Friday, December 28, 2007

Mystery TV Themes: HART TO HART

Spotlighting the great themes from mystery/crime TV shows ...

HART TO HART
For five seasons (1979-84) and several TV movies in the 1990s, Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers starred as millionaire husband-and-wife amateur sleuths Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, aided by their trusted employee Max and their faithful dog Freeway. The series was created by Sidney Sheldon and got a creative boost from the writer/director talents of creative consultant Tom Mankiewicz.

The catchy theme was created by Mark Snow, whose credits also include T.J. Hooker and The X-Files. In an interview with ASCAP, Snow said of his early work: "I listen now to things I did before—like the Hart To Hart theme—and it's painful! This wah-wah guitar, fours on the bass drum and a disco beat..."

HART TO HART on DVD
Season One
Season Two

Episodes of HART TO HART available FREE online at AOLIn2TV
HART TO HART summary, episode guide and more at TV.com
Hart To Hart DVD news at TVShowsOnDVD.com

Mark Snow bio at Encore: The Ultimate Mark Snow Site

The Mystery Site reviews HART TO HART: The Complete First Season
TVDVDreviews HART TO HART: The Complete First Season

OPENING CREDITS


Hart aber Herzlich (German Intro)


More themes:
LONE RANGER
MAGICIAN
MANNIX
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE
MONK

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mystery TV Themes: BATMAN (1966)

Spotlighting the great themes from mystery/crime TV shows ...

BATMAN (1966)
With its colorful BAM! ZOW! approach, this swingin' Sixties vision of the Dark Knight was a camp parody of the Batman mythos, owing little to the dark pulp origins of the character, created in the 1930s and inspired by masked vigilantes The Shadow and The Spider. (My comics friends may never forgive me for featuring it.)

The oft-copied, oft-parodied snazzy theme song was written by Neal Hefti, an important composer and arranger of the big band bebop era who went on to write for film and TV in the 1960s and '70s. Hefti began arranging professionally in his teens, and went on to work as trumpeter, composer and arranger for the likes of Woody Herman, Count Basie, and Frank Sinatra. In the '50s, Hefti led a big band of his own, which featured wife Frances on vocals.

Working with film and TV in the 1960s, Hefti's credits include How to Murder Your Wife, Barefoot in the Park -- and the original film The Odd Couple. The score for the latter was repeated for the classic sitcom, which ran from 1970-1975.

BATMAN (1966) on TVGuide.com
THE ODD COUPLE (1970) on TVGuide.com

BATMAN (1966) episode guide, summary at TV.com
THE ODD COUPLE (1970) episode guide, summary on TV.com

BATMAN (1966) DVD news at TVShowsOnDVD.com
THE ODD COUPLE (1970) DVD news at TVShowsOnDVD.com

BATMAN OPENING CREDITS


THE ODD COUPLE OPENING CREDITS


More themes:
BONES
CAPTAIN AMERICA
CHARLIE'S ANGELS
CHECKMATE
DAN AUGUST
HARDY BOYS / NANCY DREW MYSTERIES
HART TO HART
IT TAKES A THIEF
JUDD, FOR THE DEFENSE
KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mystery TV Themes: BARNEY MILLER

Spotlighting the great themes from mystery/crime TV shows ...

July 19, 1975BARNEY MILLER
A half-hour series that regularly mixed comedy with drama, the ABC series Barney Miller (1975-82) was set in a New York City police station. According to TV.com: "Captain Barney Miller and his officers fight crime in this humorous classic TV series. Captain Barney Miller is the consummate boss, earning the loyalty of the officers under him. The early shows featured scenes from Barney’s home life, but it was soon put on the back burner to emphasize the characters with whom he interacted at the twelfth precinct."

The iconic theme song was composed by Jack Elliott (who also created the similarly bass-heavy theme to Night Court). He also had a connection to "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" -- he did not write the opening theme, but the series was based on Elliott's family and its relationship with Fresh Prince creator Benny Medina. (1991 article from Ebony posted here.)


Barney Miller theme courtesy slackerup.com/TVThemes
Episode guide at TV.com
Barney Miller DVD news at TVShowsOnDVD.com

OPENING CREDITS


More themes:
BATMAN 1966 (w/ THE ODD COUPLE)
BONES
DRAGNET
EQUALIZER (w/ CALLAN)
GET SMART

Saturday, November 24, 2007

MANNIX to the max

MannixEven as TV shows come to DVD faster and faster, the Los Angeles Times felt the need to announce that classic '70s private eye series "Mannix" is still not headed to DVD. Now, I don't have a lot of firsthand memories of the series -- while there are many classic TV shows I have been able to watch via the twin miracles of reruns and DVD, "Mannix" is one I only know by reputation. (And, of course, the uber-cool opening credits.)

