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Background[]

PBS (stands for Public Broadcasting Service) is a publicly-funded American educational television network. PBS was formed in 1969 and incorporated in November of that year as a replacement for NET, a predecessor network that had shut down due to both the Corporation of Public Broadcasting and Ford Foundation pulling their funding as a result of peer pressure from the conservative Nixon administration. PBS officially began broadcasting on October 5, 1970.

Among their original affiliates were WETA Washington D.C., WNET New York, KCET Los Angeles, WGBH Boston, WQED Pittsburgh, KLRN San Antonio, KLRU Austin, Maryland Public Television, The Agency for Instructional Technology, Mississippi ETV, KTCA Minneapolis/St. Paul, KPBS in San Diego,and various others. Originating from The Educational Television and Radio Center from 1952-1959, and later The National Educational Television and Radio Center from 1959 to 1962, when the radio portion was dropped.

PBS formed their own home distribution division in 1989 as PBS Home Video (later re-named PBS Distribution), as well as the PBS Kids block for new and existing children's programming in 1993.

Regular idents[]

1st logo (May 17, 1970-September 17, 1971)[]

Nicknames: "The Text", "The Text of Boredom", "Multi-Colored/Tri-Colored Text", "The World's Most Generic Logo"

Logo: On a black background, the Arial words PUBLIC BROADCASTING SERVICE are seen stacked on top of each other in red, yellow, and blue, respectively.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None, or the opening theme. At the end of each program with this logo, MacDonald Carey (or another announcer, depending on possibly the program) says, "This is PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service."

Availability: Extremely rare. It was used concurrently with the NET logo from 1970 to 1971 mid-season as a placeholder logo (the NET logo appeared at the start of Our Vanishing Wilderness and at the end of the first few broadcasts of Realities during that season) and then quickly replaced with the 2nd logo.

  • Though PBS officially went on the air on October 5, 1970, it had actually been formed the year before, in 1969, with the logo allegedly premiering on the Hollywood Television Theatre pilot, "The Andersonville Trial," and appearing on the first season thereof. It also appeared on the Grateful Dead concert program Calebration and the initial broadcasts of the Fanfare episode "Go Ride the Music," featuring Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service (a bootleg DVD preserves it).
  • The logo was likely seen on the fourth season of Mister Roger's Neighborhood and the second season of Sesame Street, but modern prints have featured either the 1971 or 1989 logo. It was also seen on some of the earliest known extant episodes of WNET's Soul!, the first season of The Great American Dream Machine, and the first Masterpiece Theatre serials (from The First Churchills to Pere Goriot).
  • It also appears on early episodes of Firing Line. A repeat of the series premiere of Realities, as well as other episodes including "If Eugene Talmadge Were Alive Today...", and the Black Journal episode "Justice?" also have this logo.
  • In what appears to be the first known live presentation snafu in the network's history, President's Report on Indochina, which replaced the first planned broadcast of The Nader Report following a delay stemming from objections from the oil companies regarding its political content, starts playing the voiceover over a title card reading "An NET News Special"; due to the video file hosted by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting cutting out at that moment, it is currently unknown whether this logo actually appeared on the show.

Editor's Note: This logo is rather infamous for being the hardest PBS logo to find because of its incredibly short lifespan. In all likelihood, this was developed as a placeholder logo during the NET to PBS transition, hence why the color scheme is the same as the last NET logo. For many years, the only circulating copy was one of very poor quality, and it had barely any information regarding its source (what was known is that it came from "Go Ride the Music", and even then many casual observers failed to connect it with Fanfare for years). However, in recent years, additional copies (including a 2017 upload of a Firing Line episode) have come to light, giving the community a few additional captures of this very elusive ID.

2nd Logo (September 18, 1971-September 29, 1984)[]

Nicknames: "PBS P-Head", "The Tri-Colored Everyman P-Heads", "The Tri-Colored PBS Logo", "The Tri-Heads from/of Hell/Doom"

Logo: On a black background, an abstract-cut blue P zooms out to upper-mid screen. The "P" turns into a "P-shaped" head, facing left, with the text "PUBLIC" below this and all of the other text are set in ITC Avant Garde Gothic, and both move to the left of the screen. An abstract-cut orange B appears to the right of the P-Head, and two black dots appear in the B, the latter dot coinciding with the text "BROADCASTING" appearing below the "PUBLIC". An abstract-cut green S appears to the right of the B and black dots appear twice as well, the latter dot coinciding with the text "SERVICE" appearing below the "BROADCASTING".

Trivia:

  • This logo was designed by Herb Lubalin, also responsible for the aforementioned Avant Garde Gothic. At first, they wanted it to be "PBS" with stars on it, then the letters "PBS" with a star-shaped vortex next to it and finally, a falcon with a "PBS"-shaped neck. They also used the colors red, white, blue, gold, teal & shocking pink in the original ideas, but they didn't look quite right. They even thought of making the "PBS" logo you see above in the same color scheme as the Star-Spangled Banner at first when they showed this idea to them, but that idea was rejected due to the political climate at the time (specifically, NET had already been killed as a network under pressure from the conservative Nixon administration, and PBS didn't want to take any chances with a red left-facing P-head, which might have been interpreted as being pro-Communist had it been approved, and yet it also didn't make sense to flip the P-head to the right due to the way the logo was designed). Some of the aforementioned logo designs make appearances in a late 1980s PBS promo using Lionel Richie's "Say You, Say Me" as its jingle. There is even a documentary about this logo's creation seen here.
  • The logo was also parodied in the Family Guy S2 episode "The Son Also Draws," where it appears as a crude B&W drawing, and the P-Head is facing the opposite direction.
  • This logo was brought back by PBS as the logo for their "PBS Digital Studios" YouTube channel, and can also be seen at the start of every show (regardless of year) on the PBS Retro FAST Channel on the Roku Channel.

Variants:

  • Depending on the program, the logo would either fade out or cut to black.
  • A still version was used for program breaks.
  • On the April 19, 1977 broadcast of The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, half the logo is chyroned over footage of the studio where the show was taped at the time; it cuts away almost immediately after the S pops up.
  • A special variant of this was used on the Saturday Night Live episode of 11/13/82 (Robert Blake/Kenny Loggins), right before a spoof of a PBS commercial. Here, the words "PUBLIC BROADCASTING SERVICE" are removed, the P-Head is green, the "B" is red, and the "S" is blue.
  • On some broadcasts of The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, there is a light blue zooming in effect appearing through the blue slant in the show's title name to reveal the blue "P" in the PBS logo.
  • On an episode of "Alvin Toffler's The Third Wave", the P-Head is green. This is most likely due to videotape deterioration.
  • When seen at the beginning on the PBS Retro FAST Channel, it cuts to black early.

FX/SFX: The Scanimated P-Heads' animations.

