Mark VII Limited

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The hand holding the stamp in this picture belongs to Jack Webb, adding a personal touch to his company's logo. (The logo is a moving image with sound, of which a still is displayed here.)
The Mark VII Limited logo as it appears in 1954.

Mark VII Limited was the production company of actor, producer, and director Jack Webb, and was active from 1951 to Webb's death in 1982. Many of its series were produced in association with Universal Television; most of them aired on the NBC television network in the U.S.

The Jack Webb estate now owns the rights to the library, with the exception of the original 1954 feature film version of Dragnet (originally released by Warner Bros., but now owned by Universal Pictures), and the films Pete Kelly's Blues and The D.I. (which are controlled by original distributor Warner Bros.).

However, Webb's three seminal series, Dragnet (the 1967–1970 incarnation), Emergency!, and Adam-12, are now available on DVD from either Universal or Shout! Factory, the first two under license from the Webb estate, the latter in-house since Universal was reassigned the Adam-12 series copyright. The Me-TV and Antenna TV Television Networks also air episodes of the Mark VII Limited shows.

Programs produced by Mark VII[edit]

All series aired on NBC except as noted.

Mark VII's final production was The 25th Man, an unsold television pilot that aired on NBC in 1982.

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Mark VII Limited had a famous production logo attached to the end of its productions. The logo, in use in one form or another for much of the company's existence, consisted of Jack Webb's hands holding a hammer and a stamp against a sheet of metal. As a timpani roll played, he struck two blows on the stamp and then moved his hands to reveal the Roman numeral VII indented into the sheet.

The origin of the name "Mark VII" is obscure. One source said the name meant nothing, and that it was made up over coffee one day.[1] Others say Webb just liked the look of the roman numerals.

The Mark VII production logo is one of the more recognizable logos of its time and has become iconic, with many instances of filmmakers and production companies paying homage to it in various ways, most notably Williams Street Productions of Adult Swim/Cartoon Network programming, whose logo utilizes the same drumroll/hammer clinks soundtrack seen on the 1967 Mark VII logo. The Mark VII Limited logo was also spoofed at the end the 1954 Woody Woodpecker cartoon Under The Counter Spy. In this spoof, the man accidentally hits his thumb with the hammer and yells "OUCH!", then pulls the hammer away to reveal the ending title card. The man's voice was supplied by Daws Butler. Gunther-Wahl Productions used a similar card at the end of its cartoons.

The logo was remade multiple times during the companies history. It is reported the early logos featured Jack Webb's hands but the later logos featured Ivan Martin's. Ivan was the director of studio operations for 20th Century Fox at the time of his retirement but worked in the studio's Visual Effects Department during the production of the logos.

Filmmaker Spike Lee uses an homage to this famous logo in the logo for his own production company 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks. In addition, the sound of the hammer striking the stamp was used in the intro to the WWE Entrance music of wrestler Greg "The Hammer" Valentine.

See also[edit]

Williams Street

External links[edit]