MTE is an abbreviation for "MCA Television Entertainment" (or in some cases, MCA Television Enterprises), the production division of and in partnership with Universal Television and a sub-division of MCA Television (commonly known as "MCA TV") established in 1987, which produced TV movies, cable TV movies, and television shows, more than likely financed independently by outside producers and production companies. Even in its initial existence as MTE, finding (or, for that matter, paying attention to) its logo was rather rare even while Dream On was on the air. In December 1996, MCA was reincorporated as Universal Studios, and as a result, MTE was renamed to "Universal Television Entertainment" (a.k.a. "UTE"), and was later renamed to "Studios USA Pictures" (not to be confused with "USA Pictures") in 1998.
1st Logo (1989-1991)
Nicknames: "The Nightmare Globe", "CGI Globe", "CGI Zooming Globe", "The Gold Universal Nightmare", "Really, Really Fast Zooming Globe", "MCA Globe", "CGI MCA Globe", "CGI Zooming MCA Globe"
Logo: From a dark outer space background with stars moving forward in medium speed, a colorful, more physically-correct earth than its Universal predecessor at the time (now with greener land, a bluer-looking body of water and an icy white Arctic Ocean surrounded by clouds) zooms toward the screen with lightning speed as if to break through the screen and capture the viewer and then immediately pans down to reveal a large gold shining group of letters, "MTE" in the MCA font (though slightly resembling the GTE logo), rotating and then zooming back against the globe which now appears again from the bottom, facing a bit down, and has stationed itself behind the letters, rotating also at an abnormal speed. After the letters and globe lock into place, the byline "AN MCA COMPANY" "glitters" in starting from a little left of the center, revealing some of the MCA logo in its stylized font, and then the rest of the byline and the words "AN" and "COMPANY" in a bold Helvetica type font. All the byline is on a stone-like texture. The text shines afterwards.
- There is a short version of the logo.
- There is also a darker version.
FX/SFX: The extremely fast zooming out of the globe, and the rotating of the gold shining text.
Music/Sounds: A custom extended rendition of the 1975 Universal Television theme consisting of a deep timpani drum roll, accompanied mainly by a harp, followed by a swift whooshing sound (for the globe), and concluded by a slow eight-note horn fanfare (three extra notes precede the general five notes from the Universal Television counterpart), of which the last note is the loudest. Sometimes, the ending theme of the show plays over it.
- On some TV movies from 1989 such as Nightlife, the music was recomposed and there was a high wind blowing sound throughout the entire logo until the last note. The whooshing sound for the globe was removed in this particular case.
- On High Desert Kill, the logo music has a reverb effect.
- On the She-Wolf of London episode "Beyond the Beyond", the late 1986 Universal Television logo theme is used on the short version of the logo.
- It was found on a few movies aired on HBO and USA such as Silhouette, The Hollywood Detective, Running Against Time, Curiosity Kills and on a few series in syndication.
- Notable shows where it would have been most available include early Season 1 episodes of Swamp Thing and She-Wolf of London, early episodes of They Came From Outer Space, and Season 1 episodes of Dream On.
- It is seen at times on Sleuth (then "Cloo") and formerly Chiller, and still preserved on the DVDs of Dream On, Swamp Thing, and She-Wolf of London. Some said shows on Hulu have this logo intact.
- The videotaped version was found on the 1989 TV movie Trapped.
- However, on Hulu viewings of Dream On (which was the rerun prints from Comedy Central from the '90s), it was plastered by the 1990 MCA TV logo.
Editor's Note: The combination of the zooming globe and the music can be startling to some, but it's a unique, magnificent early CGI MCA/Universal globe rendition of Universal that appeared to define the future of MCA logos years ahead of its 75th Anniversary.
2nd Logo (1990-December 1996)
Nicknames: "Universal Globe", "The Gold Version", "MCA Globe II", "90s Globe", "90s MCA Globe"
Logo: We see the globe finishing zooming out to the center slowly and rotating on the starfield background from the 1990-1997 Universal Pictures logo. As the globe reaches into the center, the text "MTE" in a big, bold Gothic-like font and a gold-yellow gradient texture on it, fades in on-screen and zooms back against the globe. Once it has stopped, the byline, "AN MCA COMPANY" appears in spaced-out letters like in the 1990-1997 Universal Pictures logo. The text "MTE" then shines twice.
