Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MONK ends with season eight

Detective series Monk -- the most successful series in the history of basic cable -- officially ends after one more season. Reportedly, we'll finally discover the truth behind the murder of his beloved late wife, Trudy: Monk to Clean Up for One Last Season (Yahoo! News)

Related links:
Mr. Monk and the Finished Manuscript
The stars shine for MONK 100
MONK: New therapist, new episodes
ADRIAN MONK: The face of OCD
Mr. Monk And The Continuity Police
Mystery TV Themes: MONK
Q&A: LEE GOLDBERG (Monk, Diagnosis Murder)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Get Smart: The Complete Series

In stores this week is the 25-disc collection Get Smart - The Complete Series, complete with 138 episodes of the classic '60s spy spoof, and loads of bonus materials. Series producer Leonard Stern recently talked with with Internet radio show TV Time Machine about the classic show and about his participation in the DVD set.

Related link: Mystery TV Themes: GET SMART

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The stars shine for MONK 100

UPI reports that a bevy of guest stars will grace the 100th episode of USA Network's "Monk," set to air September 5. When obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk tries to catch a serial killer, a news show interviews several of his friends and foes from previous episodes, giving viewers a chance to see (again) the likes of Howie Mandel, Sarah Silverman, Sharon Lawrence, Andy Richter, and John Turturro, among others.

Now in its seventh season, "Monk" stars Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award winner Tony Shalhoub.

Related links:
MONK: New therapist, new episodes
MONK therapist Stanley Kamel found dead
ADRIAN MONK: The face of OCD
Mr. Monk And The Continuity Police
Mystery TV Themes: MONK

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dame Diana Rigg!

Today is the 70th birthday of British actress Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg DBE, best known for playing Emma Peel in The Avengers and Tracy Bond in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In a prolific career on the stage and screen, she has performed roles in the Royal Shakespeare Company, starred in The Great Muppet Caper, and hosted PBS Mystery.

Related links:
TV Themes: THE AVENGERS (w/ THE NEW AVENGERS)
Diana Rigg biography (Wikipedia)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

TV Themes: CHECKMATE

CHECKMATE (1960-62)
Created by thriller writer Eric Ambler, and filmed on the streets of San Francisco, Checkmate revolves around investigators Don Corey (Anthony George), and Jed Sills (Doug McClure), aided by criminologist Dr. Carl Hyatt (Sebastian Cabot). Lauded as one of the best dramas of the 1960s, Checkmate was highlighted by great scripts, locations, and casting -- with guest stars ranging from Charles Laughton, Joan Fontaine, and Peter Lorre, to Cyd Charisse, Tony Randall, and Jack Benny.

The show's haunting theme was composed by "Johnny Williams" -- who went on to a stellar career as film composer John Williams, scoring and serving as music director for more than one hundred films, including the likes of Star Wars, Superman: The Movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, JFK, et al. With 45 Academy Award nominations, he is the Academy's most nominated living person. Williams has five Oscars, seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), twenty Grammys, four Golden Globes, four Emmys, and numerous Gold and Platinum records. He holds the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor, following his retirement in December 1993 after 14 seasons. Williams has also written many concert pieces, including two symphonies.

CHECKMATE on DVD:
Checkmate: Best of Season One
Checkmate: Best of Season Two

Related links:
Checkmate (Thrilling Detective)
Checkmate (TV series) (Wikipedia)
John Williams Official Site
John Williams (Wikipedia)

OPENING CREDITS


More TV Themes:
DRAGNET
THE EQUALIZER (w/ CALLAN)
GET SMART
HARDY BOYS / NANCY DREW MYSTERIES
HART TO HART

Saturday, July 12, 2008

LONE RANGER 75th Anniversary Collection

TVShowsonDVD reports a special DVD set this fall celebrates The Lone Ranger in style: The Lone Ranger - 75th Anniversary Collector's Edition includes all 78 episodes from the first two seasons, episodes from the 1960s cartoon, an episode of Lassie with The Lone Ranger, a 1950 episode of the Lone Ranger radio series, a commemorative book, an episode guide, reprints of rare comics and photos, and more! Click this link for details and to see the packaging.

