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

Crime TV on DVD