Closing Logo Group

In Loving Memory of Stephen J. Cannell (1941-2010) -- May you finally rest in peace.

Background: Cannell Entertainment, Inc. (also known as "The Cannell Studios" and formerly "Stephen J. Cannell Productions") was originally started in 1979 by the late writer Stephen J. Cannell after leaving Universal Studios. He was an author and a producer for most shows. In 1986, Cannell with Tri-Star Pictures and Witt/Harris Productions created a joint venture distribution called "TeleVentures". On July 11, 1990, Cannell and Tri-Star dissolved TeleVentures and was sold to Cannell and was renamed "Cannell Distribution Co." and Stephen J. Cannell Productions, Inc. was renamed to "Cannell Entertainment, Inc". In 1995, Cannell Entertainment was acquired by New World Communications for $30 million and folded Cannell Distribution Co. into New World Entertainment, and on January 22, 1997, New World was acquired by News Corporation. However in 1998, Cannell re-acquired his library from News Corporation including an 8% distribution fee. The company is still alive and is currently running by Cannell's family after Cannell's death on September 30, 2010, though Cannell worked as a novelist the remainder of his life and served as a creative consultant for the 2010 film, The A-Team with 20th Century Fox, and the final film with Cannell's name, the 2012 film, 21 Jump Street, which was released by Columbia Pictures. The logo was last used on an original series in 1999, when Silk Stalkings ended its long run on the USA Network. Though News Corporation owned Cannell Entertainment at the time of Cannell's death, Cannell owned most of his library with the exceptions of The A-Team, Stone, The Duke, and Black Sheep Squadron (owned by NBCUniversal), Hardcastle & McCormick and Riptide (owned by Sony Pictures Television in the U.S. only). On January 24, 2006, The Carsey-Werner Company acquired distribution rights to Cannell's library with the exception of those owned or distributed by major television studios. Shout! Factory currently own domestic and international rights to Cannell's solo-produced series.

1st Logo
(1976-April 15, 1981, 1982)

Logo: Just an in-credit text saying: "A STEPHEN J. CANNELL PRODUCTION". A copyright stamp is sometimes seen below in the early 1980s.

FX/SFX: None or the scrolling of the credits.

Music/Sounds: The end theme of the show.

Availability: Rare. Was seen on Black Sheep Squadron, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, Richie Brockelman, Private Eye, the 1981 TV movie Midnight Offerings, and The Greatest American Hero season 1 episode "Reseda Rose", among others. DVDs of these programs (where available) should retain this logo.

2nd Logo
(March 18, 1981-April 18, 1999, 2004, October 11, 2010)

Nicknames: "Guy on Typewriter", "Cannell", "The Angry Typewriter Man!", "Mr. Cannell and His Typewriter", "He just can't get this page right..."

Logo: A live-action man (the late Stephen J. Cannell himself) with a pompadour and a beard is typing on an IBM Selectric typewriter in an office/study area with bookshelves and awards galore. The camera then pans clockwise from his face to his back. Once the camera is towards Cannell's back, he throws the paper he is typing on over his head. The paper became animated on a black background, and floats downwards towards a stack of animated papers below. The paper scoops up the top papers in the stack and forms a "C" as the stack became more abstract and the perspective becomes a top-down perspective. The text "Stephen J. Cannell Productions (Inc.)", "A Stephen J. Cannell Production", or "Cannell Entertainment, Inc.", with "Production/Productions (Inc.)/(Inc.)" sliding out from below the company name, is formed above. Cannell appears wearing any of the following outfits:

