at the top of the W, and "in association with" at the very top of the screen. "Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, Inc." is written below.
- A Group W print logo with "GROUP" on the side of the W had shown up in end-credit rolls around 1970.
- There is a theatrical in-credit variant with the world "FILMS" below the logo.
Music/Sounds: The ending theme of the show.
Availability: Near extinction. The standard Group W print logo was used as an in-credit ID on programs such as The Steve Allen Show, The David Frost Show, and The Mike Douglas Show to name a few. It is retained on Rhino Home Video's VHS set of the infamous run of November 1971 Mike Douglas Show episodes co-hosted by John Lennon
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (September 8, 1980-1984)
Nicknames: "W II", "Red W", "The Zooming W"
Logo: On a plain black background, we see the abstract W from before, in red, zooming in, similar to Warner Bros.' "The Big W" logo from the 1970s. As the logo stops into place, yellow text that says "GROUP W PRODUCTIONS" (in the Group W font) appears underneath the design with the Westinghouse Broadcasting byline below the text in a white Impact font.
- 1980-1982: "WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING COMPANY"
- 1982-1984: "WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING AND CABLE, INC." (they were a leading cable TV operator in the early-to-mid 1980s)
FX/SFX: The "W" zooming-in.
Availability: Extinct. This appeared on Hour Magazine. A still version also appeared on the first season of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (syndicated by Group W in the U.S.). The in-credit version was last seen on The John Davidson Show (which replaced The Mike Douglas Show, Group W's syndicator).
Editor's Note: None.
3rd Logo (1984-1987)
Nicknames: "W III", "Red W II", "The Grids", "The Shining W", "The Flashing W"
Logo: On a black background, three rows of about 20 blue-silver lasers come from three sides of the screen (the top, left, and right sides), which meet in the center to form the red abstract "W", which now sparkles and shines. The words "GROUP W PRODUCTIONS" in yellow, fade-in underneath.
- On some shows, there is a copyright stamp fading in underneath.
- In other cases, it's superimposed.
- There exists a version with ivory text.
- On Every Second Counts, an in-credit notice can be seen at the end before the actual logo is seen.
- A variant where the lasers are cut, picking up from the red "W" forming, exists.
FX/SFX: The scanning lines, and the shimmering W. The animation was produced by Calico.
Music/Sounds: Just a low 9-note synth tune.
- There is a short version with only three notes of the logo theme.
- On the short-lived syndicated series Hot, the logo theme is a majestic sounding orchestral variant of the 9-note synth tune.
- Sometimes, it's silent.
Availability: Ultra rare, bordering on near extinction. This originally appeared on Hour Magazine and Every Second Counts. It was last seen on a Netflix print of the TV movie Lost In London, followed by the Fries Distribution Company logo. Reruns of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe on the USA Network in the late 80s also had this logo (in both silent and short versions).
Editor's Note: This logo features some exceptional visuals for the mid-late '80s, when compared to a lot of its contemporaries.
4th Logo (December 28, 1987-November 16, 1991)
Nicknames: "W IV", "Red W III", "Laser Lights", "The Glowing W", The Laser W"
Logo: On a blue background, we see red-orange laser lights shooting toward a blue rectangle with cropped-off corners forming a red-orange W out of it. As the rectangle zooms up and swings around toward us, it zooms up out of view, and the "W" is fully revealed, which shines a bit and glows red. The text "GROUP W PRODUCTIONS", written in the same color and font as before, fades in below.
- There is a short version of the logo that only plays the last half of the animation.
- On The Wil Shriner Show and Hour Magazine, a copyright notice appears under the logo.
- On Bob Vila's Home Again and the 1988-89 version of Life's Most Embarrassing Moments, the words "Distributed by" appear above the logo.
FX/SFX: The lasers drawing the "W". Like the last logo, the animation was produced by Calico.
Music/Sounds: A fast-paced warbling synth tune ending in a single synth horn note. It may be silent in other cases (like on Bob Vila's Home Again) or uses the closing theme of the show.
Music/Sounds Variant: On The Wil Shriner Show, a woman voiceover is heard saying, "The Wil Shriner Show is a Charles Colarusso production and a Bonnie Burns production, in association with Group W Productions."
Availability: Rare. This originally appeared on Hour Magazine, Couch Potatoes, and Missing: Reward. It's also seen on the first five seasons of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and should be present on any future reruns and on the DVD boxsets. The distribution variant can be found on the first two seasons of Bob Vila's Home Again, which are available for viewing on YouTube.
Editor's Note: Another fine '80s logo from Group W for its excellent animation that still holds up well today. This is also nostalgic, especially for those who grew up with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
5th Logo (September 12, 1992-November 4, 1995)
Nicknames: "W V", "Red W IV", "CGI W", "Turning W", "CGI Red-Orange W"
Logo: On a black background, we see CGI crimson wedges that flip into place and form the abstract red-orange Group W logo. The text "GROUP W PRODUCTIONS", in a dull yellow color and a plain sans serif font, fades in below.
- There is a variant used for international distribution with the text "WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING INTERNATIONAL" instead.
- A short version exists.
- A sped-up variant exists.
- On a few shows like Marilu, a copyright stamp fades in when the logo forms.
- Certain episodes of Bob Vila's Home Again have "DISTRIBUTED BY" superimposed at the top.
FX/SFX: The merging wedges.
Music/Sounds: There are two musical versions used interchangeably: A three-note ascending chime tune or a dramatic orchestral/synth theme. On some occasions, both themes are shortened. Sometimes, it's the closing theme of the show.
Availability: Extremely rare. The Group W version can be seen on the 1992-1995 seasons of TMNT, and the 1994 international prints of Speed Racer (whenever any network airs it). It was also seen on several short-lived talk shows of the time: Vicki (with Vicki Lawrence), Marilu (with Marilu Henner), and Paget (with Paget Brewster, although it was only a local show on Group W's San Francisco station KPIX-5). As for the WBI variant, it can be seen on international prints of TMNT (and sometime even plasters the previous logo on earlier episodes too), as well as the "Vacation in Europe" side-season of TMNT, the 1993 remastered version of the original 1967 version of Speed Racer on DVD and internationally, and on various episodes of Skeleton Warriors on DVD. Dinobabies had this logo too, and it was retained on both UK video releases, and when released for Video Buddy (an interactive VHS system released in the late 90s). However, Fox Family (now Freeform)'s prints plastered WBI with The Program Exchange.
Editor's Note: It's a great way to end the company on with some solid '90s CGI. It's also remembered for those who watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during this time.