NBC Universal was first formed on May 11, 2004 by the merger of General Electric Company’s NBC and the entertainment division of Vivendi Universal Entertainment. The day after its founding, the television production and distribution arms of Universal Television (Universal Network Television, Universal Domestic Television, and USA Cable Entertainment) and NBC Studios and the distributor NBC Enterprises were merged into NBC Universal. This was the first time NBC added the Universal name to its production and distribution arms. For Universal, it’s the second time that its production and distribution arms have a new name, since 1998 when Universal became "Studios USA", but maintained Universal Worldwide Television and acquired PolyGram Filmed Entertainment in 1998, renaming PolyGram's television operations as Universal's and retained the USA Networks fully reforming Universal Television in 2002, but during July 2004, the NBC name was added. All shows in production by either Universal TV, NBC, or USA Cable Entertainment changed to the NBC Universal logo starting on July 30, 2004. On January 26, 2011, Vivendi S.A. sold the remaining 20% of NBC Universal to GE until January 28, when Comcast Corporation acquired 51% of NBC Universal, Inc. with GE owning 49%. NBC Universal, Inc. became NBCUniversal Media, LLC, a subsidiary of the holding company NBCUniversal, LLC. On March 19, 2013, Comcast acquired the rest of NBCUniversal from GE, making NBCU a wholly-owned subsidiary.
1st Logo (July 30, 2004-June 11, 2014)
Nicknames: "The Proud Globe", "CGI Sunburst Globe", "NBC Peacock-Universal Globe Combo"
Logo: Over a golden burst of light hovering in space, the text "NBC UNIVERSAL", sandwiched between Universal's circular globe motif with the six-feathered peacock between "NBC" and "UNIVERSAL", in Copperplate Gothic Bold, slightly zooms out to its familiar distance. One of these texts fades in below:
- "TELEVISION STUDIO" (2004-2007. for network and cable programs; retired when it became Universal Media Studios (and later "Universal Television") on November 2, 2007).
- "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" (for first-run syndicated programs, off-network reruns, and worldwide series).
- Medical Investigation features the words "In association with" fading in below "TELEVISION STUDIO", cutting to the 2003-2006 Paramount Network Television logo.
- From November 5-9, 2007, April 21-27 and November 17-23, 2008, and April 20-26, 2009, the NBC Universal Television Distribution logo was placed on a sky background with a URL "GreenIsUniversal.com" (in green, of course!) and green grass below the logo, with leaves falling off the logo and green monarch butterflies flying past it. This was introduced to celebrate "Green Week"/"Earth Week", observed by all NBC Uni properties that week; all of the television operations changed their bugs to feature a green tint (NBC, MSNBC, USA, etc.). On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Last Call with Carson Daly, the NBC Uni TV Studio logo featured the NBC Studios, Inc. copyright stamp.
- On November 20, 2008, there is another variant of the "Green is Universal" variant. It features the 2007 Green Is Universal logo (which is the word "green" with "IS UNIVERSAL" in the bottom right of "green" with the circular globe having a leaf at the end of each part) on the same background used on the 2007 Green is Universal background. The letters start popping up one by one for the logo. We later see the wind blowing up the letters to form the slogan "Green Your Routine" underneath the logo.
- There is also a black & white variant seen on the lost pilot episode of Leave it to Beaver.
- From April 20-26 and November 16-20, 2009, and April 19-23 and November 15-19, 2010, the sky on the NUTD/GIU logo is much clearer, there are no clouds, the green grass is taller, a green butterfly lands on the logo then flies away, and there is a sunshine effect behind the NBC Uni logo to represent the sun.
- On Law & Order: UK, the NBC Universal Television Studio logo is seen on the lower right with the Wolf Films logo on the left and the Kudos Film & Television logo with the Shine Group byline below above the Wolf/NUTS logos with the letter "A" above the Kudos logo and the word "Production" below the logos. 2013 episodes omit the words "A" and "Production". Below the logos has the word "for" and below it has the 2013 ITV logo. Two print logos were used on video games. One of them was gray with the separation line below and "TELEVISION CONSUMER PRODUCTS" below it. The other was black-colored without any bylines, but with the copyright info. Seen on Minute to Win It for NDS and The Office for PC, respectively.
FX/SFX: Light bursts and the logo zooms out.
Music/Sounds: A re-orchestration of the 1999 music plug from the 1996 NBC Studios logo.
- On The Martha Stewart Show, the end title theme played over this logo.
- Several series and DVDs of some shows used the 1999 NBC Studios theme.
- A high tone version was used on newer DVD's of Little House on the Prairie, starting with season 2.
- Several other series used the 2000 NBC Studios theme, (i.e. post-2004 Will and Grace and Starting Over eps.) mainly heard on the "TELEVISION STUDIO" logo, but was also heard on the "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" logo on Starting Over.
