King World Productions
King World Productions, Inc. was a television company established in 1964 by Charles King when they gained the distribution rights to the classic Our Gang (later re-titled The Little Rascals) shorts. Years later, the company was ran by his children; Roger, Michael, Robert, Diana, Richard, and Karen King after King's death. In 1982, King World joined forces with Merv Griffin Enterprises to handle all of Griffin's nightly syndicated programming, including when they've launched a syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune on September 19, 1983, acquired the syndication rights to The Merv Griffin Show from Metromedia Producers Corporation, and two syndicated pilots of Jeopardy! until the series officially launched on September 10, 1984. King World later formed an ad-sales barter division "Camelot Entertainment Sales", which would become "King World Media Sales" (now "CBS Television Distribution Media Sales") in 1997. In 2000, King World was acquired by CBS and was made part of "CBS Enterprises" under Viacom, Inc. (now "ViacomCBS"). On September 26, 2006, King World merged with CBS Paramount Domestic Television, CBS Paramount International Television (now "CBS Studios International"), and CBS Home Entertainment to form CBS Television Distribution. Today, King World remains as an in-name-only unit of CBS Television Distribution known as "KWP Studios" on Rachael Ray, a unit of CBS Corporation. The name "King World Productions, Inc." is still used as an intellectual property on such of its properties such as The Little Rascals with a co-ownership by CBS Television Distribution.
1st Logo (1970?-1977)
Logo: On a black background (or superimposed over the first scene of a short), in-credit text is displayed that says: "CHARLES KING Presents". At the end of shorts, "A KING-WORLD PRODUCTION" is seen where the Charles King credit should be.
Music/Sounds: Silence, or the opening and closing themes of the short.
Availability: Extinct. It was seen on older TV prints of The Little Rascals.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (1977-1984)
Nicknames: "KWP", "Zooming-In KWP Crown"
Logo: On a brown background, we see a yellow abstract crown motif zooming in. Then two yellow letters, a "K" and a "P", lock in between the crown from King World Productions (1977) left and right of the screen. The crown evolves into a "W" as the bottom part fades away, as the company name "KING WORLD PRODUCTIONS" fades in.
- This logo was in black & white on The Little Rascals and the logo was referred to as "A KING WORLD PRODUCTIONS Release".
- At the beginning of some TV shows and cartoons, the same logo animation played, but with different text that says "KING WORLD PRODUCTIONS Presents".
FX/SFX: The joining of the three initials.
Music/Sounds: The end theme of the show.
- It was mostly seen on syndicated prints of The Little Rascals from the late '70s-early '80s, but this has been replaced by the 5th logo.
- It possibly appeared at the end of Merle Elli's The Butcher, and maybe at some point also appeared on House Call, a 90-second program, starring Dr. Lendon Smith.
Editor's Note: The color variant's existence has been a subject of debate and has yet to turn up. In regards to the logo itself, it is definitely very rough. Its film quality and choppy animation make it look like its from the 1950s, though this may have been done intentionally to blend in better with the end of The Little Rascals.
3rd Logo (September 13, 1982-June 1984)
Logo: It's just in-credit text that says:
- From November 1983-1984, this text would appear superimposed on the wheel on Wheel of Fortune, while the wheel spins.
- On the 1983 pilot of Jeopardy!, the text said "Distributed by KING WORLD, Inc."
- On the 2nd Jeopardy! pilot from January 8, 1984, the text appears on a blue background with white lettering.
Music/Sounds/Voice-overs: The end title theme from any show with any announcer announcing "Distributed by King World Productions, Inc.":
- Jack Clark on Wheel of Fortune from 1983-84: "Wheel of Fortune is a Merv Griffin Production. Distributed by King World Productions, Inc."
- Carol Bilger on The Merv Griffin ShowItalic text: "The Merv Griffin Show is a Merv Griffin Production in association with and is distributed by King World Productions, Inc."
- Jay Stewart from the 1st Jeopardy! pilot in 1983: "This has been a Merv Griffin Production! Distributed by King World, Inc."
- Johnny Gilbert from the 2nd Jeopardy! pilot in 1984: "This has been a Merv Griffin Production. Distributed by King World Productions."
Availability: Ultra rare.
- This logo debuted on the Barry & Enright production Soapworld, and was also seen on The Merv Griffin Show, the first syndicated season of Wheel of Fortune, and the first two pilots of Jeopardy!.
