Lionheart Television International, Inc. was formed on May 1, 1981 as a joint venture primarily consisting of Western World Television and Public Media, Inc. Lionheart took over the US distribution rights to the BBC's television output after a previous deal with Time-Life Television expired, as well as that of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC eventually bought Lionheart outright by 1987, making it their North American distribution arm (now called BBC America).
1st Logo (1982-1987)
Nickname: "Zooming/Flipping Lion"
Logo: On a black background, a crude white drawing of a lion holding a thunderbolt zooms in. From the left side of the picture, the words "AN ABC PRODUCTION" or "A BBC TV PRODUCTION" (with "BBC" in 3D) fly out. That then flips to reveal:
"LIONHEART" is lettered in a highly ornate style.
Trivia: The lion in the logo is part of the BBC's Coat of Arms (though not this crude, obviously).
Variant: A different version of this logo had the lion and "LIONHEART" text on a chrome silver plate, flying up from the bottom of the screen. After it settled, the regular text fades in.
FX/SFX: The Scanimated "zooming-flipping lion"
Music/Sounds: A Moog synthesizer tune that starts with what sounds like a "winning" sound effect on a slot machine or a video game, which is followed by a fanfare.
Availability: Extinct. Usually replaced with the 2nd logo. It may or may not appear on the original VHS of The Home Whovian. It did appear on some episodes of the Blackadder series when last seen on New York's WLIW 21 in the 2000s.
Editor's Note: It's just another 80's logo with cheap Scanimation and a very ugly logo. The chrome version doesn't look much better.
2nd Logo (1987-1991)
Nicknames: "Lion and Stripe", "The BBC In America"
Logo: Against a black screen, many white dots "dissolve" upwards and form a red and white lion's head. The words "LIONHEART TELEVISION - THE BBC Lionheart Television - The BBC in AmericaIN AMERICA" appear from the bottom of the screen while a red and white stripe is "drawn" under the lion's head. There is a "V" shaped bend in the stripe at the part below the head.
Variant: Some shows had a copyright date below the logo. Sometimes, the animation would begin superimposed over a scene from the preceding program.
FX/SFX: The lion materializing, the stripe being drawn, and the flying words.
Music/Sounds: None, or the end music of the show.
Availability: Can still be seen at the end of Are You Being Served? episodes when seen in certain markets (WLIW 21 in New York and East Tennessee PBS in Knoxville, for instance). Also at the end of some Fawlty Towers reruns. The version with the superimposition and the copyright date was seen at the end of the short-lived U.S. adaptation of Top of the Pops, which aired briefly Friday late-nights on CBS in the 1987-88 season.
Editor's Note: It's simple, but at least the lion does look like a real one.
3rd Logo (1991-1994)
Nicknames: "BBC-Lionheart Globe", "Computer Originated World", "Where's The Lion?"
Logo: The 1985-1991 BBC1 "COW" globe is seen spinning around while parallelograms with the letters "BBC" drop over the globe. Under the "BBC", three red lines and the words "LIONHEART TELEVISION" appear with "A BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION COMPANY" in small letters underneath.
FX/SFX: The CGI BBC logo flying into place on the globe; the remaining text fading into place.
Music/Sounds: A synthesized fanfare that sounds vaguely like the one in the 1st logo. Also used the 1986 ITC music on Madison's Adventures: Growing Up Wild.
Availability: Rare, but seen a good deal on A&E (Lovejoy, A Touch of Frost, Pole To Pole with Michael Palin) and PBS until the mid '90s. Its first appearance appears to have been on original PBS prints of Keeping Up Appearances, first broadcast on PBS stations in late 1991/early 1992. This was also used to replace the older Lionheart (and Time-Life) logos on reissued BBC library shows (i.e. Fawlty Towers, Are You Being Served? (other/later episodes, including “The Hero”), Good Neighbours, 'Allo, 'Allo, To The Manor Born). This also appeared on some of the CBS/FOX-distributed BBC Video tapes (Blackadder's Christmas Carol; Shada).
Editor's Note: Being the only logo without a lion makes it an odd one, but it has nice animation.