Info about the character's history and TV opening credits at TV Themes: THE LONE RANGER
Buy on Amazon

Monday, June 16, 2008

MONK: New therapist, new episodes

Comedy-sleuth series Monk returns for its seventh season July 18 on USA Network. Following the death of actor Stanley Kamel, film and TV veteran Hector Elizondo joins the cast as the new therapist for compulsive detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub). Go to the official site for info, online games, 2-minute replays, and more.

In other Monk news: the sixth season comes to DVD on July 8, and the next original Monk novel, Mr. Monk Goes To Germany, hits book shelves July 1. Buy Monk books and DVDs at the StudioWell store

RELATED LINKS:
MONK therapist Stanley Kamel found dead
MONK hits 100
ADRIAN MONK: The face of OCD
Mr. Monk And The Continuity Police
Mystery TV Themes: MONK
Q&A: LEE GOLDBERG (Monk, Diagnosis Murder)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

GET SMART: Missed it by THAT much

TVShowsonDVD reports that classic 60s TV spy spoof Get Smart is finally coming to retail stores this summer -- without any bonus materials ... not even those that appeared in Time Life's award-winning Get Smart: The Complete Series ...

Watch the opening credits here.

More Opening Credits:
THE AVENGERS / NEW AVENGERS
HART TO HART
HAWAII FIVE-O
MAGNUM, P.I.
MANNIX

Saturday, May 24, 2008

TV Themes: Marvel Super Heroes

My wife and I finally got to see the Iron Man movie yesterday -- and LOVED it. In honor of the hilarious post-credits teaser of things to come, here are some classic (if lovably goofy) 1960s TV intros from Marvel superhero cartoons ...

IRON MAN


THE HULK


THE MIGHTY THOR


CAPTAIN AMERICA


THE SUB-MARINER

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Win a MONK galley!

TV writer/producer and novelist Lee Goldberg is giving away two signed galleys of his upcoming Monk tie-in original novel, Mr. Monk Goes to Germany. Check out the details at his blog, A Writer's Life.

Buy Monk books and DVDs at the StudioWell store

Related links:
Q&A: LEE GOLDBERG (Monk, Diagnosis Murder)
MONK hits 100
Official MONK on DVD
MONK back for season seven in July
Mystery TV Themes: MONK

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mystery TV Themes: Agatha Christie's Great Detectives

Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple
(Agatha Christie no Meitantei Poirot To Marple)
Set in 1930s London, and starring Agatha Christie's two most famous sleuths, this 2004 Japanese animation series was based on Christie's original novels and stories. Detective Hercule Poirot and his trusted assistant Arthur Hastings, and Miss Jane Marple investigate several complicated cases. The great detectives are joined in their adventures by newly developed characters Mabel West (Marple's inquisitive sixteen-year-old great-niece), and Oliver, a curious ... duck. (Well, it is a cartoon.) Despite these additions, it is said that the series was relatively faithful to the source material.

Agatha Christie no Meitantei Poirot To Marple links:
Official site
MICO Program Finder
Wikipedia

MAIN TITLES


More opening themes:
ALIAS
THE AVENGERS (w/ THE NEW AVENGERS)
BARNEY MILLER
BATMAN 1966 (w/ THE ODD COUPLE)
BONES
S.W.A.T.
THE SAINT
SIMON & SIMON
STARSKY & HUTCH
T.J. HOOKER

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

MONK therapist Stanley Kamel found dead

Actor Stanley Kamel, who played Dr. Charles Kroger on USA's hit series Monk, was found dead of a heart attack in his Hollywood Hills home Tuesday. He was 65. Kamel's numerous TV appearances over the years include West Wing, Six Feet Under, Melrose Place, The Golden Girls, Days of Our Lives, Murder One, and Beverly Hills, 90210.