Music/Sounds: A telephone-like Moog synthesizer scale descending rapidly, followed by 5 Moog synthesizer notes. It starts playing as soon as the P turns into the P-head. In some cases, it's silent.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On We Interrupt This Week, a short-lived game show produced for PBS by WNET in 1978, a special variant was used. Here, the logo plays as usual, but instead of the logo's music a choir is heard singing "Happy Birthday to You!".
  • Mouth Music has an a capella version of the logo's music.
  • The still version has a announcer (different from the previous logo) saying "This is PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service."
  • When seen at the beginning on the PBS Retro FAST Channel, the music plays right as the logo starts.

Availability: Uncommon. Due to replacement with newer logos and newer shows, it was extremely rare in recent years. However, DVD releases and streaming have made it easier to find.

  • One of the logo's first appearances was on Jude the Obscure, broadcast as part of Masterpiece Theatre between October 3 and November 7, 1971; the prototype logo appeared on a few episodes of Firing Line in the late Summer of that year. Also made a sneak appearance on a few 1977-82-era episodes of The Dick Cavett Show on Decades.
  • The logo exists on many episodes of The MacNeil/Lehrer Report (later The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour) from the era, available for viewing on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website. Many episodes of Seasons 2-5 of This Old House also retain this logo on the show's official website. Don't expect to see this on MacArthur Library tapes of programs from the era.
  • The logo can be found on the DVD sets The Best of the Electric Company and Sesame Street: Old School. In the latter case, this logo replaces the NET and 1970 PBS logos on the respective episodes. The DVD of Zoom: Back to the 70s has this logo and the original WGBH logo.
  • The U.S.A. Home Video/International Video Entertainment release of the Hollywood Television Theatre pilot, "The Andersonville Trial", also has this, plastering the previous logo, as do the VHS and DVD of The Scarlet Letter, a DVD for KERA's coverage of the 1981 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and the occasional Vestron Video VHS of Nova, such as "The Science of Murder".
  • Apart from the occasional appearance in select promos and as archive footage in documentaries and public affairs programs, this made its last known appearance on PBS itself on the 2000 rebroadcast of The Lathe of Heaven, also appearing on the subsequent VHS and DVD release that same year.
  • The logo can be found on Twitch.tv and Amazon.com prints of color Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes that PBS last aired before 1990 (final airdates here), sometimes plastering the NET logo - this includes episodes 1271, 1300, 1309, and 1324 on Amazon; the 1988 PBS Video release of the episode "Death of a Goldfish", which had this logo until 2017, after which it was itself plastered by the 2013 PBS Kids logo on the 2018 rebroadcast; and episodes 1066–1070 at MisterRogers.org, which were released on the first week of 2022.
  • Other sightings of this logo include KETC's 50th anniversary special and WTVS' analog-to-digital sign-off (although in the latter, only the last part of the logo plays--the part where dots appear in the S with "SERVICE" appearing below--before cutting to WTVS' program intro tag from the 1970s, both with generic piano music played over the logos). The anniversary specials for KPTS and KVIE also had this logo, but, the logo just "pops" up one letter at a time in KPTS' 40th anniversary special, while a still logo can be seen in KVIE's 50th anniversary special. It also appears in full on Won't You Be My Neighbor?, a 2018 documentary about the late Fred Rogers.
  • This has appeared occasionally on later PBS programs that reference their older materials, including a PBS NewsHour segment on Sonia Manzano (Maria from Sesame Street) from 2015 and This Old House 40th Anniversary.

Editor's Note: Many individuals who grew up during this logo's time period have strong memories of it -- whether fond or otherwise. The loud synthesizer music freaked out a few people in its day, but now this logo stands for nostalgia more than anything else.

3rd Logo (September 30, 1984-September 17, 1989)[]

Nicknames: "Split Profile", "The Everyman/person P", "PBS P-Head II"

Logo: On a black background, a blue P-head appears on the upper-mid screen, facing backwards. A piece comes out to the right and settles itself about half an inch away. The text "PBS" appears below in a slab serif font, which was designed specifically for PBS called "ITC Lubalin Graph Bold".

Trivia: Obviously using the "P" in the previous logo (and the accompanying slab serif font) was designed and animated by Chermayeff & Geismar, a firm also responsible for the Screen Gems "S" and the 1986 NBC peacock. The logo debuted at the PBS annual meeting on March 30, 1984, and made its first network appearance six months later to the day.

Variants:

  • On the series premiere of Square One TV, after the logo forms, the P-head and letters multiply off into the distance, with voice-overs singing "and on...and on...and on..." (taken from a song from the episode) until it fades.
  • On a Saturday Night Live "Anal Retentive Chef" sketch, which parodies a PBS show, a still 3D-rendered variant was used. This variant was created by SNL and was not actually used by PBS itself.
  • There is also a still version.
  • A version exists with the PBS text in yellow.
  • As with the previous logo, this faded out sometimes, including on Eyes on the Prize.
  • On season 1 episodes of Shining Time Station, one of the last new programs to use this logo, the fadeout was slower.
  • A filmed variant exists. This variant is silent and the "P" logo is a much lighter blue color, resembling a sky blue.
  • A variant exists with the piece colored red. On superimposed footage of fireworks, two CGI P-Heads (blue and red) appears from off-screen. As the P-Heads turn, the blue head is placed behind the red one, where most of it dissolves away, forming the piece in front of the blue P-Head. After the logo settles in place, the footage fades to black and the text "PBS" fades in. This was spotted on a KETC sign-off in 1991.

FX/SFX: The P-head appearing and stretching. Simple, but effective animation.

Music/Sounds: A majestic piano chord, followed by six string pizzicato tones, and then a softer version of the piano chord. The Square One TV variant also has the same music, but associated with the "And on....and on...." vocals taken from the series premiere episode. Composed by Jonathan Elias (who is better known for composing the 1993 Columbia Pictures logo's music).

Music/Sounds Variant: Very scarcely (possibly, only a couple of times during this logo's lifespan), a narrator might talk over the logo. This variant was first found on an airing of Sesame Street from November 18th, 1987.

Availability: Rare. It appeared on old prints of PBS shows produced from 1984-89. Can also be found on early PBS Home Video releases from the '80s; just look for a banner with the P Head on the left and "PBS VIDEO" filling the entire rest of the banner.

  • The logo allegedly made its first appearance on the Nature episode "Krakatoa: The Day That Shook the World", broadcast on September 30, 1984. This is surprisingly easy to find on Time-Life Video tapes of Nature, most often with the 1987 WNET logo at the start.
  • The logo has also appeared on the 1994 rebroadcast and 1995 PBS Video reissue of Pyramid, part of a series of architectural documentaries hosted by David Macaulay, even though earlier installments had this (and the earlier logo, in the case of Castle) plastered with the 1992 logo in the same reissue of the series. It also appeared on the 1997 Turner Home Entertainment release of Spaceflight.
  • In an oddity, recent prints of the 1976 miniseries The Adams Chronicles, including the DVD release, end with both this (preserved from a 1987 rebroadcast) and the 2006 WNET logo.
  • The logo showed up on the Twitch.tv prints of episodes #1417 and #1456 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
  • This logo has plastered the previous logo on rebroadcasts from the era of Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, The Nutcracker, and earlier episodes of Great Performances and This Old House.
  • It made a surprise appearance on Milwaukee Public TV's 50th anniversary special.
  • The last known appearance of this logo on television was in 2009 on UNC-TV after an episode of Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteele. This logo can also be viewed at the end of many episodes of The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour from the era, available for viewing on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.

