Take this dazzling tour of rarely seen official art that captures the essence of classic TV shows

From Taxi to Wagon Train, these artworks are a trip!

Images: The Everett Collection

Most TV and movie fans are familiar with concept art, which depicts the vision a creator has for a project, but you may not be as familiar with the concept of key art. That's the image that emerges once a show's concept has been firmed up, and a lot of work goes into it, so that in just one image, anyone can see exactly what your TV show will be all about. 

The key art is primarily used internally to direct all the marketing of new shows, so before you turned on The Brady Bunch or Bonanza, these were the images passed between artists on set to make sure the vibe of each show was always in sync with its creator's vision.

For that reason, these pieces are also rarely seen by the public, which is why key art from classic TV resonates on a whole other level with fans. These true masterpieces capture the essence of classic shows, whether it's Wagon Train or Taxi, expect each piece to be a total trip.

That makes classic TV's key art both a total treasure and an extra wonder, which you'll see for yourself as you tour these dazzling selections below:

The Everett CollectionThe Brady Bunch

The Everett CollectionCaptain Kangaroo

The Everett CollectionThe Dick Van Dyke Show

The Everett CollectionBonanza

The Everett CollectionBonanza

The Everett CollectionTaxi

The Everett CollectionThe Lucy Show

The Everett CollectionBuck Rogers in the 25th Century

The Everett CollectionBattlestar Galactica

The Everett CollectionMork & Mindy

The Everett CollectionThe Banana Splits

The Everett CollectionFantasy Island

The Everett CollectionPolice Woman

The Everett CollectionWagon Train

Did you have a favorite? Tell us in the comments!

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Wiseguy 2 months ago
Dick Van Dyke himself did better caricatures of the cast.
lcbob 2 months ago
Wonderful! Does MeTV have access to this key art via syndication rights or was this collection assembled in another way? So great, esp. Taxi and Mork & Mindy!
Lacey 2 months ago
A couple of these I have seen before, mainly on soundtrack albums.
Others look like book covers for novelizations of the show.
These are great and thank you for sharing.
MarcSoules 2 months ago
Nice exhibit, but not really "key art". Bonanza would have included Adam, the eldest son, who left in the sixth season. Also, Captain Kangaroo would have shown the Captain and Mr. Green Jeans much younger, and probably wouldn't have included Cosmo Allegretti, who was behind-the-scenes for many years initially.
MarcSoules MarcSoules 2 months ago
Also, the Banana Splits art is not from the original series, but a promo for the Boomerang Network, which didn't even exist until 22 years after the Banana Splits' last episode.
SheilaMalone 2 months ago
For me it was a toss up between Bonanza and Battle Star Galactica! I was way to old to have watched any cartoons in color and my daughters favorite show was Battle Star Galactica which is how I started watching it.
Rick 2 months ago
Just so fantastic!
Thank you
DaleGarland 2 months ago
Liked the Bonanza images a lot, but I loved the Taxi image the most. Especially the goofy expression on Latka/Andy Kaufman.
DuanneWalton 2 months ago
The Banana Splits picture looks more like a promo for NBC's Saturday morning lineup. You can see The Grump and his dragon from "Here Comes The Grump."
MarcSoules DuanneWalton 2 months ago
Close... It's from an advert for Boomerang Network. Certainly not "key art", though. http://enchantedworldofrankinbass.blogspot.com/2009_07_12_archive.html
EricFuller 2 months ago
Heckle and Jeckle wasn't part of the Banana Splits.
ErinFencil 2 months ago
Those are fantastic; I really love the designs of the Captain Kangaroo and Banana Splits key art. The latter reminds me of the back-cover design for Little Golden Books, with the characters riding a train. The goofy expressions on the kids watching are the best!
MrsPhilHarris 2 months ago
Love the one for The Banana Splits. The DVD one is a bit off.
Lantern 2 months ago
These could have doubled as TV Guide covers!
JudithReboy 2 months ago
It seems a little strange that the Lucy depicted in The Lucy Show artwork looks like Lucy Ricardo, not Lucy Carmichael. Note the hairstyle.
Pacificsun JudithReboy 2 months ago
I like the blend. She was iconic in every role.
micjaxn JudithReboy 2 months ago
Great observation. My take is that since the first episode of the "The Lucy Show" aired about 5 years after the final "I Love Lucy" episode, the network, attempting to ensure success for her new show, may have been trying to associate the new show with the previous one -- "Look: it's the same Lucy you loved in "I Love Lucy" but in a new show." Nostalgia for what is now nostalgia!
Joe 2 months ago
Actually, they're ALL great in the way each artist captured the characters for the year it was presented and purpose. But particularly love Captain Kangaroo, Taxi and the Hanna-Barbera-theme specifically for The Banana Splits.
stephaniestavropoulos 2 months ago
If I had to pick a favorite, {and they were all interesting and fun to see,} it would have the be HANNA BARBERA. [ The Banana Splits.]I would like to point out an error in one of the drawings: Bonanza. Joe Ben and Hoss are all holding their guns in the wrong hands.
The way Angie Dickinson is drawn, to me it doesn't look like her. I know it's supposed to be her, I'm just not seeing that.} As for Laura Petrie [alias Mary Tyler Moore:] I know with the drawing of caricatures, the drawing is supposed to be exaggerated, but to me {and I know I'm probably way off, I just calls 'em as I sees 'em!} she has a little bit of a resemblance to Martha Raye!
Good call. I had to go back and look at all of them! You sure are right about the Cartrights. Only Landon was left handed (according to the online image. Although I appreciate artists very much, I thought the DVD Show caricatures were a bit harsh, and didn't even recognize Amsterdam. Of course art is supposed to trigger our emotions, and if I were a Super-Brady Bunch fan, would like that picture very much. And I like the style of the second Bonanza picture; I've seen the same style picture completed for another classic TV show.
MaryMitch Pacificsun 2 months ago
The first Bonanza picture might have been flipped; I've seen this before in some Bonanza promo shots. Everyone in the picture is shown left-handed except for Joe.

I've seen the 2nd picture before; I think it was used on the promos for the "Ride the Wind" movie released in the UK (the Season 7 two-part episode about the Pony Express.)
I agree about Laura Petrie! I think it’s the mouth. I wonder if prints of these are available. I love the Fantasy Island one!
DaleGarland MaryMitch 2 months ago
Good catch on Joe. I already had the 2nd image in my Favorite TV shows screensaver images folder.
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