WTVSThis is a featured page

Video captures courtesy of theSameRetroWindsor and retronewfoundland

Background: WTVS is a PBS affiliate located in Detroit, Michigan.

1st Logo
WTVS (1978-1986)

: "Flying Skyline"

Logo: We fly over a live-action shot of downtown Detroit as the text "From WTVS/Detroit" zooms away slowly.

FX/SFX: Simple, but OK animation for the text. Other than that, it's all live-action.

Music/Sounds: An "outer-spacey" synthesized tune with a "whoosh" at the end.

Availability: Rare. Seen on pre-1992 VHS prints of David Macaulay's Castle. On the 1995 PBS Video (and later PBS Home Video) release, expect this to be plastered by the WHYY-TV logo, which is then moved to the end.

Scare Factor: Medium, due to the music.

2nd Logo

Nickname: "The Skyline Returns"

Logo: Against a purple/tan BG, we see a distorted, purple, multi-lined "56" arrange itself on a dark purple square as it zooms out to the top left. Then, the BG fades to a skyline of Detroit, and the text "WTVS/Detroit" slides out from the bottom left of the screen.

FX/SFX: The logo's arrangement and fading skyline.

Music/Sounds: A rising synth chord followed by a rather spacey three-note tune.

Availability: Extinct. Only used as a local ID.

Scare Factor: Low.

3rd Logo
WTVS Legal ID (1986) - Variant

Nickname: "The Universe, The World, Detroit, and You"

Logo: We fade into a close-up shot of the Milky Way, but just half a second later, we start zooming away, and in the process, we pass the earth, then we arrive at the Detroit skylines. As soon as the zooming stops, the texts "The Universe", "The World", and "Detroit" all zoom out, stacking each other, and then the text "and you" writes out in cursive, and the WTVS logo of the time, next to "WTVS/56" fades below.

Variant: There is a shorter version that just starts at the texts zooming out.

FX/SFX: The zooming of the camera and text, plus the writing of "and you". Not too bad animation for the 1980s.

Music: A majestic eight-note synthesized orchestra tune, with a "ding" at the beginning. The shorter version uses a quicker, 10-note synth tune.

Availability: Seen with the "Skyline" ID, this was used as a "You're watching..." ID on WTVS. It would then cut to a national program intro tag at the time. (There are four known versions-- one cuts to the KQED "Shine" logo, another cuts to WNET's "Radar" logo, another cuts to WGBH's "Flash of Doom" logo, and one cuts to the WQED "Skyline at Night" logo)

Scare Factor: Minimal, for the music and quick-fade in and sudden zooming of the text, which may catch people off-guard.

4th Logo


WTVS Detroit 1993

: "Quality Shows", "56 Circle"

Logo: Inside is a bunch of PBS program clips stacked as they fly by them, much like those movie theater chain logos. Then it comes out of the bottom of the circle and turns so that "56" is in the center. the logo shines. The bottom says "QUALITY SHOWS" then turns into "WTVS DETROIT". Sometimes this logo is abridged, starting as the circle 56 rotates.

FX/SFX: The flyby of the stacked clips, the turn of the circle and the shine.

Music/Sounds: A mild action-news like fanfare which then turns into harp music. Sometimes an announcer will say "You're watching WTVS, Channel 56 in Detroit."

Availability: Extinct. Only used as a local ID.

Scare Factor: Low to Minimal.

5th Logo
(1998- )

Logo: On a filmstrip background, a box containing a stylized version of part of an eclipse (similar to the beginning of the 1994 Universal logo) zooms out from the center of the screen. As it zooms out, the words "DETROIT PUBLIC TV" zooWTVS 2004m out stacked "Detroit" on top, and "Public TV" on the bottom. Suddenly, the background morphs into one of those old "countdown" clocks as the words "WTVS Detroit" and Detroit Public TV's web address scroll across the screen.

Trivia: The "Eclipse" logo in this ident came from a public produced-organization company called LARK International, which is its parent original company, next to PBS. The company had also formerly owned KUHT/Houston Public Television (now HoustonPBS) until around 2003. The company, however also owns KCTS Seattle, who currently carries the "Eclipse" logo.


Music/Sounds: 3 piano notes mixed with drums and what sounds like an organ, and then the sound of an old film projector.

Availability: Ultra common, as this is the current WTVS logo.

Scare Factor: None.

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Latest page update: made by thehugetvfan , Apr 10 2012, 4:51 PM EDT (about this update About This Update thehugetvfan Edited by thehugetvfan

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