Editor's Note: While this logo has not been seen on television for many years, it is still very highly regarded and is a favorite of many.

4th Logo (September 18, 1989-July 31, 1993)[]

Nicknames: "3D Glass", "Transparent Blue P-Head", "Merging Glass P-Head", "PBS P-Head III"

Logo: On a black background, a side-facing transparent dark blue P-head folds to the right, leaving behind a residue trail of "P-Heads". The residue trail fades into the PBS logo from before, which settles itself in the center of the screen, occupying almost all of it. Several multi-colored lines wipe across the bottom of the screen, leaving the text "PBS" in the same font as before to the bottom left.

Trivia: Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that the residue trail has a total of seven P-Heads, including the initial P-Head.

Variants:

  • In an alternate version of the ident, the "P-head" appears just by fading in with the "PBS" text. No lines streak across the screen; therefore it is a still version of the ident. The same music, as in the ident's original version, is used. Once again, the announcer says "This is PBS".
  • At the end of PBS' 1990 "Just Watch Us Now" promo, a variant is used where we zoom out of the P-Head made of glass with light rays coming out of the P-Head's eye. Then the words "TV WORTH WATCHING" zooms out, and goes to the bottom left. The rest of the animation proceeds to this logo starting with lines wiping the word "PBS".
  • There is another version of the ident that fades in (with a little bit of print scratchiness) with the announcer saying, "This is PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service."
  • There is a promo variant where the background is now white and there are multi-colored shapes rotating around the P-Head. The "PBS" Text is also colored purple.

FX/SFX: The P-head folding, the lines wiping. Great animation for its time.

Music/Sounds: A long held-out string note combined with synth bells (played on a Roland D-50 using the Fantasia preset) and chimes, followed by an announcer (probably Peter Thomas, who also did the funding credits voiceovers for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHourNova, and A World of Ideas at the time) saying "This is PBS."

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On the still version, the same music, as in the ident's original version, is used. Once again, the announcer says "This is PBS". There is also a silent variant as well for this variation.
  • A silent version was used on VHS releases of Barney & Friends season 1 episodes. This version also appeared one time on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood "No & Yes #1541".
  • The still version with the lines intact uses a different male announcer saying, "This is PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service."
  • On Mister Rogers Neighborhood episode 1250, the normal theme plays. However, if you listen closely, the 1971 logo's music plays quietly. This is a result of a bad plaster.
  • On the white background promo variant, a synth note is heard instead and the announcer also says "This fall, on PBS."

Availability: Rare. As with other vintage PBS logos, the chance of it showing up on TV now is almost non-existent, but some PBS Home Video and Barney Home Video releases from the era may have it. Just look for a square in the top-left corner of the front of the box with "PBS VIDEO" below a P-head.

  • The logo debuted after The Power of the Word: The Simple Acts of Life on September 15, 1989.
  • This logo plasters the 1971 logo on Twitch.tv and Amazon.com prints of various 1971-75 Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes that last aired on PBS in the 1990s; these include Amazon's versions of episodes 1176, 1177, 1179, 1180, 1261, 1281, 1384, and 1389. This also plasters over the 1984 logo on episodes dating from 1984-1989 on the latter program when it aired on Twitch.tv. This may plaster earlier PBS logos on Time-Life Video releases of Nature, including "Forest in the Sea" (which preserves its original WNET logo). Other programs where it plastered earlier logos in the early '90s include Dinner at Julia's, French in Action, Reading Rainbow, rebroadcasts of Season 1 episodes of Shining Time Station and later episodes of Season 20 of Sesame Street beginning with episode 2576, and some of Ken Burns' earlier works, including Brooklyn Bridge, The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God, The Statue of Liberty, and Huey Long.
  • On DVD, it appears on episodes of The American Experience from the era. For its last year, it was used in tandem with the 5th logo, appearing on Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers, MotorWeek '93, The American Experience, The New Yankee Workshop, most 24th season episodes of Sesame Street, most 11th season episodes of Nature, all 20th season episodes of Nova, all 2nd season episodes of Lamb Chop's Play-Along, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, and many early-to-mid-Nineties reruns of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. It also appears at the end of the Turner Home Entertainment VHS releases of Brooklyn Bridge and Thomas Hart Benton. This logo can also be viewed at the end of many episodes of TheMacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour from the era, available for viewing on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.
  • The last known appearance of this logo on television was in 2012 on KET KY (a sub-channel of Kentucky Educational Television) after an episode of Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish. Some episodes of it can still be viewed in a hidden portion of KET's website, with the logo included. This logo could also be seen up until as late as 2006 after episodes of Reading Rainbow on many PBS stations.

5th Logo (January 4, 1993-July 29, 1997)[]

Nicknames: "Orange CGI P-Head", "Glass P-Head", "Pink P-Heads", "PBS P-Head IV", "Pink PBS Logo"

Logo: In a pink/orange lighted environment, several transparent ellipses revealing people faces appear and disappear one at a time. Then we zoom out through a circle, which turns out to be the eye in the PBS P-Head standing on a floor, made from glass. To the left of the P-Head, the text "PBS" rotates to face the screen.

Trivia:

  • This is a live-action logo, captured on 35mm film. The people's faces were captured on October 19, 1992; the actual logo was filmed two days later. The logo was designed by Telezign.
  • Much like HBO and their famed "In Space" opening, this logo also had its own mini-documentary detailing the making of it. You can watch it here.

FX/SFX: The animation, the zoom out, the letters turning.

Music/Sounds: A funky piano and choir boogie tune, followed by an announcer (Chris Murney, the voice of Elisha Hunt Rhodes in Ken Burns' The Civil War and the funding credits announcer for PBS NewsHour since 1993) who says "This is PBS." The music was composed by Peter Fish, who has also done music for CBS News.