- There is a prototype variant where the "MTE" text fades in transparently and it doesn't shine. Also, the text zooms back from a bit more closer than usual and is shifted right a little along with the MCA byline and both the globe and the starfield are a bit darker. As the logo fades out, the last thing to be seen is the transparent "MTE" text.
- On some TV movies like Murder 101, the logo is notably darker.
FX/SFX: The zooming back and shining of the gold lettering name, and the globe rotating.
- 1990-1991: The entire 1989 fanfare from the 1st logo. The on-screen "wiping" appearance of the letters is timed perfectly with the "whoosh" sound heard in the first few seconds of the music.
- 1990-1997: An eight note saxophone tune composed by Dana Kaproff.
- Sometimes may also appear with the tail end of the program's music or none.
- A high-tone variant of the 1990-97 theme exists, which usually appears on PAL prints.
- On the Dream On episode "Flight of the Pedalbee", it uses the music from the 3rd logo (seen below).
- On the original Showtime broadcast of The Birds II: Land's End, a low tone version of the 91-97 theme is heard. Current prints remove the logo due to the 1990 Universal Pictures logo at the start.
Availability: Extremely rare. It was used in tandem with the 1989 logo until early 1991.
- This was seen on Swamp Thing, Dream On since Season 2, She-Wolf of London (which was known as Love & Curses around that time), and They Came From Outer Space, as well as a bunch of TV movies on USA Network, and home video such as Murder 101, Dead in the Water, The Lookalike, and Psycho IV: The Beginning.
- The prototype variant can be seen on the TV movie Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture.
- Sometimes on VHS releases of TV movies like In the Company of Darkness, the logo is blacked out in favor of the Universal Pictures logo being used at the beginning. This was also the case on the DVD of Psycho IV: The Beginning as well.
- Like the first logo, it is preserved on DVDs of Dream On, She-Wolf of London, Swamp Thing, and a few TV movies like Murder 101.
- However, like the 1st logo, on Hulu viewings of Dream On (which was the rerun prints from Comedy Central from the '90s), it was plastered by the 1990 MCA TV logo.
Editor's Note: A great logo that utilizes the exceptional visuals from the movie logo.
3rd Logo (1994-December 1996)
Nicknames: "The Ghost Globe", "The Globeless Logo", "The Lonely Globe", "Snubbed Globe", "The Lonely Letters", "The Invisible Globe", "MCA Globe III", "The Reflection Globe", "90s MCA Globe II"
Logo: Against a dark, static, milky space background, the 1990 MCA/Universal globe stands still and then pans down, obscuring itself into the bottom of a golden letter "T" which fades in before us, zooming back from a forward angle into the center of the screen. It is soon joined by a corresponding letter "M" coming in from the screen's left side, and an "E" coming in from the right. The letters slowly align to a soft stop in which they are just slightly spread apart; the byline "AN MCA COMPANY" fades in underneath. All letters are in a generic Helvetica font.
- From its introduction, and for the majority of its run, the logo animation would begin halfway -- particularly from after the obscuring of the globe.
- Depending on the print, the letters can be seen in either a solid gold tint or a red-orange tint.
- A special rendition of the logo with a still screenshot of the final text was seen on Fudge.
FX/SFX: The zooming back/up of the lettering. In other cases, none.
- A 1-note ambient synth theme with a low horn sustains the 3rd note of Universal Television's 1991 theme, with chimes and wind blowing.
- Sometimes, it will appear with the end of the music from whatever TV movie or show it came from.
- In other cases, it's silent.
Availability: Extremely rare.
- This was seen on even fewer TV movies, mostly on USA Network, than that of its predecessor.
- This can possibly be found in vintage or used video stores on MCA/Universal videocassettes which bear the copyright to "MTE, Inc." or "MCA Television Enterprises", but may be cut-off due to the 1991 Universal Pictures logo at the start.
- This logo has appeared on Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again, Season 6 episodes of Dream On starting with "Bess You Is Not My Woman Now" (although some episodes from that season used the previous logo), and the short-lived series Campus Cops.
- It also appears on other TV movies such as Bionic Ever After? and The Beast.
- In the rarest of cases, the logo may appear with the Dana Kaproff sax theme.
- Don't expect this logo on DVD because Universal is blacking out their television logos and putting their current ones at the beginning of the episode.
Editor's Note: Another fine logo from MTE to end the company and their extraordinary library of logos. The darkness may get to some, but it's oddly soothing.