On September 16, 2002, Sony Pictures Entertainment decided to retire the Columbia TriStar Television name and logo from its television division, renaming it "Sony Pictures Television". For the first time since 1974, the Torch Lady or anything resembling Columbia's symbol is nowhere to be seen; instead, the corporate logo for Sony Pictures was introduced to television viewers for the first time.


Sony Pictures Television (2002-A)

Sony Pictures Television (2002-A)

Nicknames: "The Shining Bars", "The Bars of Boredom", "The Bars of Annoyance", "SPE Bars", "Sony Bars", "The SPE Parallelogram", "Lightbeam in Parallelogram", "Lightbeam in Striped Parallelogram", "Corporate Bars"

Logo: Against a lined background, the words "SONY PICTURES TELEVISION" (all in the Sony typeface and stacked word-by-word with "SONY" being largest) emerge and zoom away downwards from the screen. The three words aren't directly stacked at first, but as the animation progresses, they slide into place. A horizontal line is drawn between the "PICTURES" and "TELEVISION". While this happens, a flash of light appears on the left side of the screen., and the lines in the background themselves back away as well, eventually moving back to the upper part of the screen and into a diagonal pattern to form the logo. The flash dissipates and we see a oblong orange-white glare surrounding the logo and words, which shrinks into the bars to give it a shine. The finished logo appears against a shaded navy blue background. The logo is a striped parallelogram.

Trivia: This logo first appeared in Fall 1991 on broadcasting ads in magazines such as Variety, around the time when SPE was founded.


  • A rare filmed variant of the logo exists.
  • There is a longer version of this logo featuring an extreme close-up of the "stacked" names at the beginning of the animation. It starts off with a bright white light and later reveals the names as the light dies down. While the logo finishes, it shows a longer shot of the logo.
  • In July 2003, There is an even shorter version of this logo that starts from where the 3rd-to-last note of the theme plays.
  • In 2004, the phrase "DISTRIBUTED BY" appeared above the logo, it was still until it faded in above the logo on the 2006 version of Chain Reaction and season 4 of The Newlywed Game both on GSN, but the font is in Times New Roman on those said game shows. Early shorts on Crackle's C-Spot has the phrase above the name rather than the logo. for the rest, the phrase was placed on a black screen, which later fades to the SPT logo.
  • In 2005, an updated widescreen version was introduced. It consists of just a solid blue lighting effect in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, where the reflection of the Bars would usually be. Sometimes this version was squashed to fit a 4x3 TV, and has been featured on several movies, first-run production, and classic series on television and DVD.
  • There is also a black & white variant for classic shows by Screen Gems.
  • In 2008, there is a black screen that reads "DISTRIBUTED BY" before the SPT logo. This only appears on web shows on websites like Crackle, MySpace, YouTube, and Hulu, among others such as C-Spot or Penn Says.
  • Another variant has "DISTRIBUTED BY" in a small font above the SPT name rather than above the SPT logo. This appeared on early shows on Crackle.
  • On pre-2011 episodes of Watch What Happens: Live, the logo is a still shot on a gray-like background.
  • In 2010 on The Three Stooges short "The Sitter Downers", the 2005 logo is in black & white.

Starting on the 4th season of The Newlywed Game, the text reads as "DISTRIBUTED THROUGH" above the logo.

  • Sometimes the logo can appear a little up-close.
  • There is also a version with extra brightness on both 2002 and 2005 versions in color.
  • On Robot Chicken since season 6, there is a still version of the logo.
  • A superimposed in-credit variant exists. This can be found on international shows like Niñas Mal.
  • Starting with the second season of Masters of Sex and newer episodes of The Queen Latifah Show, the Sony logo is seen first. Then, the light flashes to reveal the short SPT logo.

FX/SFX: Words flying down, bars zooming back and tilting, the white flash and glare shrinking into the bars.

Cheesy Factor: This logo looks extremely simple and corporate, almost like it was produced for a video at a business meeting, and is an obvious product of the 2000s. This kind of logo would not be made now.