Music/Sounds Variant: There is a rare variant that exists without the voice-over. This was seen on Making the PBS Logo, a filler program aired when a program came up too short to fill out the entire time slot it aired in.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • Your best bet to find it is '90s PBS Home Video tapes, including the Turner releases of The Dinosaurs and the films of Ken Burns. This appeared at the start of most PBS Home Video releases from Turner Home Entertainment in the mid-'90s, as a secondary logo for PBS Home Video. The logo is also preserved on episodes of The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour on DVD.
  • It first appeared in print in late December 1992 on an issue of Broadcasting Magazine dated January 4, 1993, and the animated version premiered in full on the January 4, 1993 edition of The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For its first year, it was used in tandem with the previous logo, appearing on some episodes of Nature (starting in its 11th season), Sesame Street (particularly late in the 24th season and on the Spring/Summer 1993 rebroadcast of the season), and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (mainly 1993 episodes as well as some mid-'90s reruns of older programs) as well as all third-season episodes of Shining Time Station, 1993 episodes of Newton's Apple, a March 31, 1993 rebroadcast of Empire of the Air, Barney in Concert, new editions of Washington Week beginning on January 8, 1993, and the earliest nationally-broadcast episodes of Charlie Rose, among others.
  • Among post-1993 PBS Kids programs, it also appeared on the first run of the second season of Barney and Friends, as well as early broadcasts of the second print run of the first season thereof (identifiable by use of the second season's funding credits), before being plastered by the P-Pals logo on subsequent reruns, and is believed to have appeared on A Magic School Bus Halloween. The 1995 Shining Time Station prime time specials, Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers, and Lamb Chop holiday specials released during this time also used this logo, as did Newton's Apple, FutureQuest, and the first two Square One TV Math Talk programs.
  • In the mid-'90s, this logo became the chief means of logo plastering for PBS, appearing on newer prints of Castle (1994 rebroadcast), Cathedral (1994 rebroadcast), Eyes on the Prize, The Civil War (1994 rebroadcast), The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God, The Statue of Liberty (1994 rebroadcast), Huey Long, The Congress, Empire of the Air, How Difficult Can This Be?, Frontline, and Nature, among other programs.
  • This logo can be seen on various episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood from 1974-1980 on Twitch.tv, its first appearance being on Episode #1362. It can also be viewed at the end of many episodes of The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour from the era, available for viewing on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.
  • The logo's latest new appearance was on the September 4, 1996 edition of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, though as mentioned earlier this would continue as a secondary logo for PBS Home Video for some time afterwards, appearing at the start of Thomas Jefferson and at the end of the Adventures from the Book of Virtues episode "Generosity" (both of which use the next logo in the programs themselves). This logo, surprisingly, appeared at the end of an August 5, 2018 airing of An Ice Cream Show, after years of plastering with later logos from 1998 and 2002, on WFWA-TV's 4th sub-channel, known as PBS39 Explore. This is the first confirmed time this logo has aired on television since 2009 on a UNC-TV airing of Faces of Culture.
  • It also appears on what seems to be a 25th anniversary promo for PBS that was shown during the Fall 1993 pledge drive on many stations.
  • It doesn't show up on mid-'90s episodes of MotorWeek, which used the Maryland Public Television logo at the end instead from 1993 to 1997.

Editor's Note: This logo is highly regarded by the community due in part to its production process, done without the help of computer animation.

6th Logo (1995-1998)[]

Nicknames: "The Blue Aurora P-Head", "Metallic P-Head", "PBS P-Head V", "Metallic Blue", "Auroras", "Aurora P-Head"

Logo: On a blue aurora background, we see dark blue lights and blue lights swirling and moving around. As they do so, we see basically the same concept as the 1984-1989 PBS logo, but the entire logo is colored light blue with a slight tint of a teal color instead of being purple and white. Also, the entire logo is still and does not move at all, the P-Head and text are metallic and the entire logo reflects the aurora and the lights moving around.

Trivia:

  • The way the P-Head and the text are positioned in this logo harkens back to the 1984-1989 logo.
  • This would be followed by one of seven themed bumpers PBS had in use back in the day, from a rebrand which PBS would later utilize in the next logo.

FX/SFX: Just the aurora and lights moving around, nothing else.

Music/Sounds/Voice-over: Chris Murney says "You are watching PBS. Viewer-supported public television."

Availability: Extinct. This was used between programs on the satellite feed.

Editor's Note: This logo was a surprise discovery, largely because home recordings from the PBS satellite feed are very rare.

7th Logo (August 12, 1996-December 5, 1999)[]

Nicknames: "The PBS Windows III", "CGI Window", "PBS P-Head V", "CGI Window, Globe and Telescope", "If PBS Doesn't Do It, Who Will?"

Logo: On a black background, a CGI window appears with a birds-eye view of the earth, a plastic globe spinning on the top right and a telescope rotating on the bottom left. The pear-colored PBS P-Head with the split colored light blue appears in front of the window and grows smaller as the window grows bigger. As the two meet each other, the window disappears. Inside the P-Head are transparent images of two globes, a feather and a telescope. The P-Head takes its place in the top center of the screen and turns to light blue and aquamarine as the text "PBS" fades in below them.

FX/SFX: The window growing, the globe spinning, the telescope rotating, the P-head shrinking. All simple CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: A new age tune with guitars and flutes, followed by a female announcer, Lauren Bacall, who says "This is PBS."

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On some shows, Bacall says "You are watching PBS."
  • An alternate arrangement exists which sounds more somber and elegant. Bacall's "This is PBS" line was re-recorded as well.

Availability: Uncommon. It appears on TV sometimes, but PBS Home Video tapes and DVDs are an easier way to find it.

  • The logo's first confirmed appearance was on August 12, 1996, at the end of the first day of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer's coverage of the Republican National Convention.
  • This appeared at the start and end of Turner Home Entertainment's releases of Adventures from the Book of Virtues, and also plasters the 4th and 5th logos on episodes of American Experience, one of which ("The Battle Over Citizen Kane") was packaged with Warner Home Video's 60th Anniversary DVD and 70th Anniversary Blu-ray releases of Citizen Kane (but not the Criterion Collection's 2021 4K Ultra HD), and Triumph of the Nerds.
  • It also appeared on original broadcast prints of pledge drive specials Keeping Up Appearances: The Memoirs of Hyacinth Bucket and The Carpenters: Close to You, the latter which is now distributed on PBS stations directly by T.J. Lubinsky's Timeless Collection division.
  • It appeared at the end of Are You Being Served? episodes broadcast on KYVE in 1999.
  • The variant with the alternate arrangement can be seen on some early episodes of Baking with Julia, which can be viewed on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.
  • Even when the next logo began to be used, it continued to be used by some programs for some time, with its latest new appearance being on Doo Wop 50. During this transitional period, it also appeared on, among other programs, standard definition prints of early high definition programming such as Chihuly Over Venice and Over Ireland (as seen on KCTS's own VHS of the former and the Warner Home Video VHS of the latter). Its last known appearance on television was in 2009 on UNC-TV after an episode of Faces of Culture.
  • On DVD, it can be found at the end of at least a few WGBH Boston Video releases of NOVA episodes from that era, including "Einstein Revealed", "Odyssey of Life", "Super Bridge", and a 1998 re-broadcast version of the 1995 episode, "Lightning".
  • On PBS Kids programming, it appeared on pre-1998 daytime prints of first season episodes of the aforementioned Adventures from the Book of Virtues, Lamb Chop holiday specials of the time, The Magic School Bus Family Holiday Special (full-length hour-long version only), Elmo Saves Christmas, the final episodes of Newton's Apple, and the Wallace and Gromit shorts A Grand Day Out and A Close Shave.