  • March 18, 1981-December 11, 1983: A dark colored sweater with white collar shirt, plus he is smoking his pipe. This was the first of two logos to feature Cannell smoking his pipe.
  • December 13, 1983-March 20, 1984: A blue jean jacket and white flannel shirt over a black turtleneck, plus he is smoking his pipe. This is the last logo to feature Cannell smoking his pipe before it was dropped in 1984.
  • March 25, 1984-December 31, 1984: A black jacket and dark colored sweater over white collar shirt.
  • December 11, 1984-December 26, 1987: A white and gray striped flannel shirt.
  • October 1, 1987-1989: A casual black polo shirt.
  • 1989-December 6, 1996: A vermilion polo shirt, with the collar up.
  • September 15, 1996-April 18, 1999: A black sweater. This can be seen on seasons 6-8 of Silk Stalkings, and the 2nd half of the fifth season of Renegade starting with the episode "Father's Day".
  • 2004, October 11, 2010: Cannell is wearing a black jacket with a black turtleneck.

Trivia: This logo is parodied at the near end of the music video for the song "DVNO" by Justice, as well on The Simpsons S4 episode "The Front", the Family Guy S2 episode "The Story on Page One", the Parker Lewis Can't Lose final season episode "Write of Die", and the 30 Rock S6 episode "What Will Happen to the Gang Next Year?". This logo also made an appearance during the end credits of the 21 Jump Street movie.


  • In the early years, we just see Stephen typing at the typewriter from the front. He throws the paper up into the air, and the animation sequence continues as usual.
  • Occasionally, after we see Cannell toss the paper, the animation cuts awkwardly to the black screen. The 20th Century Fox Television ID (Cannell's parent company) would follow. This was seen on some episodes of Silk Stalkings and Renegade in the early 1990s.
  • Same as above, except Cannell gently tosses the paper in front of him instead.
  • Of course, this logo was updated often, the main difference being Cannell wearing different clothes as well as aging over the years, possibly new awards in the office added as well, and even different offices were used. The concept was always the same, as well as the animation. A list of outfits can be seen above.
  • On seasons 4-5 of Renegade, the text above the finished logo says "Renegade IV Enterprises", but the live action sequence is intact.
  • From 1991-1993, the company was referred to as "Stephen J. Cannell Productions, Inc."
  • From 1992-1996 on the 1989 variant, after Cannell takes out his paper from his typewriter, the logo would cross-fade to a black background with the text "Cannell Entertainment Inc.", or for syndication "Distributed By Cannell Entertainment Inc." (in a Gill Sans font), with a small "Distributed By" above the company name.
  • There is a sped-up version of the 1985 and 1987 versions of this logo where the camera moves fast for the two short 1987 logo themes, which were used on early to later season two episodes of 21 Jump Street starting with the episode "Besieged: Part 2".
  • There is also a short version that only features the last half of the animation of the logo. Used on The Commish and the 1994 TV movie A Place for Annie.
  • On early episodes and the pilot of Caesars Challenge, the logo appears as an in-credit logo.
  • Cannell Tribute: On the Castle episode "Punked", the 2004 variant is shown. While Cannell is typing, the text "STEPHEN J. CANNELL" fades in above and below the text "COLLEAGUE, MENTOR, FRIEND." fades in. As Cannell tosses the paper in the air, the logo fades to the black background as the paper falls. The text in the center "WE'LL MISS YOU, PAL." fades in as the animated paper continues to fall.
  • On the Riptide season 3 episode "Home for Christmas", there is a still variant, bypassing the usual animation playing in this logo.

FX/SFX: The animation used to "turn" the "real" paper into an animated one is a bit tacky, though it is a great transition. Plus, on both the 1989 and 1996 variants, as soon as Cannell takes the paper out of his typewriter and start to toss his paper upwards, the animated paper appears from the top of the screen as it cross-fades to the usual black background to finish the animation, which caused very bad timing.

