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Framed Face Opening

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Tonight, starring The Fonz!

An opening sequence where the cast is shown with their faces in squares, circles, or other shapes. The main point is to help familiarize the viewers with the faces of the characters.

This is hardly ever seen these days, as you can get the same effect by just showing full shots of the cast in the credits, and many shows now don't even have an opening sequence at all, just running the credits in the first few minutes.

Compare Video Credits.


  • The Adventures of Superboy framed the cast members' faces inside a silver S-shield pentagon in the 2nd version of the first season opening. It was dropped from the 2nd season onward.
  • America's Top 10: The opening sequence is consisted of a rotating blue, round neon frame, featuring a shot of Casey Kasem inside the frame.
  • Angie utilizes this during the first season. The cast pop in one at a time in a circle overlooking Philadelphia.
  • Archie: A seizure-inducing circle outline (representing a spotlight, perhaps) pans across to present the stars of the show.
  • Used in Australia Youre Standing In It as the opening for "The Average Family" sketches (in a parody of The Brady Bunch).
  • One season of Babylon 5 did this with characters' heads inside jump points.
  • The Big Valley: The first two seasons introduced the characters in soft-bordered ovals.
  • The Brady Bunch: The whole gang is seen in 9 segmented squares.
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
  • Pastiched in the vintage-style opening credits for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Once More, With Feeling".
  • Cannon: The Title Sequence in general revolves around a series of dots and circles, of which one is used as the O in the series logo with the title character inside. As it zooms up, the still image becomes a live shot of the main character, followed by a montage of that week's guest cast as the circle changes color.
  • Diff'rent Strokes utilized this literally during the show's 8th season, with the cast members presented in actual picture frames.
  • Dallas: The more notable title sequence in the series consists of 3 vertical shots of each cast member.
  • Dynasty (1981): A water fountain motif is used for this series' opening sequence. A segment of lines rise up and retract down to reveal each cast member inside a rectangular cut out.
  • Doctor Who uses a variation of this where the Doctor's face, in full center view, is incorporated into nearly every one of the show's title sequences (in one case, it was just his eyes).
  • The opening sequence for the first 3 seasons of Family had still photographs of the Lawrence Family in picture frames.
  • Speaking of, the 1985-1989 sequence for Family Ties also utilized this unique style, using photographs of the Keaton family in picture frames.
  • Gilligan's Island: The castaways are presented in a boat steering wheel, with the S.S. Minnow as its backdrop.
  • The Great Space Coaster: The opening sequence was tweaked by season 4 with the rainbow portal serving as a backdrop for presenting the Space Coaster gang (all of whom appear in a circle cut-out) and to introduce The Huggles.
  • Gunsmoke: The central characters were shown inside oval cut-outs which zoomed in over a shot of Dodge City. This was used from 1965 to 1974.
  • Happy Days: The cast is introduced over a spinning vinyl record playing on a jukebox.
  • The Hawaii Five-0 revival.
  • Hotel: This series has two sets of framed face montages. The main cast roster is shown inside a large oval mirror, while the guest stars are presented over a framed glass window motif.
  • Knight Rider: The first season featured a montage of the main characters played through K.I.T.T.'s monitor screen.
  • Lost in Space (the color episodes): Several shapes formulate and reveal each of the characters by two. This was used only during the 1967-1968 season.
  • Love, American Style had several, like this example. Each intro featured stills of that week's cast inside a red-outlined heart motif.
  • The Love Boat: The guest cast for each episode was seen in a porthole motif (1978-1985) or a wave motif (1985-1986).
  • Lupin III: Part II: The first opening sequence featured a boxed iris-in of Lupin and the gang, each in alternating colors. The Japanese version showed both the characters' names and those of their respective seiyuu together; while the English dub simply credits the characters, not their voice actors.
  • Makin' It!: The characters of the show appear encircled in front of a disco ball.
  • Mama's Family: The opening credits used framed still photos of the main cast members. The picture frames were on display in various places in Mama's living room.
  • Mannix: The main character appears in a square rectangle surrounded by smaller rectangles and squares representing computer punch card patterns.
  • Match Game: The '70s and 2016 incarnations featured an opening sequence in which the celebrity panelists were keyed in over a rotating rounded rectangle.
  • Matt Houston: Each character appears in a static shot inside a box cutout over a black screen.
  • Mission: Impossible (the original series): The opening sequence shows the characters in cut-out sections of letters from the word "MISSION." The letter O is book-ended for Peter Graves (Steven Hill in the first season) and Peter Lupus.
  • The Rat Patrol: The second season featured the characters inside rapid zooming ovals over various action shots of combat.
  • The Rookies: This one has the characters inside part of a canvas with their names taking up much of the border space as seen here. The inner part of the montage pulsates red throughout.
  • Search: Featured shots of the characters inside circles and some other elliptical shapes.
  • Star Search: The guest judges and contestants of the week were presented inside a star, ironically speaking.
  • Step by Step had something similar, with photo booth reels.
  • The Streets of San Francisco: this opening title sequence has Detectives Stone and Keller over a blocky splotch design. Said design was also used for the guest cast montage.
  • The original opening credits of Tetangga Masa Gitu introduces the four main characters this way: within a circle and with a ribbon spelling out their actor's name. It was quickly discarded and changed to an opening that shows each couple's activities, with a speech bubble showing their actor's name this time.
  • Many 80's Toku series have scenes in the opening where it freezeframes on one of the characters then shrinks the image into a box to show the character and actors' names below it: for example, here is the opening for Dengeki Sentai Changeman that does this.
  • The Japanese cop dramas Key Hunter and G-Men '75 were rather fond of this. In fact, the Key Hunter opening has the "nine segmented squares with the characters in them" gimmick from The Brady Bunch... one year before the latter aired!
  • Vega$ featured a montage of the cast "letterboxed" over stock footage of the Las Vegas strip.
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (the color episodes) featured stock footage of the two main characters as seen from a radar screen.


Video Example(s):


"Holiday Special" Credits

The cast of the holiday special is rattled off.

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Example of:

Main / FramedFaceOpening

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