Editor's Note: The logo has interesting animation, but the music is dated.

8th Logo (September 11, 1998-September 22, 2002)[]

Nickname: "Circle P-Heads", "PBS P-Head VI", "Circle PBS P-Head", "If PBS Doesn't Do It, Who Will? II"

Logo: On a computer-generated sky background, a person standing to the left covers his or her head with a black circle with the PBS P-Head on it in white. Acrobats jump from all directions off the circle. The text "PBS" appears to the right, with the URL www.pbs.org appearing below it. Also, throughout the ident, different things happen in the background: On all ten variants, there are tiny superimposed silhouettes of people flying in a circle behind the acrobats. On three out of ten of the variants, there are silhouettes of big wands briefly flying down behind the PBS text. And on the rest, there are silhouettes of people tip-toeing in an oval (a circle on the widescreen version) around the person.

Trivia: This logo was designed at Publicis & Hal Riney and animated at Lee Hunt Associates (the latter also animated the 1999 PBS Kids logo and the 1997 Game Show Network ID).

Variants: Each time the logo is shown, different people are holding the circle with the P-head on it, and the acrobats doing different kinds of tricks around the P-head circle. The people are as follows (that also includes the tricks the acrobats do):

  1. Man in gold shirt (Steve Burns); female acrobats with orange do a backflip.
  2. Man in blue shirt (Kyle Hebert); same acrobats from 1st variant.
  3. Woman in blue shirt (Michelle Ruff); male acrobats with yellow shirts do a "side spin". (A widescreen version was used in 2001.)
  4. Woman in deep red shirt (Gong Li); male acrobats with Prussian blue shirts curl into a ball and spin around.
  5. Man in orange-tan shirt (Chris Rock); same acrobats from 3rd variant.
  6. Older woman in red shirt (Bacall herself); same acrobats from 4th variant.
  7. Woman in folly shirt (Jocelyne Loewen); same acrobats from 4th and 6th variants.
  8. Man in dark blue shirt (Jake Martin); same acrobats from 1st and 2nd variants.
  9. Woman in red shirt (Lynne Thigpen); same acrobats from 3rd and 5th variants.

FX/SFX: The computer effects used to shrink the acrobats and superimpose them around the circle.

Music/Sounds: A brief synth swell and a 3-note flute fanfare, then a new age percussion/choir tune, followed by another voiceover from Lauren Bacall saying "This is PBS". If you listen carefully, you can also hear a trombone and strings in the background as well.

Music/Sounds Variant: A variant exists with Bacall saying, "You are watching PBS." This was used for program breaks.

Availability: Rare.

  • This logo can usually be found on reruns and some PBS Home Video tapes (mainly the ones that use the Warner Home Video logo instead of the PBS Home Video logo) such as An Ice Cream Show. It is also preserved on 1998-2002 episodes of Scientific American Frontiers on the Chedd-Angier website. On home video, the "man in gold shirt" variant appeared on An Ice Cream Show (where it plasters the 5th logo), and the "woman in blue shirt" variant appeared on Great Old Amusement Parks and A Hot Dog Program. However, the 2007 DVD of the Nova episode "Bees: Tales from the Hive" has no logo.
  • It also plasters older logos on more recent prints of American Experience (various, as early as the 4th logo), French in Action (3rd and 4th logos), Solutions to Violence (5th logo), and Julia Child's cooking programs (5th and previous logos).
  • This may still appear on Workplace Essential Skills if your station is broadcasting it. In addition to program breaks, the "You are watching PBS" variant also appears at the end of Digital TV: A Cringely Crash Course.

Editor's Note: The many variations of this logo marked the beginning of a trend for PBS idents that continues to this very day. The legacy of Bacall herself, who announced the classic ID, continues as well. Of note, this would be the last set of logos to use the "This is PBS" voiceover.

9th Logo (April 4, 2001-July 21, 2002)[]

Nickname: "Stay Curious"

Logo: Against an orange background, we see the PBS circle in a light yellow color with the P head being the same orange color as the background. The "P" Circle slowly eases back and fades out as four green circles appear and spread around the screen revealing smaller light yellow circles inside. Four more circles appear and the outer circles merge with the other circles before they begin spreading out. The PBS "P" Circle now in the standard black and white colors appears with a blur effect. Small circles form "pbs.org" below in a white calibri font.

Variants:

  • A version with a blue color scheme was used between programs. Instead of the URL, the text below the PBS circle read "Stay curious. PBS".
  • An extended variant begins on a blue background with a darker blue P head. The camera zooms into the pupil and the normal animation begins. The logo also has a green tint to it.

FX/SFX: Typical early 00's animation.

Music/Sounds: A three-note ascending tune (D, E, A), and a voiceover saying "This is PBS."

Music/Sounds Variants: On the blue variant, one of two tunes was used:

  • Usually, the tune was played in the key of D (G, A, D) on a celesta, followed by a new age rhythmic tune played on a celesta and acoustic guitar.
  • A slightly longer version of the blue variant, usually shown before the 7PM broadcast of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, uses the second half of the CPB/Viewers Like You music of the era.

Availability: Extinct. This was an alternate logo used during PBS's "Stay Curious" campaign on the satellite feed. It was quickly retired and the previous logo continued to be used for another year. Being the national station ID shown on the satellite feed, the blue logo remained in use for a while longer.

  • One program on which this logo appeared was American High. Unlike other logos, it's not known to have ever plastered an earlier logo.

Editor's Note: Very simple compared to the rest of the logos on here, but some may like its vaguely Sixties-ish vibe.

10th Logo (September 23, 2002-December 3, 2010)[]

Nicknames: “Be More”, “We Are PBS”, “I am PBS”, "PBS P-Head VIII", "Circle PBS P-Head III"

Logo: We see a letterboxed clip show of live-action footage, filmed on a large set with hardwood floor and a background of shaggy raw sienna-colored curtains. Culturally and generationally diverse people are employed in the variants, each giving different performances on-camera. As the last clip plays, we see the “Circle P-Head” logo animating with the word "PBS" on the right and the slogan “Be more” on the left. The text has been modified a bit after the past 18 years. Throughout the bumper, a bug for the URL pbs.org is seen in the lower left corner.