Meanwhile, author and TV writer/producer Lee Goldberg shares a story about the time he and his partner engineered a Mannix appearance on the '90s sleuth series "Diagnosis Murder."
This unique episode of "Diagnosis Murder" cleverly teams Mannix with his old friend Dr. Mark Sloan (Dick Van Dyke) to solve a murder case that the detective was unable to crack on his own series 24 years ago.

Scenes from the 1973 "Mannix" episode "Little Girl Lost" are used in flashback sequences. Pernell Roberts, Beverly Garland and Julie Adams, who were guest stars on the original episode, also appear.

"It's such a good idea," the jovial Van Dyke says between takes on the "Diagnosis Murder" hospital set in Van Nuys. "We weave the old show in so well with the flashbacks."
Read the whole story here.

Related links:
Q&A: LEE GOLDBERG
Mystery TV Themes: MANNIX
Diagnosis -- Murder!
Fiction and DVD Links (27 Feb 08)

Monday, May 14, 2007

CRIMINAL INTENT to USA net

According to Media Week's Programming Insider, spin-off Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been renewed for another full season -- which will play on cable network USA, owned by NBC Universal. Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU are also renewed at NBC for another season each.

Monday, April 9, 2007

RAINES

My lovely wife and I have been watching the new Jeff Goldblum mystery series, Raines, currently airing Friday nights on NBC.

Find all sorts of info at NBC.com/Raines. And here is an interview with Comic Book Resources regarding last week's comic book connection.

PREVIEW

Monday, March 5, 2007

Law & Order: Paris

The Wall Street Journal reports on a spin-off of Law & Order created especially for French viewers:
PARIS -- To create a French version of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," writers had to do much more than simply translate scripts from the hit TV show. They adapted scenes to reflect the Napoleonic legal code. They agonized over the set, trying to make it gritty like the American one, but also sleek, like modern Paris police stations. The French set designer cluttered desks with papers and trash, but built curving walls meant to evoke the feet of the Eiffel Tower. "We took out any reference to the mob," says writer Franck Ollivier. "We don't really have that here." He jokingly adds: "Unlike Americans, we are all nice people."
A preview of the show's opening credits (same theme, different actors):

Monday, February 26, 2007

The man behind ROCKFORD FILES

Mystery novelist and TV writer Lee Goldberg shares anecdotes about meeting TV producer Roy Huggins, who created such series as MAVERICK, THE FUGITIVE and ROCKFORD FILES. Lee also links to a video interview he conducted with Huggins shortly before his death: Interview with Roy Huggins

Related: Mystery TV Themes: The Rockford Files

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Mystery TV Themes: T.J. HOOKER

Spotlighting the great themes from mystery/crime TV shows ...

T.J. HOOKER
This cop series, which aired 1982-1986 on ABC and then CBS, starred William Shatner as a tough, no-nonsense uniformed police sergeant with a penchant for jumping on moving vehicles. When he wasn't training academy recruits, he was cleaning up the streets with his partner, rookie Vince Romano (Adrian Zmed). Other regulars on the beat included Officers Stacy Sheridan (Heather Locklear) and Jim Corrigan (James Darren).

The opening theme was composed by veteran Mark Snow, who has lent his talents to more than a hundred TV-movies, a dozen television series and feature films. Notable recent work includes The X-Files, Millennium and Smallville. He has been nominated for 11 Emmy awards and won at least 18 ASCAP awards.

In the 1960s, he and college roommate Michael Kamen formed a band that mixed rock and classical music, "The New York Rock and Roll Ensemble," releasing five albums between 1968 and 1972. After the band broke up, Snow was soon composing for TV and film. Over the decades, his work has included The Rookies, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, Starsky and Hutch, Gemini Man, Hart to Hart, Falcon Crest and Cagney and Lacey.

Theme courtesy of Classic TV Links Page
Mark Snow bio at Encore: The Ultimate Mark Snow Site
T.J. Hooker at TV.com
Fan site TJ-Hooker.com

Season One Main Titles


Season Two Main Titles


Season Three Main Titles


Season Four Main Titles


Season Five Main Titles


Bloopers


More themes:
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE
MONK
NBC MYSTERY MOVIE
PERRY MASON
PETER GUNN

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Mystery TV Themes: THE MAGICIAN

Spotlighting the great themes from mystery/crime TV shows ...

THE MAGICIAN
For one season on NBC, 1973-74, Bill Bixby starred as the crime-fighting The Magician. He portrayed Anthony Blake, a man once wrongfully imprisoned, now an illusionist / escape artist who put his wealth and skills to the aid of other victims of injustice.

