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



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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

Crime TV on DVD