From the "garbage strike" episode:


Meanwhile, Monk's NBC debut this past Sunday did not find many viewers -- in fact, all five TV networks found Sunday night's viewership its lowest since Christmas Eve 2006.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

TV Themes: THE AVENGERS w/ THE NEW AVENGERS

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

THE AVENGERS (1961-1969)
THE NEW AVENGERS (1976-77)
"Crimes against the people and the state have to be avenged by agents extra-ordinary ... " One of British television's most famous exports, the quirky '60s spy show The Avengers starred Patrick Macnee as gentleman government agent John Steed, working with a variety of partners to keep Great Britain safe from a variety of outlandish threats. Although his most famous co-Avenger was Mrs. Emma Peele (Diana Rigg, 1965-1967), he also worked with Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry, 1961), Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman, 1962-64), and Tara King (Linda Thorson, 1968-69). In the short-lived revival The New Avengers, it was Steed with Mike Gambit and Purdey (Gareth Hunt and Joanna Lumley, 1976-77).

Composer Laurie Johnson wrote the opening theme to The Avengers (starting with the Emma Peel episodes), as well as for The New Avengers, for which he also served as co-producer. Born 1927, Johnson studied at the Royal College of Music and later taught there. In the 1950s, he worked with big bands and recording orchestras, before turning his attention to composing scores for film, television, the theatre, concert halls and the recording studio. His film scores include Dr. Strangelove (1964) and The First Men In The Moon (1964).

THE AVENGERS MAIN TITLES (1965)


THE AVENGERS MAIN TITLES (1967)


Playlist: THE AVENGERS 1960s (Chessboard Intro, Main Titles 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969)


THE NEW AVENGERS MAIN TITLES (1976)


Listen to the themes: Mark Little's MyThemes.TV
Additional music and sound files: The Avengers Sound Page

Laurie Johnson Official Site
Laurie Johnson bio at The Avengers Forever
Exhaustive cast and series info at The Avengers Forever
Patrick Macnee's Official Homepage

More themes:
THE ROCKFORD FILES
S.W.A.T.
SIMON & SIMON
STARSKY & HUTCH
T.J. HOOKER

Friday, March 28, 2008

MONK hits 100

This new season, Monk airs its landmark 100th episode. The series anchors USA Network's "Characters Welcome" brand, which has helped make the channel the No. 1 basic cable network -- in fact, the L.A. Times reports that the channel brought in nearly $700 million in profit last year; by comparison, corporate sibling NBC made about $300 million. LA Times: USA enjoying the view from the top

Press: USA Network Starts Summer Off With a Bang, Continues With Year-Round Originals in Fall 2008

Related:
Official MONK on DVD
MONK on NBC April 6
Mystery TV Themes: MONK

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mystery TV Themes: MANNIX

Hello! We've posted a new-and-improved version of this blog entry over at our new home The Thrill of it All. Go read it (and watch the opening titles of Mannix) over here: TV Theme: Mannix



We get a commission from Amazon if you use the above affiliate links.

More opening credits:
Medical Center
Mission: Impossible
Mod Squad
Monk
Name of the Game
NBC Mystery Movie (Columbo)
Perry Mason
The Persuaders
Peter Gunn
Quincy

Friday, March 21, 2008

MONK on NBC April 6

USA Network's popular comedy-sleuth series Monk and Psych are now coming to NBC on Sunday, Apr 6. The repurposed episodes come from the series' popular runs on basic cable's USA. Meanwhile, Monk goes into rerun syndication this fall.