The theme was written by the versatile Patrick Williams, who has composed well over 150 scores for film and TV, plus records and concert works. With 22 Emmy nominations (winning four), 13 Grammy nominations (winning two), a CableACE award, and the prestigious Richard Kirk Lifetime Achievement Award from B.M.I., Williams was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music. His many TV themes and scores include The Streets of San Francisco and Lou Grant. An accomplished recording artist and arranger with a proficiency in composing for symphony orchestras as well as jazz bands, Williams is Artistic Director for the Henry Mancini Institute.

Patrick Williams bio at The Henry Mancini Institute
Television Chronicles: The Magician



More themes:
ALIAS
AVENGERS (w/ NEW AVENGERS)
BARNEY MILLER
BATMAN 1966 (w/ THE ODD COUPLE)
BONES

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mystery TV Themes: SIMON & SIMON

Spotlighting the great themes from mystery/crime TV shows ...

SIMON & SIMON
The popular P.I. show (1981-88) followed the adventures of brothers who—despite having almost nothing in common—ran a small detective agency. Ambitious A. J. (James Parker) liked fine wine, tailored suits, and classic cars. Laid-back Rick (Gerald McRaney) liked pickup trucks, cowboy hats and cigars.

The theme was written by Joseph Conlan, who has scored for a variety of films and TV movies, including NCIS, Forever Knight, and Tour of Duty.

Buy Simon & Simon on DVD from the StudioWell store


Related links:
Simon & Simon theme at Classic TV Links
Joseph Conlan at IMDB
The Simon & Simon Appreciation Site
Simon & Simon at TV.com
Jameson Parker's official site



More themes:
Mystery TV Themes: JUDD, FOR THE DEFENSE
Mystery TV Themes: THE HARDY BOYS / NANCY DREW MYSTERIES
Crime TV Themes: THE EQUALIZER
Mystery TV Themes: PETER GUNN
Mystery TV Themes: STARSKY & HUTCH

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mystery TV Themes: JUDD, FOR THE DEFENSE

Spotlighting the great themes from mystery/crime TV shows ...

JUDD, FOR THE DEFENSE
This legal drama, which aired on ABC 1967-1969, starred Carl Betz as Clinton Judd, a flamboyant attorney based in Houston who took on controversial cases across the country, defending everyone from 1960s flower children to corporate tycoons.

The jaunty theme was written by Alexander Courage, who began as an orchestrator/arranger at MGM studios, working on such films as Show Boat, The Band Wagon, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He frequently served as orchestrator for Andre Previn, John Williams, and Jerry Goldsmith. His TV credits include the original Star Trek, Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Daniel Boone, and The Waltons.

Judd, For The Defense theme courtesy Mark Little's MyThemes.TV

Alexander Courage at Wikipedia
Judd, For the Defense at ClassicThemes.com

Judd, For The Defense at The Classic TV Archive
Judd, for The Defense at TV.com
Judd, for The Defense at Wikipedia

DOCUMENTARY ON THE CAREER OF ALEXANDER COURAGE

PART ONE


PART TWO


PART THREE


PART FOUR


More themes:
Mystery TV Themes: THE HARDY BOYS / NANCY DREW MYSTERIES
Mystery TV Themes: THE EQUALIZER
Mystery TV Themes: PETER GUNN
Mystery TV Themes: STARSKY & HUTCH
Mystery TV Themes: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE

Monday, January 8, 2007

Mystery TV Themes: HARDY BOYS / NANCY DREW

Spotlighting the great themes from mystery/crime TV shows ...

THE HARDY BOYS / NANCY DREW MYSTERIES
Created in the 1920s, these popular mystery solving teens were updated for the 1977-79 ABC series starring Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson as brothers Joe and Frank Hardy and Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy Drew. (In the third and final season, Drew was played by Janet Louise Johnson.)

The haunting theme is credited to both producer Glen A. Larson and composer Stu Phillips. Over the years, the duo have also worked their magic on such classic series as Quincy M.E., Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider.

As a television and film music composer, Phillips has also scored episodes of The Monkees, The Six Million Dollar Man, McCloud, The Fall Guy, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Automan. In the 1950s and '60s, Phillips conducted the Capitol Records studio orchestra Hollyridge Strings, creating easy listening versions of songs from the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Now semi-retired, Phillips has been orchestrating classical music by Beethoven and Rachmaninoff.

Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew theme courtesy PamelaSueMartin.net
Official Stu Phillips site
Pamela Sue Martin :: Nancy Drew
The Unofficial Nancy Drew Home Page
The Hardy Boys Unofficial Home Page
Nancy Drew Sleuth Unofficial Website
The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Archive
Episode Guide at TV.com





More themes:
Mystery TV Themes: THE EQUALIZER
Mystery TV Themes: PETER GUNN
Mystery TV Themes: STARSKY & HUTCH
Mystery TV Themes: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE
Mystery TV Themes: BONES

Crime TV on DVD