- There is also a silent version that appeared on Complete Savages.
- On Netflix's print of the S1 Law and Order episode "The Torrents of Greed: Part 1", the late 1986 theme from the 1975 Universal Television logo is heard over the "Television Studio" logo due to sloppy plastering.
- This was also in the same show mentioned in the previous variant on Netflix, the S6 episode "Bitter Fruit" has the 1991 Universal Television theme.
Availability: Uncommon. This was very common during its usage.
- The "Television Distribution" variant was found on shows such as reruns of Law & Order: Criminal Intent last aired on Bravo and local reruns of Saved by the Bell, along with episodes of Jerry Springer, Maury, The Martha Stewart Show, The Steve Wilkos Show, and Access Hollywood in local syndication, and Caught on Camera reruns on Universal Channel and on Shout! Factory's releases of seasons 3 & 4 of Punky Brewster on DVD, which plastered the Coca Cola Telecommunications logo on season 3 and follows the 1982 or 1989 CPT "Torch Lady" or the short CTTD logo on season 4 except on 2 episodes because the NBC Enterprises logo was used, this also followed the NBC Enterprises logo on newer DVD prints of seasons 2 & 3 of Little House on the Prairie.
- It was also seen on TV One Access on TV One.
- This logo appeared on one episode on Minute to Win It on GSN after the Universal Media Studios logo.
- The black & white version is extremely rare and so far it can only be found on the lost pilot episode of Leave it to Beaver on DVD.
- This version also plastered the Universal Domestic Television and Multimedia Entertainment logos on pre-2004 reruns of Maury and Jerry Springer, the latter can be seen atnosey.com. Plus, this version was also seen across the globe on series such as Project Runway to hence "NBC Universal International Television Distribution", but only using "Television Distribution".
- It was also seen on the syndicated version of Deal or No Deal.
- The "Television Studio" version is fairly common and it pops up frequently on reruns of Law and Order: SVU on Cloo and My Network TV, Law & Order: Criminal Intent on USA, Ion Television and Cloo, 2004-2007 episodes of Monk on USA and Ion Television, Netflix, and On Demand airings of Law & Order, among other shows on several other networks such as Syfy, TNT, USA, and Cloo.
- It still appeared on Law & Order: UK until that show went on hiatus.
Editor's Note: Overall, this is a pretty nicely-animated and designed logo. Sadly, the same can't be said about the next one.
2nd Logo (March 5, 2011-)
Nicknames: "Purple Satin", "Purple Silk", "The Final Curtain"
Logo: On a flowing purple satin background, we have the current NBCUniversal logo swiveling across letter-by-letter and zooming in at the same time and then the "Television Distribution" text in the typeface Rock Serif (which is exclusively for NBCU's own use) fades and zooms-in all in white lettering.
Trivia: The new logo debuted on January 27, 2011 and was created at Wolff Olins.
- For Earth Week (April 17-22, 2011 and April 16-22, 2012), a special Earth Day version of the logo was used with a recycling symbol-like design made out of the NBC logo's feathers with "GREEN is UNIVERSAL", with "GREEN" bigger and above "is UNIVERSAL", next to it and the slogan "Green lives here." intact underneath. This causes a green version of the NBCUniversal logo to zoom in. This is all against the classic NBC Earth Day background.
- On reruns of pre-2012 episodes of Jerry Springer, Maury, and The Steve Wilkos Show, the logo is letterboxed to 4:3, rather than center-cut.
FX/SFX: Silk flaps in the background, the logo swivels in and zooms towards the viewer.
Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo.
- It's seen on Access Hollywood/Access Daily, Maury, The Jerry Springer Show, The Steve Wilkos Show, Steve Harvey, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Judge Jerry, the syndicated run of Baggage, and reruns of The Office, also plastering older Universal logos on some local reruns of Law & Order, most episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent in local syndication, syndicated Deal or No Deal reruns on GSN, H&I airings of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys which follows older MCA TV/Universal Television/Studios USA logos, current prints of seasons 3 & 4 of Punky Brewster which follows the 1982 CPT or 1987 Coca-Cola logos, and Nosey prints of older episodes of The Steve Wilkos Show and The Maury Show.
- The logo was also seen at the close of the talk show Harry during its two-year run (2016-2018).
- Other first-run and off-net series will follow. It also made a surprise appearance at the end of the Monster High TV special New Ghoul @ School on its respective Region 4 DVD release.
Editor's Note: Reaction to this logo and its preceding NBCU re-branding were primarily negative. Linda Holmes of NPR cited the re-branding as a "collapse of identity", and that the company should "get their groove back". Chief executive of NBCU, Steve Burke, quoted that the logo looked "kind of busy", while adding that the NBC peacock logo would still be used on its respective properties. Former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams spoke in a town hall meeting and cited the previous logo as the "instantly recognizable thing" that defined NBCUniversal.