- When GSN re-aired Wheel of Fortune a decade ago, this in-credit text was intact on some episodes. However, this would get plastered by either the 1994 or 1997 CTT logo with Jack Clark announcing "Distributed by" and then would cut to Charlie O'Donnell's voice saying "Columbia TriStar Television" while the CTT theme is playing. Regardless, the pilot episodes won't be airing on TV anytime soon.
- This was also seen on the second pilot of Jeopardy! on Netflix.
Editor's Note: For viewers more familiar with the newer King World logos, this simple in-credit notice might be a little unexpected, but it's nothing that's too out of place.
4th Logo (September 10, 1984-1991)
Nickname: "Stars and Stripes"
Logo: Over a violet space background with lots of stars, we see tons of thin light rays in shades of blue and green coming from a source of light in the center. All at the same time, an azure star comes from the source of light and flies up while the words "KING" and "WORLD" (in the same color of the star) in Boost SSi Italic, slide in from the left and the right, respectively, as the entire logo begins to zoom out. The star moves to the bottom of the "W" in "WORLD", then a small blue triangle appears below the star and the "W" in "WORLD", and finally, a set of 3 similarly-colored bars form under "KINGWORLD", positioned perfectly with the ends of text as the space background changes to a purple gradient background. The logo shines in the end.
- This logo was shown in all white with "Distributed By" above on a navy blue background. This was seen on first season of Jeopardy!.
- At the beginning of some programs, "PRESENTS" in white similar to the company's name font, fades in under the company's name.
- On classic shows, including Branded, there was a B&W variant of the logo.
- A version with a red background also exists, likely due to film deterioration.
- A version with a black background also exists, likely due to film deterioration.
- On most episodes of Super Jeopardy! and Monopoly, the logo would freeze at the near finish.
- There was a shortened version of the normal logo with "DISTRIBUTED BY" above it. This was used on The Oprah Winfrey Show until at least 1991.
- Another shortened version without "DISTRIBUTED BY" above exists.
- A still variant exists on some early episodes of Inside Edition.
- One 1990 episode of Inside Edition has this logo superimposed over the background of the moon as well as scenery of Hawaii. Animation and all.
Wheel of Fortune Variants: There is an superimposed in-credit logo onto the closing.
- 1984-1985: White in-credit King World logo on the spinning wheel. Later episodes have the in-credit logo superimposed on the set.
- 1985-1986: Baby blue in-credit King World logo.
- 1986-1989: Maya blue in-credit King World logo.
- November 1988: Dark gray in-credit King World logo. Used only for the two days at Radio City Music Hall. The remainder of the episodes at Radio City Music Hall used a yellow in-credit King World logo.
- 1989-1990: Pale cerulean in-credit King World logo.
FX/SFX: The star joining the King World name, then the bars going into place, or none. Nice Oxberry. The animation was produced by Calico.
Music/Sounds: A generic orchestral fanfare that starts out with an ascending roll-up, then a 4-note tune, ending up in an orchestral warbling. Sometimes, the end title theme from any show plays over.
Music/Sounds/Voice-over Variants: Just like on the closings of Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and Headline Chasers, this logo has been accompanied by a voice-over saying "(and is) distributed by King World" announced by Jack Clark, M.G. "Machine Gun" Kelly, Don Pardo, Charlie O'Donnell, and Johnny Gilbert. On The Merv Griffin Show, Carol Bilger says "Distributed by King World and Camelot Entertainment Sales".
Availability: Quite rare, but it's becoming slightly easier to find.
- It was seen on Jeopardy!, Super Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Headline Chasers, and Monopoly, among others.
- The animated logo was most recently seen on the DVD releases of Branded and The Guns of Will Sonnett, and it appears on Me-TV's prints of those shows.
- This was also seen on the 1st 2 seasons of Inside Edition with David Frost and Bill O'Reilly, as well.
- The "Presents" variant was recently seen on TCM's prints of Under Capricorn and Night in Paradise. The "presents" variant made a strange appearance at the end of The Guns of Will Sonnett episode "The Natural Way" on a recent Decades airing.
- The logo is phased out on Get TV reruns of The Merv Griffin Show from episodes between 1984 and 1986.
Editor's Note: This is the earliest King World logo that people are familiar with.
5th Logo (October 1990-1999)
Nicknames: "Stars and Stripes II", "Silver Stars and Stripes", "The Spotlights", "King World Spotlights"
Logo: On a backdrop of vertical bars that resemble a doorway (the bars are in this order, for each side, four brown, one red, and gradients of blue resembling the "door") we see "KINGWORLD" in silver and in the same font as before, on the center of the screen. Below the text are 2 sets of 3 silver bars that switch sides and at the same time, a silver triangle rotates itself from the bottom and fits between the 2 sets of lines. Between the 2 lines are a space formed with help from the "W" and triangle that resembles a star. Then quickly, a white star flashes in this space, and fades out.
