Showtime is an American premium cable and satellite television channel that serves as the flagship of the Showtime Networks subsidiary of CBS Corporation. It primarily broadcasts its own films and television series. It also aired shows like Twin Peaks and Dexter. For many years, it had contracts to air boxing matches, which attracted a fan base. It also has an online service available for a small fee a month.
Meaning and History
The paid cable and satellite television channel Showtime was launched by Viacom in the US almost 50 years ago – in 1976. It was based on cable networks owned by the Times-Mirror Company. In 1981, Showtime switched to 24-hour broadcasting. The next year saw the premiere of Showtime’s first feature film, as well as its first original series and children’s program. Viacom renamed the company Showtime Networks, Inc. in 1988. Starting a couple of years earlier, it decided to compete with HBO and also show professional boxing. Almost forty years later, it was decided to stop broadcasting boxing matches and other content produced by the Showtime Sports team. This decision was announced as part of the restructuring of its activities. Paramount retained its sports division at CBS Sports, which features the NFL, college football and basketball, and other live events. Other changes were announced earlier in 2022 when Paramount Global was considering merging cable TV Showtime with streaming Paramount+, offering consumers a combined online TV option in an attempt to unify audiences. The management was even considering the possibility of closing the Showtime television channel. All content from the TV channel was planned to be transferred to the Paramount+ platform. According to the publication’s interlocutors, the relatively small Showtime channel is becoming increasingly difficult to compete for viewers with larger players like Netflix and Amazon, as well as with a number of new platforms. The time will show if Showtime will keep writing it history.
What is Showtime?
Showtime is the second most popular premium cable channel after HBO. The content consists of films and original series, broadcasting boxing fights, mixed martial arts, comedy shows, and stand-up comedy. At various times, it aired popular TV series, including Californication, Masters of Horror, Homeland, Dexter, Twin Peaks (2017), and Billions.
1976 – 1980
From the very beginning, the company went for a rather simple logo design that mainly consisted of its name. In the original version, it uses bold strokes and rounded serifs. These thick lines, wide serifs, and close spacing of the letter created an image of a confident and professional organization. The black color and minimalistic design did not limit the channel in the content they could show.
1979 – 1985
The serifs were gone and now the letters were white and featured a black outline as well as a relatively long black shadow. A reserved font choice was accompanied by black splashes. It almost appeared as if the emblem was part of a crime scene. The designers might also simply wanted to give it a worn-out look to show that this is not a brand new company. There is surely a lot of mystery in this version. It should be noted that this logo was always used alongside other versions – first the original and later a new one presented in 1981. Typically, it appeared during promos.
1981 – 1990
There is something visually appealing and at the same time authoritative about this version. The company still stayed true to the original color palette and used only caps to print its name. The characters were italicized and closely spaced together to ensure that the line was not too long and to create a more cohesive look. The letter “T” even slightly overlapped the previous one to separate the two parts of the name. This time, the designers also added a black circle to the right, it had a black rectangular shape with rounded corners and a thin white outline to allow it to stand out. The latter was likely a symbol for a TV screen, which is more than appropriate for a cable channel.
1990 – 1997
The previous version was used almost for ten years before it was replaced by this one. The black color was replaced by a dark red that not only instantly caught the attention but also looked daring and strong. The round emblem was gone, but the company kept the same font. Although there were only a few modifications, there is a striking difference between the two logos.
1997 – Today
The company decided to bring back the circle, but now it was red and placed behind the first three characters in the name. The latter were don in contrasting white and slightly went beyond the round shape, so a portion of the letters blended with the white background. The designers used a font from the same font family but the letters are no longer italicized, which creates a significant difference.
Font and Color
The original font has a striking resemblance with Goudy Heavyface SH Condensed by Scangraphic Digital Type Collection. The font choice from 1979 would look like a basic sans-serif font with an outline that gives a shadow or three-dimensional appearance. However, there are splashes all over, which gives it a mysterious and even horror look. The logo introduced in 1981 as well as its updated version uses an italicized, bold font without serifs that resembles Fuller Sans DT Black Italic font or Franklin Gothic Heavy Italic font. The font in the latest logo is closer to Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed.
For almost fifteen years, the company stuck with a black-and-white color scheme for this TV channel. It was not only a safe and classic choice, but also a color that is used to symbolize power, dominance, and formality. It was later replaced by red which stands for strength and creates energy and excitement.