Music/Sounds: A majestic 5-note orchestral theme composed by Mike Jones (who also did the theme song for Penn & Teller: B.S.!) which sounds vaguely similar to the Habanera section of Bizet's opera Carmen.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The long version has a descending piano tune before the main fanfare, and the last note is held much longer.
  • Another music variation has only the last three notes of the theme re-arranged. This version began in July 2003.
  • In 2005, there is another short version with the last half of the animation of the standard animation of the logo. Used on the ultra short-lived series Sit Down, Shut Up and several final season episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures.
  • Sometimes, when used along a co-production or co-distributor ID, the first few notes of the music for this logo will play over the last few seconds of said ID before going into this visual logo. This has happened on such syndicated shows as Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, back when King World Productions (now "CBS Television Distribution") was still in operation. But now until October 2007, the CTD music plays on the CTD logo, and the SPT theme plays on the SPT logo.
  • Sometimes the logo uses the Columbia TriStar Television theme.
  • Two more versions exist by having a high and low tone starting in 2003.
  • Another version exists having a bell-type twinkle mixed into the standard theme.
  • A very high tone version of the music was used on some S4 episodes of Married... With Children on its DVD Release.
  • On some shows like The King of Queens (2004-2007 episodes) and other shows, the end theme plays over this logo.
  • Middle season local reruns of Good Times and Sanford and Son would have the first four notes of the standard theme playing first, followed by the finishing of the final notes from the SPT long version theme.
  • The Sony Pictures Television International sounder is sometimes used, particularly on the Nickelodeon original movie The Last Day Of Summer, DVD releases of shows like Married... With Children and on Antenna TV's print of the Sanford and Son episode "Sanford and Gong."
  • There is also a silent version.
  • Another variation would have the 1993 CPT theme. This happened on several reruns of Just Shoot Me! on TV Land.
  • A few episodes of The Jeffersons from the 1980-1981 season on TV One has the SPT and short CTTD themes playing at the same time.
  • On The Three Stooges short "Cash and Carry", there is a 2005 low tone version.
  • On Antenna TV's print of the All in the Family episode "The Jeffersons Move Up," the short Columbia TriStar Television theme is heard.
  • One S1 episode of That's My Mama! on DVD called "Clifton's Con", it has the 1982 CPT music over this logo.
  • This logo is silent sometimes on movie networks like Starz and Encore.
  • On the CTHE DVD print of the S3 Married... with Children episode "The Gypsy Cried", it has the first note of the 1988 CPT theme before going into the SPTI theme.
  • On several international prints of May-June 2013 episodes of Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless, the 1994 TriStar Television theme is heard.
  • On the Mill Creek S4 release of Married... with Children, one episode has the 1988 CPT theme.

Availability: Ultra Common. In fact, it might be the most common logo ever as it plasters the "S from Hell" many times, yeah, that's right, it won't be scary again. Seen on new series and a tremendous amount of new prints of classic shows, off-net syndication series, TV movies, and theatrical films on television.It's quite infamous and annoying for removing and replacing old logos on many pre-2002 Sony TV programs. The only three pre-2002 shows do not have this logo are Walker Texas Ranger on Cloo and was on USA Network, All in the Family, and The Jeffersons on TV Land. The long version is not as common as the standard version, but it was seen on every episode of Jeopardy! from 2002-2007 and The Nat Berkus Show, but it may appear on some classic and off-network shows. It also appears at the end of every episode of The Three Stooges DVD Collection volume sets and can also be found on many other TV on DVD releases from 2002-04 (from 2005 onward it went to the standard version.). The low tone theme is uncommon and was last seen on early episodes of Stuart Little: The Animated Series last aired on HBO Family and the 1976 TV movie Banjo Hackett on DVD, while the high tone (both 2002 and 2005 versions) appears on The Boondocks on Adult Swim, many Three Stooges shorts on IFC, seasons 7-9 of All in the Family DVD releases, among other shows and certain films on television. As for the short version, it's fairly common and it appeared on The Shield on local syndication and Spike, the ultra short-lived series Sit Down, Shut Up on FOX, and reruns of Joan of Arcadia including Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital. The version with the SPTI theme was spotted on the 1971 film The Anderson Tapes on TCM. It can also be seen on Sony Movie Channel in widescreen. For series outside the US, it's seen on the series incarnation of the 2007 movie Niñas Mal (translated as Bad Girls) on MTV Latin America and nuvoTV. and Bienvenida Realidad (translated as Welcome Reality). This was oddly seen at the end of an episode of The Jeffersons on Antenna TV before the show's credits, with the CTT logo after the credits.

Scare Factor: None. You either love it or hate it, but it's not a favorite of most logo fans due to its very excessive appearance (though the long version isn't nearly as hated). Arguably one of the most hated logos of all-time, although when it first appeared in 2002, it was not as hated as it is now because it had yet to become as common. However, for the Pink Puffle, medium to nightmare, she doesn't like this logo.