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Mark VII logo 1953(1).jpg
Mark VII logo 1953(2).jpg

Mark VII Limited was the production company of actor, producer, and director Jack Webb, and was active from 1951 to 1979. Many of its series were produced in association with Universal Television; most of them aired on the NBC television network in the U.S.

Although Mark VII closed down in 1979, 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 Brothers, but now owned by Universal Pictures), and the films Pete Kelly's Blues and The D.I. (which are controlled by original distributor Warner Brothers). This explains why most of Webb's series are rarely seen on television today.

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. All four seasons of Dragnet (1967 to 1970), seasons one through four of Adam-12, and seasons one through four of Emergency! may be seen on-line at NBC Universal and News Corporation's hulu.com. The Retro Television Network also airs episodes of the Mark VII Limited shows.

Programs produced by Mark VII

The Mark VII production logo depicted a pair of grimy, sweaty hands working on a silver sheet of metal, holding a stamp in place and hitting it twice (and, in later years, once) with a hammer while a drum roll sounded. When the hands and tools pull away, a "VII" is seen imprinted on the metal. Above the Roman numeral in white is the word "MARK," and below "LIMITED." The hands were later revealed to be those of Jack Webb himself. There are several different variations of this logo.

The tag has been widely parodied and imitated:

  • Director Spike Lee's 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks is similar, replacing the "VII" with the 40 Acres logo.
  • The soundtrack (the drum roll and the two clinks of the hammer) is used today in the logo for productions of Cartoon Network's Williams Street.
  • In the Pinky and the Brain episode Welcome to the Jungle, a similar logo appears at the end of Brain's student film.
  • The soundtrack was also used at the beginning of the entrance theme of WWE wrestler Greg "The Hammer" Valentine.
  • In the beginning of The Simpsons Halloween Episode Treehouse of Horror XV
  • At the very end of the 1954 Woody Woodpecker short Under The Counter Spy, the person stamping "the end" on a sheet of metal accidentally strikes his thumb with the hammer and yells out in pain.
  • At the end of the Family Matters episode "Crazier For You (Part 2)," following mugshots of Laura Winslow, Myra Monkhouse, and Steve Urkel, two big hands (presumably those of Reginald VelJohnson) are seen stamping a Family Matters logo onto a metal sheet in the style of Jack Webb, immediately preceding the logos of Bickley-Warren Productions and Miller-Boyett Productions.
  • At the very end of The Three Stooges film "Blunder Boys," Moe gets mad at Larry for throwing dirt at him and does the same thing to Larry. Then, he hits him with his shovel, grabs a stamp, and stamps Larry's forehead with a hammer. Larry's forehead reads, "VII 1/2 The End".
  • At the end of the Dick Van Dyke Show episode entitled "The Cat Burglar" Rob Petrie asks a detective what code the police use to signify the solving of a case, and he mentions "Mark VII". The detective replies the police say "The case is solved".
  • The audio from its production logo is currently being used in Williams Street's production logo.

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