Home Box Office (HBO) is an American pay television network owned by WarnerMedia and the flagship property of HBO's namesake parent subsidiary, Home Box Office, Inc. Launched on November 8, 1972, it is the oldest and longest continuously operating subscription television service
1st Logo (November 1, 1983-May 31, 1998)
Logo: It's basically in-credit text in a custom font that reads "THIS HAS BEEN AN HBO PRESENTATION" with a copyright notice below (though not all shows at the time had this).
Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show or none. On The Hitchhiker, a whimsical droning note (sourced from the opening theme of the program) is used.
Availability: Seen on older HBO programs before switching to the standard logo such as The Hitchhiker, The Larry Sanders Show, Happily Ever After, and pre-season 7 episodes of Tales from the Crypt.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (1983?-1990s?)
Logo: On a black background, five glowing blue lines wipe in from the left through the center, and a large gold HBO logo fades in over the center of the lines, as glowing red lines that in the center read "An" above and "Presentation" below flash into existence. The HBO logo then "sparkles" a bit.
- An early version of the logo had the logo slightly smaller and the color of the lines and text swapped (the center lines red and the text lines blue).
- Sometimes, a copyright date is seen below.
FX/SFX: Decent early '80s animation.
Music/Sounds: A bombastic 8-note tune, the end theme, or none.
Availability: Scarce. It's used on non-movie events, like specials, concerts, and programs like HBO Coming Attractions or Video Jukebox (a half-hour expansion of the short music video vignettes aired between programs). You might have to look for recordings of said programs for this.
Editor's Note: None.
3rd Logo (April 19, 1996-)
Nicknames: "The Static", "The Ant Races", "Turning On/Off the TV"
Logo: We start briefly on a black screen, before the screen animates like a TV screen turning on, and it fills with static. A shadowed outline of the HBO logo appears, along with "ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING". The static fades into a black background, though the logo remains, filled with static.
- This logo was based on the opening credits from Dream On, which began with a TV set turning on to display nothing but static.
- This logo was parodied on MADtv in the beginning of a sketch called "Bae Sung Sopranos".
Closing Variants: A simple closing is shown. The logo then almost overtaken by static before it later turns off like a TV set:
- It has the byline "A Time Warner Entertainment Company" below. This was used from 1996-2005.
- A bylineless version of the above variant exists.
- The screen says "THIS HAS BEEN A PRESENTATION OF HOME BOX OFFICE" with "HOME BOX OFFICE" larger and "THIS HAS BEEN A PRESENTATION OF" above. This was used from 1998-2018.
- The HBO logo filled with static is seen and when the screen is filled with static again, it transitions out horizontally, and a flash makes the static disappear and turns the logo into the text “A PRESENTATION OF HOME BOX OFFICE” in the Gilroy font. This is currently in use since 2018.
- From 2005-2018, a variant using the name "HBO ENTERTAINMENT", with "ENTERTAINMENT" in place of "ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING", was used in tandem with the standard logo.
- Starting in 2018, the logo is enhanced and now simply says “HBO”.
FX/SFX: The TV turning on, and the fade effects.
Music/Sounds: A wiping noise and a static sound, followed by a choir. The closing variant has the choir played backwards, followed by a clicking sound.
Music/Sound Variant: On the 1997 special Stomp Out Loud, the static is replaced by the sound of a creaky gate, and the choir is replaced by a car alarm going off. The closing variation has the sounds reversed.
Availability: Very Common.
- It appears on many post-1996 programs on HBO such as Game of Thrones, True Detective, Veep, Girls, Real Time with Bill Maher, and any HBO original special, among others.
- It also appeared on other HBO shows when they originally aired them, such as Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and Six Feet Under.
- The logo made its debut on the Season 7 premiere of Tales From the Crypt.
- This is also seen on pre-1998 HBO Family programs, before they had their own special logo made. Can also be seen on reruns of the 2009 revival of The Electric Company and the 46th season of Sesame Street.
- The new HBO logo variants debuted on Succession.
Editor's Note: None.