Related:
Buy Monk books and DVDs at the StudioWell store
MONK back for season seven in July
Mr. Monk And The Continuity Police
Mystery TV Themes: MONK
Q&A: LEE GOLDBERG (Monk, Diagnosis Murder)

Friday, March 14, 2008

ADRIAN MONK: The face of OCD

Fans of USA Network's mystery series Monk are familiar with the character's struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder -- so it's no surprise that series co-creator and executive producer David Hoberman and star Tony Shalhoub are among the spokepersons tapped by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) for a series of public service announcements. The educational campaign "Treat It, Don't Repeat It: Break Free From OCD" explains the signs and symptoms of OCD, and how to seek treatment. More info here.



Related links:
Buy Monk books and DVDs at the StudioWell store
MONK back for season seven in July
Mr. Monk And The Continuity Police
Mystery TV Themes: MONK
Q&A: LEE GOLDBERG (Monk, Diagnosis Murder)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

MONK back for season seven in July

Season six wrapped just a couple weeks ago, but Entertainment Weekly reports that USA's Monk kicks off season seven in July. Returning are Tony Shalhoub (in his three-time Emmy-winning role), Traylor Howard, Ted Levine, and Jason Gray-Stanford. The first eight new episodes air this summer -- with the second half-season starting January 2009. Meanwhile, TVShowsOnDVD says Monk's sixth season hits DVD in June.

UPDATE: In related news, Lee Goldberg has posted the covers to his next two original Monk novels, Mr. Monk Goes to Germany and Mr. Monk is Miserable.

Buy Monk books and DVDs at the StudioWell store

Related links:
Mr. Monk And The Continuity Police
Mystery TV Themes: MONK
Q&A: LEE GOLDBERG (Monk, Diagnosis Murder)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Mystery TV Themes: THE SAINT

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

THE SAINT (1962-69)
Based on the popular character created in the 1920s by Leslie Charteris, this long-running British mystery thriller series starred Sir Roger Moore as Simon Templar. One of the few British shows to air on American network television, the initial black-and-white seasons did so well in syndication that NBC picked up the color episodes in 1966.

The theme was by Edwin Astley (1922-1998), a British composer who composed for many British television series of the '50s and '60s, including The Adventures of Robin Hood, Gideon's Way, The Baron, and The Champions. He also wrote the original theme for Danger Man -- but when the episodes aired in the U.S. as Secret Agent, Astley's theme was removed. His theme for The Saint was recorded again in 1997 by Orbital for the film starring Val Kilmer.

Astley has multiple connections to classic rock band The Who: His eldest daughter married the band's Pete Townshend; son Jon Astley produced and remastered The Who's reissues; and Astley's last work was a 1998 symphonic interpretation of Who music called Who's Serious: The Symphonic Music of the Who. The composer died in 1998 after several years of illness.

MAIN TITLES (b/w)


MAIN TITLES (color)


ORBITAL: The Saint Theme (Movie)


The Saint TV Series (Saint.org)
The Saint: The Roger Moore Years (therogermooreyears.50megs.com)
Roger Moore Official Site (roger-moore.com)
Moore, Roger (museum.tv)



More opening credits:
S.W.A.T.
SIMON & SIMON
STARSKY & HUTCH
T.J. HOOKER
ALIAS

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

DVD extras announced for MANNIX

The folks at TVShowsOnDVD share a list of extras that will appear on the first season DVDs for classic private eye series Mannix -- including commentaries from creator William Link, star Mike Connors, and first season regular Joseph Campanella. The set will also audio intros from Connors, an on-camera reunion with Connors and Campanella, Connors' appearance on The Mike Douglas Show, and a clip from Mannix's crossover appearance on Diagnosis Murder (an episode that featured "flashbacks" from Mannix, as explained here). The six-disc set will include all 24 first season episodes.

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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Mystery TV Themes: MAGNUM, P.I.