Variants: Here are some of the variations that have been seen of late, with a list of the clips in each variant in chronological order:

  • Young People: A teenage girl presses her hands on her boyfriend's cheeks and gives him a kiss; a mother plays with her baby's feet; a dad and his little boy are holding guitars; mom and daughter are side by side; a mom runs pulling a red wagon holding her two little girls (Edie Mirman: "We are PBS").
  • Standard Variant A: A woman untangles her hair; a teenager dances; a baby walks. ("We are PBS").
  • Standard Variant B: A man sits with a pile of books; a young man smiling; a close-up of a smiling young woman's head; a close-up of of the previous man smiling. ("We are PBS").
  • Performers: A man sits on a stool holding a guitar; a dressy man plays his trumpet; a teenage boy is "bopping" to his headphones; a young dancer spins in her dress; an elderly man takes a bow (David Kaye: "We are PBS").
  • Activities: A man sits with a pile of books, a woman takes a picture of flowers with her camera; a young man in a wheelchair; catches a soccer ball; a man plays with his dog; a young woman hula-hoops.
  • Flowers: A close-up of a smiling woman’s head; then we see her holding a large bouquet of flowers, a close-up of the flowers, and finally a close-up of the woman holding the flowers (Helen Mirren: "I am PBS". The music is given a "Baroque" arrangement).
  • Daddy and Son: A dad and his little boy are holding guitars; a close-up of them playing; and the dad and son on a playground swing (Kyle Eastwood: "We are PBS". The music is arranged as horn-spiked guitar-rock).
  • Mother and Daughter: A mother and her teenage daughter are seen spinning and dancing; a close-up shot of the daughter kissing her mom; and the two hug (Edie Mirman: "We are PBS." The music used in later versions of this variant is played in a soft guitar melody).
  • Generations: A mother holds her baby; an old man smiling; a young man takes off his cowboy hat. (Edie Mirman: “We are PBS.”)
  • Cowboy Hat: The young man from the "Generations" variant is dancing with his cowboy hat; a close-up of him wearing it; and finally he briefly tosses it at the camera and giggles (David Kaye: "I'm PBS." A groovy country-style version of the music is played on a bass).
  • Basketball: We see a facial close-up of the man in a wheelchair from "Activities"; he plays with his basketball; then we see him on the left smiling ("I am PBS." A funky hip-hop version of the music is used.)
  • Young Woman: This variant features the same dancing woman from "Performers". First, we see her riding on a scooter, then smiling at the camera wearing a picture hat, and finally we see her spinning in her dress as she does in the "Performers" variant, but closer to the right of the screen so we see the logo animating ("I am PBS").
  • There is also a version of the logo that has no live-action footage. A burst of light comes in from either side of the screen, and we see an outline of the "P-head" logo (in a style similar to the 1984 logo). Other lighting effects occur, and at the end the circle "P-Head" logo animates, with "PBS" on its right side and "Be more" on its left. There is no voice-over.
  • On Carrier, the voice-over says "This show will return in a moment over most of these local stations. We are PBS."
  • There was another version with a voice-over saying "This PBS show will return in a moment".
  • There was another version with a voice-over saying "The following PBS show is closed captioned".
  • There was another version with a voice-over saying "PBS will return in a moment".
  • There's also a version that appeared on Frontline and The Newshour with Jim Lehrer. On the same background as the CPB logo of the time but darker, we see the words "Perspective. Analysis. Understanding." in white slowly zoom in and shine. Then the words "dissolve" away and the Be More PBS logo animates. In the background throughout the ident is a wallpaper-like array of transparent copies of the words seen earlier. The music is arranged in a beautiful piano solo ending in a dramatic string cadence and a male announcer (Bob Hilton) saying "This is PBS." (There's is version has no URL whatsever seen 2009 episodes Frontline on WNED-TV)

FX/SFX: Mostly live action, except for the logo animating at the end.

Music/Sounds/Voice-over: A majestic orchestral tune. The same tune is always used, but is rearranged for some variants and has a different voice-over (see above for examples).

Availability: May still be found on reruns of older PBS programming, if your station has older prints. Preserved on DVDs of Nova. Though the logo officially ended on September 27, 2009, it continued to appear on Charlie Rose until 2012.

11th Logo (September 28, 2009-November 6, 2022)[]

Nicknames: "Be More II", "Be More, PBS", "PBS P-Head IX", "Circle PBS P-Head IV"

Logo: We see a video of a person or people having activities. Suddenly, the PBS logo appears with "Be More" on the left and "PBS" on the right. The word "PBS" then changes to the URL "pbs.org". A voice-over says "Be More, PBS." as the logo animates.

Variants:

  • Rubik's Cube: A man is walking in a street when he encounters a gigantic exotic Pine Green object that looks like a Rubik's-Cube slanted on its corner, which twirls around quite to the man's amusement. The music is played on percussion, electric piano and celesta.
  • Spacesuit: An Ecru-clad woman and her son are in a mall. The kid looks through an astronaut helmet. The music is played on an electric piano.
  • Doodling Pad: A boy in a forest-green jacket is walking in a shallow lake with his doodling pad. The music is played on a harp and concertina.
  • Stargazing: A family is looking through a telescope at the stars in the sky. The music is played on a piano and cellos.
  • Guitarist: Calvin Keys is playing the tune on his guitar while someone films it on camcorder.
  • Generations: A man and his grandson are looking at old pictures of their African ancestors in a scrapbook. The music is played on drums, piano, and electric guitar.
  • Orchestra: A symphony orchestra performs the tune. The camera sees the violin, bass clarinet, marimba, cymbal and tuba.
  • Supermarket: TBA. The music has the CPB logo's music playing as a backing track, albeit either a bit muffled or in a slightly different arrangement, and the main melody is played on woodwinds.
  • Generic: Sometimes, there is no live action footage; instead the logo is placed on a custom background with bubbles. The background is used in four different colors: blue, green, orange, and magenta. Most often, the blue or magenta versions are used at the end of broadcasts which use this. On some shows, an announcer says, "You're watching PBS". The music is orchestrated either with the standard strings-and-keyboard arrangement (for the blue version) or with a harp (for the magenta version).
  • Masterpiece: A variant appears on episodes of Masterpiece. Clips from episodes of the anthology series are shown over the blue background before the PBS logo appears as usual. The voiceover says, "Masterpiece, only on PBS." The music is played on strings and keyboards.
  • Antiques Roadshow: A variant appears on episodes of Antiques Roadshow. Clips from episodes are shown together over the amber background before the PBS logo appears as usual. The voiceover says, "Antiques Roadshow, only on PBS." The music is played on keyboards and guitar.
  • Public Affairs: A variant appears on episodes of Frontline and Washington Week, as well as on the special America After Charleston. Depicted over the blue background, in chronological order, are the late (and great) Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Hari Sreenivasan, and Charlie Rose, before the PBS logo appears as usual. The voiceover is the same as on the generic variants. The music is orchestrated in a hard rock version.
  • Generic (We'll Be Right Back): As with the previous logo, the generic logo (often using the blue or green version) is sometimes shown at the start of program breaks, with a voiceover saying, "This PBS program will return in a moment." The music is played either on strings and keyboards (for the green version) or in an electronic arrangement (for the blue version).

FX/SFX: Same as the 8th logo.

Music/Sounds/Voice-over: A 5-note tune, created by music company Expansion Team. Like the eighth logo, the same tune is always used, but is rearranged for some variants and has a different voice-over.