- There is an extended variant of the logo, where we see a background with colorful stripes and a large tan star that is similar to the one used in the star space of the logo. All at the same time, the doorway background animates into place and the spotlights shoot up from the bottom of the screen as the words "KING" and "WORLD" in 2-D fly into the screen a la the MGM/UA Home Video logo ("KING" going from right to left, and "WORLD" going from left to right). A long version appears as the rest of the logo proceeds as normal as the words "DISTRIBUTED BY" or "PRODUCED & DISTRIBUTED BY" fade in at the top. This was seen on episodes of Jeopardy! (October 1990-October 1992), Inside Edition, a short-lived news magazine called Instant Recall from 1990-1992, and the 1991-92 version of Candid Camera (also known as The All-New Candid Camera).
- A short variant exists where the logo starts as the silver bars switch sides. This was most commonly seen only on season 9 and early season 10 episodes of Wheel of Fortune until October 1992.
- There is a shorter version of the logo where "DISTRIBUTED BY" or "PRODUCED & DISTRIBUTED BY" already appears at the top and the logo is already formed. It starts at the place where the star flashes in the star space.
- There was a black & white variant of the shorter version that appeared on The Little Rascals.
- On earlier episodes of the 1998 version of Hollywood Squares, the copyright stamp "Copyright (Year) King World Studios West, Inc." is seen below the logo.
- On Wheel of Fortune from November 1996-1998, this logo would appear in as a graphical effect, such as a page turning effect like the 1988, 1991, 1992, and 1993 Merv Griffin Enterprises logos or a flipping effect.
- Sometimes the logo freezes before the synth fanfare finishes. This was most commonly seen on 1994-1996 episodes of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
- The logo fades to black early on some season 9 episodes of Wheel of Fortune and sometimes before the words "DISTRIBUTED BY" fade in.
- There is a variant tacked onto the end of early Wheel of Fortune Online promos where the star flashes twice in the star space.
- There is an uncommon "slowed down" variant.
- A still version of this logo exists. This can be seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show until least 1992.
- An in-credit version exists on the UK version of Jeopardy!.
- At the beginning of some movies, the long version plays with "PRESENTS" in silver fading in as the logo is forming.
- One January 1994 episode of Inside Edition has a copyright notice on the logo. This was due to a special tribute episode to the victims of gun violence of that episode as well as the rushed closing from same said episode.
FX/SFX: The spotlights and the formation of the door background in the longer variant. Awesome ADO animation.
Music/Sounds: A 6-note synth fanfare, silent, or the closing theme of the show. Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa had a shorter version of this theme on season 2 of the show.
Music/Sounds/Voice-over Variants: Just like on the closing of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, the logo has been accompanied by a voice-over saying "(and is) distributed by King World" announced by Johnny Gilbert and Charlie O'Donnell until November 1996.
Availability: Very rare, but was fairly common in its heyday.
- It was seen on several Jeopardy! reruns on GSN, but due to the network cutting off the closing credits of much of their reruns (not to mention reruns of said shows ending in 2013), this logo has not been seen since.
- This was also seen on season one of Hollywood Squares, Wheel of Fortune, and PM Magazine, among others with "Distributed By" or "Produced & Distributed by" above. The version with "Produced & Distributed by" also appeared on Inside Edition and Instant Recall, as well as Rolanda.
- The variant without "Distributed By" was seen on Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa.
- The long version can be seen on at least one episode of The Guns of Will Sonnett on Me-TV.
- In black and white form, it was also seen on The Little Rascals when the old shorts used to be shown on AMC, as well as in syndication at one point in time.
- It's also seen on the final 2 seasons of Geraldo (renamed as The Geraldo Rivera Show) when King World co-distributed the show with Tribune Entertainment.
Editor's Note: This is a favorite of many, especially game show fans. While the animation quality is excellent for the time period, the theme has been criticized for sounding rather generic.
6th Logo (1998-2006)
Nicknames: "The Star-Shooter", "King World Star-Shooter"
Logo: A modified rendition of the 4th and 5th logos. Over a golden sunset backdrop of clouds, the "KINGWORLD" name, which is in a different font this time, scans through the sky. As it pans backward, a shooting star glides by the logo, revealing a paint streak and a star shape in the center. The sun shines from behind the logo revealing either "DISTRIBUTED BY", "PRODUCED & DISTRIBUTED BY", or nothing at all appearing above the logo.