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

MAGNUM, P.I. (CBS, 1980-88)
Developed to make use of the facilities built on location for Hawaii Five-O, this post-hardboiled detective series became a top-rated show in its own right. Tom Selleck played Thomas Magnum, a former Navy SEAL and Vietnam vet who lived in the guest house of a lush 200-acre beachfront estate owned by celebrated (but unseen) author Robin Masters. Magnum regularly butted heads with estate manager Higgins (John Hillerman), an ex-British Army Sergeant Major, and got into a variety of adventures with war buddies T.C. Calvin (Roger E. Mosley) and Rick Wright (Larry Manetti). The Museum of Broadcast Communications notes that Magnum, P.I. was one of the first series to explore "the impact of the Vietnam War on the American cultural psyche." Several memorable episodes grew out of Magnum's past war experiences.

The theme was composed by five-time Grammy-winner Mike Post, who started out in pop music as an arranger of such hits as "Classical Gas," "I Got You Babe," and "I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)." Writing for TV since the '70s, his lengthy resume includes themes written or co-written for The Rockford Files, Hill Street Blues, Greatest American Hero, Law and Order, and many more.

Buy Magnum, P.I. on DVD

More Magnum info:
TV Guide
TV.com
Wikipedia

Mike Post Biography

CLASSIC THEME


ORIGINAL (AWFUL) THEME


More themes:
MANNIX
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE
MOD SQUAD
MONK
NBC MYSTERY MOVIE

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mr. Monk And The Continuity Police

TV writer and novelist Lee Goldberg explains the inevitable continuity problems between a television series and the tie-in novels ... in particular, Monk:
I thought the two-part MONK season finale was great, but it points out one of the pitfalls of writing a tie-in series while the TV show it is based on is still in production. It means there are going to be some continuity miss-matches between the TV series and the books...and there's nothing that can be done about it.
Lee also gives his perspective on the upcoming DVD release of the first season of Mannix. (He worked on the crossover episode of Diagnosis: Murder that brought Joe Mannix out of retirement.)

Related links:
Mr. Monk Is On The Run (Pt 2)
Q&A: LEE GOLDBERG (Monk, Diagnosis Murder)
Mystery TV Themes: MONK
Mystery TV Themes: MANNIX
Diagnosis -- Murder!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mr. Monk Is On The Run (Pt 2)

On the season finale of Monk:

Everyone convinced of Monk's death, Natalie plans a memorial service. But Monk's undercover in Nevada to unravel facts about the crooked small town sheriff. Can he clear his name and come out of hiding? Watch the season finale – "Mr. Monk Is On The Run (Part 2)" – tonight at 9/8c only on USA!
Register to chat with star Tony Shalhoub at 8PM E (5PM P). He'll be logged on via live video feed.

Related links:
Mr. Monk And The Continuity Police
Q&A: LEE GOLDBERG (Monk, Diagnosis Murder)
Mystery TV Themes: MONK

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mystery TV Themes: HAWAII FIVE-O

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

HAWAII FIVE-O (1968-1980, CBS)
One of the longest-running crime dramas in TV history, Hawaii Five-O followed members of an elite state-police unit investigating an assortment of felonies in the 50th state, where it was shot on location. Created by Leonard Freeman, the series starred Jack Lord, James MacArthur, and Kam Fong. Sidenote: Magnum P.I., also based in Hawaii, is said to have been created to make use of the extensive studio production equipment left behind by Hawaii Five-O. (Early episodes even referred to Five-O.)

Morton Stevens (1929-1991) created the popular theme, for which he won two Emmy Awards (1970 and 1974). A film score composer from Newark, New Jersey, Stevens studied composition at the Juilliard School, and became the arranger and later the musical director for such stars as Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Liza Minnelli. In 1965 Stevens became director of music for CBS West Coast operations. His television work also included Gunsmoke and Police Woman.