Availability: Currently in use on most PBS first-run shows. The variants are used randomly, as with the previous logos, on many programs, including Nova and This Old House; however, on certain programs you can always expect to see the following variants:

  • Rubik's Cube: Seen at the end of American Masters and in rotation at the end of Vicious.
  • Spacesuit: Seen at the end of Charlie Rose: The Week and The Brain with David Eagleman.
  • Doodling Pad: Seen at the end of Earth's Natural Wonders.
  • Stargazing: Seen at the end of Hometime.
  • Guitarist: Seen at the end of Washington Week (until July 24, 2015), To the Contrary, most episodes of Austin City Limits, and Bluegrass Underground. Also seen at the end of concerts broadcast on PBS.
  • Generations: Seen at the end of Tavis Smiley and The Civil War.
  • Orchestra: Seen at the end of some current episodes of Austin City Limits.
  • Supermarket: Seen at the end of A Chef's Life and The Great British Baking Show.
  • Generic (Blue): Seen at the end of PBS NewsHour and in rotation at the end of Vicious.
  • Generic (Magenta): Seen at the end of Charlie Rose following the 2012 election and in rotation at the end of Vicious.

Editor's Note: While this logo is almost a decade old, its many variants over the years have kept it fresh.

12th Logo (November 4, 2019-October 3, 2021)[]

Nickname: "21st Century PBS", "50 Years of PBS"

Logo:

  • Selfies: A man and his girlfriend take a selfie together and walk down a wooded path. Debuted on November 4, 2019, at 8:56 PM ET
  • Nature Walk: A woman is in a forest. She grabs onto a leaf on a tree, lets go of it and stares at it in awe. It cuts to another shot of her opening a notebook with a sketch of a leaf. Then it fades to another shot of the woman sitting down while the PBS logo and the letters come out from left side of the logo and shifts to the right. Debuted on November 4, 2019, at 10:56 PM ET; extended version debuted on November 6, 2019, at 8:56 PM ET.
  • Backyard Party: TBA. Debuted on November 5, 2019, at 8:56 PM ET; extended version debuted on November 6, 2019, at 9:56 PM ET.
  • Kayaking: TBA. Debuted on November 6, 2019, at 8:56 PM ET; extended version debuted on November 7, 2019, at 8:56 PM ET.
  • All-American Memories: TBA. Debuted on November 12, 2019, at 8:56 PM ET; extended version debuted on November 6, 2019, at 9:56 PM ET.
  • Guitar Lesson: TBA. Debuted on November 9, 2019, at 11:56 PM ET; extended version debuted on November 8, 2019, at 11:56 PM ET.
  • Cooking: TBA. Debuted on November 9, 2019, at 4:56 PM ET; extended version debuted on November 10, 2019, at 11:00 PM ET.
  • Gaming: TBA. Debuted on November 30, 2019, at 1:56 PM ET.
  • Family Dinner: TBA. Debuted on December 13, 2019, at 8:56 PM ET.
  • Planetarium: TBA. Debuted on December 22, 2019, at 8:56 PM ET; extended version debuted on January 6, 2020, at 1:56 AM ET.
  • Dancing: A hip hop dance troupe performs at a small-town auditorium, to great applause. Debuted on January 1, 2020, at 5:56 AM ET.
  • Generic: The P-Head circle zooms out against a PBS blue background and slides to the left, with PBS appearing in white, in the PBS Sans font, to the right. Debuted on November 9, 2019, at 6:26 PM ET.

Opening Variant: Same as the generic variant, except somewhat quicker. On some programs, the logo will animate in reverse, with the opening shot of the program fading in within the P-head's eye.

Trivia: This logo incorporates elements of the 1971, 1992, 2002, and 2009 logos, with emphasis on blues, live-action variants, and a quick zoom-out through the eye of the P-head.

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds/Voiceover:

  • Selfies: An upbeat piano rendition of the 2009 logo's theme. A male voice says, "You're watching PBS."
  • Nature Walk: A piano piece followed by a guitar rendition of the 2009 logo's theme. A male voice says, "You're watching PBS."
  • Backyard Party: Same as Nature Walk. The extended version has the sound of a dog barking at the start.
  • Kayaking: Same as Nature Walk.
  • All-American Memories: A held synth chord followed by a synth rendition of the 2009 logo's theme. A male voice says, "You're watching PBS."
  • Guitar Lesson: Same as Nature Walk.
  • Cooking: Same as Nature Walk.
  • Gaming: Same as Selfies.
  • Family Dinner: Same as Selfies.
  • Planetarium: An orchestrated version of the Selfies/Gaming/Family Dinner variant with violins and brass instruments. A male voice says, "You're watching PBS."
  • Dancing: Same as Selfies, but with the sound of applause at the end.
  • Generic: Same as Planetarium, but extended at the start with the first six notes of the Selfies/Gaming/Family Dinner variant. When used for intermissions, the voice instead says, "This PBS program will return in a moment." This intermission variant debuted on November 14, 2019.

Opening Variant: Just the modified 2009 theme (C-D-G-F#-power chord D).

Availability: Formally announced on November 4, 2019, it debuted later that night on Antiques Roadshow's Extraordinary Finds and likely replaced the 2009 logo over the next year. The opening variant debuted on Independent Lens, and the intermission variant debuted between the This Old House episode "Westerly: The Doors" and the Ask This Old House episode "Switch, Affordable Geothermal" as part of the November 14, 2019 edition of The This Old House Hour. The 2020 rebroadcast of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History used the previous logo instead, though the extended bumpers appear among the post-episode content.

Editor's Note: A new modernization of the PBS logo for the digital age, and the first since the 1971 logo to not use serifs in its identity. However, the corporate brand unification the company has been pushing with this logo and the design itself seems to be garnering less favorable (initial) reactions compared to previous logos. Time will only tell if the community will warm up to this logo.

13th Logo (October 4, 2021-)[]

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Special idents[]

America's Home for Documentaries[]

(June 11, 2020-present)[]

Logo: Similar to the generic variant of the 2019 logo, but the P-head zooms out a bit farther back and closer to the top edge of the screen, the byline "America's Home for Documentaries" appears below, and the blue background is translucent, with an Asian woman operating a camera behind it.

Variant: There are three known different cropping variants of the footage behind the blue, one of which only shows the camera. There is also a variant with a red-headed Anglo woman operating the camera.

FX/SFX: Same as the generic variant of the 2019 logo, plus the camera moving behind everything.

Music/Sounds: Same as the All-American Memories variant of the 2019 logo. A voiceover says, "You're watching PBS, America's home for documentaries."

Availability: First appeared on the 2020 rebroadcast of The National Parks: America's Best Idea. Currently appears on new broadcasts of The American Experience, as well as on some episodes of NOVA. The second episode of Benjamin Franklin has this, but not the first. It may also appear on new broadcasts of Finding Your Roots.

Election IDs[]

1st Logo (1988)[]

Logo: On the blue background we see a "Election 88" text then the color blue and red then PBS text has a P-Head purple and blue fades in.

FX/SFX: The P-Head fades in.