Music/Sounds: A dramatic tune (written by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter) is played while Cannell types, which contains string-like instruments, French horns, tubular bells and pounding synthesizers. The tone is more soothing when Cannell throws the paper, reaching a climax with a flute or a trumpet. When the "C" forms, ominous horns and flutes played along with the pounding synthesizers used while Cannell types. A guitar plays a four note tune. For the in-credit logo, The Commish and TV movie Highway Heartbreaker, it's the end-title theme. On the TV movie A Place for Annie, it's silent.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • November 4, 1981-January 13, 1982: There is a very rare music variant that appeared starting with The Greatest American Hero season 2 episode "The Two-Hundred-Mile-an-Hour Fastball", which contains a xylophone, violins, and a very different four-note guitar ending theme, which sounds similar to the show's theme song.
  • November 25, 1981-February 8, 1983: A moog rearranged version of the 1981 theme, but sounds much more dramatic, which contains violins playing while the familiar six-note theme plays.
  • March 18, 1981-October 11, 1987: A rearranged version of the 1981 theme, but sounds much more dramatic, which contains violins playing while the familiar six-note theme plays. Last used on the 21 Jump Street season 2 episode "Two for the Road".
  • April 8, 1981-January 20, 1983: A dramatic three-note horn fanfare plays first, followed by a rousing orchestra and six notes played by a guitar.
  • December 11, 1984-December 26, 1987: A combination of the first half of the November 1981 Cannell logo theme from The Greatest American Hero from season 2 and the much dramatic second half of a few episodes of season 1, one episode of season 2, one episode of season 3 of The Greatest American Hero and The Quest version of the 1981 logo theme. It was first used on the Riptide season 2 episode "Peter Pan Is Alive and Well" and last used on the J.J. Starbuck episode "The 6% Solution".
  • September 24, 1987-October 20, 1990, 2004, October 11, 2010: A Malibu-style guitar plays the four note tune, which was first used on the Hunter season 4 episode "Not Just Another John Doe". A short edited version of this exists of this logo theme having the first three notes, followed by the fourth dramatic note and the remaining 6 note theme. 21 Jump Street continued to use this theme until 1990.
  • October 3-17, 1987, October 26, 1988-April 18, 1999: Another variant using a piano, guitar, bells, and orchestration playing at the same time, with a flute sound before the rousing music plays, and later a guitar playing the last notes of the theme. It was used as early as the Hunter season 4 episodes "Playing God" and "The Jade Woman". There was a short version of this back on October 18, 1987 on the 21 Jump Street season 2 episode "After School Special", and another featuring the last half of this theme on Profit. On the first season of Renegade, the orchestration is excluded.

Availability: Still saved on Cannell's shows when reran, especially The A-Team on Centric. Also seen on reruns of Hunter and DVD releases of 21 Jump Street, Riptide, Hunter, Silk Stalkings, The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Hardcastle and McCormick (the Hardcastle releases are from VEI of Toronto, Ontario in Canada), and Wiseguy. The in-credit text of Cannell Entertainment is extinct and was seen on the 1992 TV movie Highway Heartbreaker. The in-credit logos of Stephen J. Cannell Productions are extinct and were seen on the pilot and early episodes of Caesar's Challenge. The 2004 version is rare and can be seen on a few DVD releases of The Greatest American Hero.

Editor's Note: This is a favorite of many, and we'll certainly miss Cannell. He will always be remembered for the masterpieces he brought to our televisions.

3rd Logo
(1991-January 14, 1994)

Nicknames: "3D Cannell", "The Cannell Studios"

Logo: On a boysenberry-colored marble background, we see a 3D "silvery" version of the "C" from which we zoom out, along with the 3D text "THE CANNELL STUDIOS" in Times New Roman font tilted at a 90-degree angle, then does a 90-degree turn to face us while the "C" takes its position below the Cannell text. Once the text and the "C" go into their above and below positions, respectively, the "C" quickly flashes, turning everything into 2D. A copyright notice for Stephen J. Cannell Productions, Inc. fades in below the logo after the animation is all done.

FX/SFX: The "C" and text zooming out, and the copyright notice fading in.

Music/Sounds: A dramatic synthesizer tune.

Availability: Extinct. It was only known to be seen on later Caesar's Challenge episodes on NBC (as well as when Canadian TV channel Game TV ran it) and the 1991-92 show Personals.