American Public TelevisionThis is a featured page

Background: APT was founded in 1961 as the Eastern Educational Television Network (EEN), distributing public TV shows such as The French Chef, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and Washington Week to public television stations on a regional basis, and then nationwide when NET (now PBS) was formed. They changed their name to Interregional Program Service in the 1980s, became American Program Service (APS) in 1992, and changed to their current name, American Public Television in 1999.

1st Logo
American Program Service (Early-Late 1990s)
Nickname: "A Production of..."

Logo: On a maroon-colored background, we see the text


in Copperplate, which zooms in slightly. There is a shining wipe on the text.

  • There is a variant which has "BOSTON" under the text.
  • Another variant has the text "Distributed By" in place of "A Production Of".
  • Another variant says "A Presentation Of".

FX/SFX: The name zooming in, the "shimmer".

Cheesy Factor: Pretty cheap for 1992.

Music/Sounds: None. In other cases, it uses the end theme of the show. Bloopy's Buddies, however, used their own generic theme over the logo (as well as two other logos that produced Bloopy's Buddies as well).

Availability: Extinct on television outside of personal recordings, but preserved on VHS tapes of Bloopy's Buddies and the "Cyber Cafes" and "Macworld" episodes of Computer Chronicles on the Internet Archive. It also appeared on American PBS airings of The Big Comfy Couch episodes from the era.

Scare Factor: None to minimal.

2nd Logo
American Program Service (1990s)

Nickname: "APS", "Programs For Public Television"

Logo: On a black background with 2 orange/brown squares, we the letters "aps" in orange/brown with the words "American Program Service" below the letters zooming out from us, with the "p" slightly on top of the "a", a white bracket revealing the "p", and a black bracket revealing the "s". Once the letters shift into place, the words:

For Public

appear below the letters "ps", while a small flash appears above the "a" in the top left hand corner. Also, one of the squares disappears, leaving one square in the background, which rotates.

FX/SFX: The animation in the logo.

Music/Sounds: A somewhat patriotic synth tune with a drumroll.

Availability: Rare. Was seen on 1994-1998 episodes of Computer Chronicles; a few episodes from the era on the Internet Archive retain this. Can also be seen on 1997-1998 episodes of The Kidsongs Television Show on iTunes.

Scare Factor: Minimal. The fanfare may startle some viewers, but this is an okay logo.

3rd Logo
(1999-2008, 2010)
American Public Television - CLG WikiAmerican Public Television - CLG Wiki

Nickname: "The Squares"

Logo: On a black background, we see two squares, one with white outlining and the other with red outlining, shifting throughout, and each one is blue with watermarks of the name on them. Then a red outline forms another square, which appears in the same color also with watermarks of the name as it finishes, with the text "American Public Television" on it.

  • Starting in 2000, the URL text "" appeared under the company's name. In more recent years, it reads "".
  • On The Organ Wise Guys shorts, the logo appears at the bottom of the screen with the text: "Copyright (C) (Year) American Public Television" to the left of the logo.

FX/SFX: The animation in the logo.

Music/Sounds: Same as the last logo.

Availability: It's nowadays uncommon, but at one point, it was practically the Sony Pictures Television of public television. It was tacked onto the end of practically every program shown on PBS during the period, such as The Saddle Club and A Place of Our Own, as well as shows on independent public TV stations such as KCET and on the digital broadcast network Create (which APT partially owns). With the logo ending in 2008 and being replaced by the 5th logo, its presence has dipped down, but it can still be found on older prints of programs on PBS. It made a surprise appearance on the 2010 documentary Greece: Quest For the Gods.

Scare Factor: None to low. This is a very memorable logo to most viewers, but it can also be annoying for some who felt like this logo was hammered into their minds on purpose.

4th Logo
American Public Television (2010)

Nickname: "The Squares II"

Logo: Nearly the same as before, but animated for HD, darker and seemingly quicker in pace. The company name is in the Gotham font instead of the Helvetica font.

Variant: Originally, there was no URL in the logo, but starting in late-2009, the URL text "" appears under the company's name.

FX/SFX: Same as the last logo.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 2nd and 3rd logos.

Availability: Appeared on episodes WORLDFOCUS from the era. Due to its short life it wasn't nearly as common as the previous logo.

Scare Factor: None to minimal. This is a fine update of the 3rd logo.

5th Logo
American Public Television (2011)

Nickname: "Shady Squares"

Logo: On a shady steel gray/blue gradient background, we see the words "American Public Television" in a Garamond font appear. Then, several blue/aqua/white-textured squares zoom out from out of nowhere and the URL "" appears below.

FX/SFX: The zooming, done in modern computer animation.

Music/Sounds: The last 3 notes of the 1994 fanfare, played in a relaxing tone on a guitar. Otherwise, the actual 1994 theme is used.

Availability: Current and common. Seen on current prints of PBS's archival programming such as Mr. Bean and The Joy of Painting, and newer (episodes of) PBS shows such as WORLDFOCUS and Nightly Business Report, among others.

Scare Factor: None. This is a fine logo, but it's not as memorable as the 3rd logo.

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