Trivia: The logo was designed and animated by Pittard Sullivan, who also did the 1995 Buena Vista Television logo, and the 1998 CTV logo. The logo was animated in 1999 by SIMEX (in association with Pittard Sullivan) on an SGI computer running Alias|Wavefront PowerAnimator (read the press release here).
- The more common short version that cuts out the close-up panning of the logo.
- On post-1999 episodes of Hollywood Squares, the copyright stamp "Copyright [YEAR] King World Studios West, Inc." is seen below the logo.
- On Inside Edition, the logo is revealed by a peeling effect.
- On the Filipino version of Wheel of Fortune, a copyright stamp for the Associated Broadcasting Company is seen.
FX/SFX: The shooting star, and the name scanning and panning back.
Music/Sounds: Various streaking sounds followed by a booming sound of a thunderclap, accompanied by an "airy" musical backdrop. May also have the end theme playing over it.
Music/Sounds Variants: There are 3 music variations:
- The first one is the long version from the longer animation.
- The second is the second half of the long version.
- 1999-2006: Starts with the thunderclap sound only for game shows.
- On Hallmark Drama airings of Touched By An Angel, depending on the episode, the logo is slowed down and can be sometimes low pitched as well.
- It appeared on Jeopardy! (it used the "Distributed By" variant until 2006 and began using the non-"Distributed By" variants), Wheel of Fortune, Inside Edition, The Oprah Winfrey Show (until 2002), and Dr. Phil (until 2007) among others.
- It used to appear on old syndicated prints of Everybody Loves Raymond (although CMT Canada airings and one episode on Channel 4 in the UK retain it, followed by the CBS Broadcast International logo) and the CSI franchise, but nowadays, CBS Television Distribution is shown instead.
- It can still be seen on pre-2007 episodes of Dr. Phil on OWN.
- It's also seen on Start TV's airings of Family Law and the last 2 seasons of Early Edition.
- A spiffier version used to be seen on various CBS-produced TV movies on Lifetime and LMN.
- It was also seen on 2000 TNN (now Paramount Network) airings of Martial Law and Syfy reruns of PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal (plastering the Eyemark Entertainment logo).
- Some Dr. Seuss TV specials re-ran on ABC Family (now Freeform) may also have this logo shown before the (compressed) credits.
- GSN doesn't rerun Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune at the moment, although Sony Crackle does stream episodes of both shows from the past (but not at the moment).
- The distribution variant was seen on a Movies! airing of Hound of the Baskervilles (1939 version).
- This is left intact on Hallmark Drama airings of Touched By An Angel and Netflix prints of old Jeopardy! episodes.
- Also appeared on a TCM airing of My Fair Lady.
- It can be seen on the Caroline and the City episode Caroline and El Niño (S04E21) on CBS All Access, and also used to be seen on later syndicated prints of the show itself.
Editor's Note: While the loud thunderclap may startle a few, this is an excellent logo, and one that is remembered by many.
7th Logo (December 25, 2006-September 2007)
Nicknames: "The Star-Shooter II", "King World Star-Shooter II"
Logo: Over a blue sky, above the clouds, we see the "KINGWORLD" text in the same font as the previous logo, but tilted up and handsomely redone in 3-D with a silver trim. It flies outward and settles itself in the center, and a shooting star flies under the text, leaving the same blue paint streak with a star-shaped gap in it from the previous logo. Same applies on the last logo with "DISTRIBUTED BY" or "PRODUCED & DISTRIBUTED BY", or nothing at all, but this time, they're smaller.
Variant: The text "PRODUCED AND DISTRIBUTED BY KINGWORLD" is seen below the logo.
FX/SFX: Great CGI.
Music/Sounds: An ominous wind sound followed by a "glittery" sound.
Music/Sounds Variant: On Everybody Loves Raymond on TV Land.com and seasons 23 & early 24 of Jeopardy!, it uses the 1998 logo themes.
Availability: Rare, bordering on uncommon. Despite lasting less than a year, it can still be found if you know where to look.
- It debuted on Christmas Day in December of 2006 and could be seen on local Saturday reruns of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. It was also used on Inside Edition.
- It can be seen on episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond on TV Land, followed by the CBS Television Distribution logo.
- It's currently seen on Season 24 episodes of Jeopardy! on Netflix.
Editor's Note: This is an excellent logo and a great finale to King World's long history. Even though it was used for a very short time, this too is a favorite of many.