Buy Hawaii Five-O on DVD

Morton Stevens Television Composer, 62 (New York Times)

Hawaii Five-O links:
TVShowsOnDVD
TV Guide
TV.com
Wikipedia

The Hawaii Five-O Fan Club
The Hawaii Five-O Home Page

OPENING CREDITS


More themes:
IT TAKES A THIEF
JUDD, FOR THE DEFENSE
KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER
LONE RANGER
MAGICIAN

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mr. Monk Is On The Run

From the official newsletter for USA Network series Monk:
"Monk believes he is getting closer to solving the murder of his wife Trudy, but the clues only lead to trouble. When he investigates further, things turn deadly. As Monk becomes the prime suspect in a murder, he has to outrun a small town sheriff and plan his escape. Did somebody frame Monk? Can he survive as a fugitive on the run? Watch the first episode of Monk's two-part season finale, 'Mr. Monk Is On The Run,' tonight at 9/8c only on USA!"
Also on the official site: Live Chat with Tony Shalhoub
Register to chat with the Emmy-award winning star right before the season finale Friday, Feb. 22 at 8PM E / 5PM P. Tony will be logged on via live video feed to chat with his fans and answer any Monk questions.

Related links:
Q&A: LEE GOLDBERG (Monk, Diagnosis Murder)
Mystery TV Themes: MONK
Monk's Mind Game (and more)
Mr. Monk and the Amazon review
Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mystery TV Themes: THE MOD SQUAD

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

THE MOD SQUAD
This police drama (ABC, 1968-73), produced by Aaron Spelling, centered on three troubled young adults recruited to be undercover cops. Series creator Bud Ruskin based the show on his experiences in the 1950s on the LAPD. The series starred Tige Andrews (Captain Greer), Michael Cole (Pete Cochran), Peggy Lipton (Julie Barnes), and Clarence Williams III (Linc Hayes).

The pounding theme was created by composer Earl H. Hagen, whose illustrious career includes playing trombone with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and Ray Noble. His television credits, which span the 1940s to the 1980s, include Mike Hammer, Planet of the Apes, and I Spy, as well as sitcoms That Girl, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. In 2002 he published the autobiography Memoirs of a Famous Composer... Nobody Ever Heard Of (Xlibris), his third book.

Buy The Mod Squad on DVD

The Mod Squad links:
TVGuide.com
TV.com
DVD News on TVShowsOnDVD.com
Wikipedia

Earl H. Hagen links:
Hagen Autobiography Shows Why He Knows The Score (BMI)
Space Age Pop Music

OPENING CREDITS


TELEVISION SPOT


The Mod Squad: A TV Classic Remembered


More themes:
MONK
NBC MYSTERY MOVIE
PERRY MASON
PETER GUNN
ROCKFORD FILES

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mystery TV Themes: DRAGNET

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

The Dragnet Collection, Vol. 1DRAGNET
The "Dragnet March" ("Danger Ahead") by composer Walter Schumann (1913-1958) is one of the most recognizable themes in history. During World War 2, Schumann was musical director of the Armed Forces Radio Service; after the war, he returned to L.A., where he was a conductor and arranger for the motion picture and television studios. (He wrote stock music for several Abbott & Costello films.) Schumann also recorded several albums of choral music. His 1954 theme for Dragnet won him a 1955 Emmy Award.

Dragnet started as a radio drama (1949-1957), which Jack Webb created after he had a small role in the semi-documentary film noir He Walked by Night (1948). Like the film, the radio series kept the low-key, documentary style, made use of actual police cases, and even had the same L.A.P.D. technical advisor. The success of the radio show led to the first Dragnet TV series (1952-1959, 263 episodes), starring Webb and several partners. A top 10 hit during its first run, the show was also a feature film in 1954. The show was brought back for another 100 episodes (and a TV movie) in 1967-1970, again starring Webb, with partner Harry Morgan. Webb died in 1982, but the show was revived twice more -- as a syndicated TV series (1989-90) and as the short-lived 2003-2004 ABC series starring Ed O'Neill (also called L.A. Dragnet). This most recent version had a spiffy new theme by Mike Post that riffed off Schumann's original march.