Music/Sounds: A new orchestral tune similar to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA."

Availability: Extinct. Seen on programming centering around the 1988 Presidential election.

2nd logo (1992)[]

Logo: We see American flag layers waving. A blue background with a circular hole fades in as it zooms out, revealing itself to be a P-Head. As it continues to zoom out, it starts to move to the left as the number 9 appears to the right from behind. The word "ELECTION", in a gold serif font, starts appearing from the center between the P-Head and 9 as the flag stripes move in both vertical directions to reveal a light blue/yellow gradient background, and then two of the stripes move back up, zooming out as the bottom stripe turns blue. Finally, a red split emerges from behind the P-Head, and a red 2 from behind 9, both from the right.

FX/SFX: The flag stripes and zoom-outs, as well as the slides.

Music/Sounds: A brass/strings fanfare that wouldn't sound out of place on a news program.

Availability: Extinct. Seen on programming centering around the 1992 Presidential election.

3rd logo (1996)[]

TBA

4th logo (2000)[]

TBA

5th logo (2004)[]

Nickname: "By the People"

Logo: On a purple background, "By the People" fades in with lines drawing in above and below, then it appears in the middle of the screen, now with the text "Election 2004". The PBS logo animates next to it. The website URL fades in.

FX/SFX: The lines drawing.

Music/Sounds: The standard music for the 8th regular logo, with a male announcer saying, "This is PBS."

Availability: Extinct. Seen on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, among other programs which covered the 2004 Presidential election.

6th logo (2008)[]

TBA

7th logo (2012)[]

Logo: TBA

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: Extinct. Seen on Charlie Rose, among other programs which covered the 2016 Presidential election.

8th logo (July 15-November 8, 2016)[]

Logo: TBA

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds: A soft fanfare, with a male voiceover saying, "Reliable. Balanced. Real. Election 2016 on PBS."

Availability: Extinct. Seen on Charlie Rose, among other programs which covered the 2016 Presidential election.

9th logo (December 19, 2019-December 25, 2020)[]

Logo: TBA

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds: The 2001 ITV News theme.

Availability: Appeared on election-themed programming for nearly a year, including PBS NewsHour, Washington Week, Amanpour and Company, Frontline, and American Experience. Debuted on PBS NewsHour's 2020 Democratic debate special and made its last regular appearance on PBS NewsHour's Biden victory special. The last program to show this logo was the Christmas 2020 edition of Washington Week.

Editor's Note: It's next to no surprise that this logo is PBS's longest-lasting election-themed logo, due to the long-lasting circumstances surrounding the 2020 election.

History's Best[]

(November 2, 1998-September 5, 1999)[]

History's Best on PBS

Logo: On a white background, historic images zoom out and black numbers zoom in. An outline of a white circle zooms out very fast and then changes into the PBS P-Head inside a gold circle on the right and the historical images fade out. Finally, the numbers transform into the word "PBS" on the left.

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: Still retained on History's Best episodes on VHS, such as "Hoover Dam: The Making of a Monument."

PBS Arts[]

1st logo (2011-December 12, 2014)[]

Logo: Against a purple/magenta background, an orange circle forms itself in watercolor in the center of the screen, followed by a pink circle to its left and a blue circle to its right. "PBS arts", with PBS in magenta, fades in within the orange circle, and the Circle P-Head forms itself to the left. The URL "pbs.org/arts" fades in below.

FX/SFX: The circles forming themselves.

Music/Sounds: A guitar piece.

Availability: Seen on old PBS Arts programs. Its last known sighting was on the Live from Lincoln Center episode "Curtain Up: The School of American Ballet Workshop."

2nd logo (2013-2014)[]

Logo: TBA

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds: A brass fanfare.

Availability: Seen on Pennsylvania Ballet Celebrates 50 Years.

3rd logo (2014-October 2, 2015)[]

Logo: Against a white background, objects resembling glass curtains part, revealing the Circle P-Head with "PBS | ARTS" to the right. PBS is in the usual font. Below is the URL "pbs.org/arts" and, to the right, the Twitter hashtag "#PBSarts".

FX/SFX: The glass curtains parting.

Music/Sounds: A brass fanfare.

Availability: Seen during the 2014-15 PBS Arts season. It last appeared on a rebroadcast of In Performance at the White House honoring songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

4th logo (October 9, 2015-2016)[]

Logo: The camera tracks through a colorful environment full of decorations and 2D sculptures of various performers. At the end, the PBS Arts logo is revealed.

Variant: An abbreviated version appears at the end of programs.

FX/SFX: Just the decorations and their minimal movements.

Music/Sounds: A Latino-flavored fanfare with a choir and strings.

Availability: Seen on PBS Arts programs from 2015-16.

5th logo (October 21, 2016-October 31, 2019; August 7, 2020)[]

Logo: TBA

Variant: Same as the previous logo.

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds: A hip-hop tune with orchestral hits.

Availability: Seen on 2016-2019 PBS Arts programs. First seen on Hamilton's America, and last seen on a partial rebroadcast of Soundbreaking, having been officially retired by the start of the 2019 fall season. It was later preserved on a 2020 rebroadcast of the Great Performances episode "In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams."

PBS Indies[]

(2013-October 28, 2019)[]

Logo: TBA

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds/Voiceovers: An abridged version of the 2010 CPB music. At the end of programs, a voiceover says, "PBS, your home for independent film."

Availability: Seen on current episodes of Independent Lens and POV.

PBS Stories of Service[]

(2014-present)[]

Logo: TBA

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds/Voiceovers: A solemn yet uplifting brass fanfare which sounds like the first notes of "Taps." At the end of programs, a voiceover says, "This is PBS."

Availability: Seen on military-themed programming on PBS. Oddly enough, the opening and closing variants switch places on Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History.

Think Wednesday[]

(April 9, 2014-October 30, 2019)[]

Logo: TBA

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds/Voiceovers: A new-age rock tune. A voiceover says, "Think Wednesday, think PBS."

Availability: Seen at the end of The Mystery of Matter, as well as first-run episodes of Earth's Natural Wonders, Nova, and The Brain with David Eagleman, among other programs on the Think Wednesday block, all exclusively during the primetime broadcasts (save for The Mystery of Matter, which used only this logo at the end).

Veterans Day[]

1st logo (2001-2003)[]

Logo:TBA

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds/Voiceovers: An inspirational orchestral tune, with an announcer saying either "This is Veterans Day, only on PBS" or "You're watching Veterans Day on PBS."

Availability: Seen at the end of PBS documentaries.

2nd logo (2003-November 8, 2006)[]

Logo: TBA

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds: A 10 note orchestra fanfare which is part of the stock Warner-Chappell Production Music library, with Bob Boving announcing "This is Veterans Day on PBS". Sometimes, a different voiceover says "You're watching Veterans Day on PBS".

Availability: Seen on American Masters episodes of the era. It also appeared on rebroadcasts of American Masters Veterans Day episodes of the era.

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