Three versions of the theme at Mark Little's MyThemes.TV

More about composer Walter Schumann:
Space Age Pop Music
IMDB

More about Dragnet:
Badge 714
TV.com
TVShowsOnDVD

Dragnet 1951


2003 opening


More themes:
THE LONE RANGER
PERRY MASON
HART TO HART
BATMAN 1966 (w/ THE ODD COUPLE)
BARNEY MILLER

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

MURDER, SHE WROTE still going strong

April is a busy month for mystery writer-turned-sleuth Jessica Fletcher. Some twelve years after its cancellation, Murder, She Wrote is still doing brisk business -- including a new DVD box set and a brand-new novel. (No surprise, really, when you consider that CBS did not cancel the long-running series due to lack of interest, but because advertisers wanted younger viewers.)

In fact, 2008 will see two brand-new hardcover Jessica Fletcher mysteries: In April, Murder, She Wrote: Murder on Parade (NAL Hardcover), followed this October with Murder, She Wrote: A Slaying in Savannah. Penned by "Jessica Fletcher with Donald Bain," the two titles in 2008 means there will soon be thirty original novels in print starring Cabot Cove’s favorite mystery solver.

Meanwhile, the original 1984-1996 series starring Angela Lansbury continues its march to DVD. Season Seven was released last October. Season Eight comes out April. (Updates at TVShowsOnDVD.com)

Not bad for a show that was replaced with something nobody even remembers.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mystery TV Themes: THE LONE RANGER

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

Celebrating its 75th anniversary January 30, the story of The Lone Ranger has been told on radio, TV, film, and in animation and comics. The title character is the lone survivor of an ambush of Texas Rangers, found by the Indian Tonto. Wearing a mask to hide his indentity, he dedicates himself to "making the West a decent place to live." The series began on radio in Detroit in 1933, and was so popular it led to several stations banding together for the Mutual Broadcasting System. The radio drama lasted until 1956.

The series made the jump to TV in 1949, airing on ABC. The Lone Ranger was portrayed by Clayton Moore (1949-52, 1954-57), and John Hart (1952-54). The part of Tonto was played the whole run by Jay Silverheels.

The show's theme was taken from the overture to "William Tell," a four-hour French opera composed by Gioacchino Rossini. It premiered at the Paris Opera in 1829.

The Lone Ranger links:
TV Guide
The Museum of Broadcast Communications
Radio Hall of Fame
Lone Ranger Fan Club
Wikipedia

"William Tell" links:
Wikipedia
Classics For Kids

OPENING CREDITS


1956 THEATRICAL TRAILER


More themes:
PERRY MASON
HART TO HART
BATMAN 1966 (w/ THE ODD COUPLE)
BARNEY MILLER
MANNIX

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Mystery TV Themes: PERRY MASON

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

PERRY MASON
This fictional defense attorney, created by best-selling pulp writer Erle Stanley Gardner in the 1930s, appeared in some 80 novels and short stories, several films, and a long-running radio drama before hitting the small screen in 1957. Raymond Burr's portrayal lasted from 1957-1966, and he returned to the role for more than 25 made-for-TV movies from 1985-93.

"The Perry Mason Theme" (a.k.a. "Park Avenue Beat") was composed by Fred Steiner. He graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a degree in composition in 1943. He went on to write for radio and television, including scores for episodes of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-0, Hogan's Heroes, Rawhide, The Untouchables, The Andy Griffith Show, and Tiny Toon Adventures. (This past May, he received an honorary doctor of music degree from his alma mater.)

Perry Mason summary, episode guide at TV.com
Perry Mason at Thrilling Detective
Perry Mason DVD news at TVSHowsOnDVD.com

OPENING CREDITS


More themes:
NBC MYSTERY MOVIE
PETER GUNN
ROCKFORD FILES
S.W.A.T.
SIMON & SIMON

Crime TV on DVD