STATEMENT THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2016 PAGES:
Welcome to the A-Z Classic TV Shows Theme Songs and Intros! Last year I did an A-Z Musical Tour of My Life and featured tons of classic rock music. I had so much fun with it that this year I decided to present classic television shows theme songs and intros. These are shows that I remember from my youth during the 60s and 70s…with an occasional 80s show thrown in. Each show is introduced with information (gathered primarily from my favorite go-to for info, Wikipedia) or associated memories, followed by a video of the TV show’s theme song intro. At first glance, the posts may seem long because of the number of videos included but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, watch or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and go back in time with all the fun theme song intros you’ll find here. Please leave a comment and share your favorite classic TV shows. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! I hope you enjoy my collection. Now, let’s get started with…
C is for Cagney & Lacey:
Cagney & Lacey is an American television series that originally aired on the CBS television network for seven seasons from March 25, 1982 to May 16, 1988. A police procedural, the show stars Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless as New York City police detectives who lead very different lives: Christine Cagney (Gless) was a single, career-minded woman, while Mary Beth Lacey (Daly) was a married working mother. The series was set in a fictionalized version of Manhattan’s 14th Precinct (known as “Midtown South”). For six consecutive years, one of the two lead actresses won the Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Drama (four wins for Daly, two for Gless), a winning streak unmatched in any major category by a show.
C is for the Courtship of Eddie’s Father:
The Courtship of Eddie’s Father is an American television sitcom based on the 1963 movie of the same name, which was based on the book written by Mark Toby (edited by Dorothy Wilson). It tells the story of a widower, Tom Corbett (played by Bill Bixby), who is a magazine publisher, and his son, Eddie (played by Brandon Cruz), who believes his father should marry, and manipulates situations surrounding the women his father is interested in. ABC had acquired the rights to the story; the series debuted on September 17, 1969, and was last broadcast on March 1, 1972.
Bixby received an Emmy nomination for the show.
Cute intro from another season:
C is for Charlie’s Angels: When most people think of Charlie’s Angels, the first person that springs to mind is Farrah Fawcett, but surprisingly Farrah Fawcett only starred in this show for the first season!
Charlie’s Angels is an American crime drama television series that aired on ABC from September 22, 1976 to June 24, 1981, producing five seasons and 110 episodes. The series was created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts and was produced by Aaron Spelling. It plots the adventures of three women working in a private detective agency in Los Angeles, California, and initially starred Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and Jaclyn Smith in the leading roles, with David Doyle co-starring as a sidekick to the three women and John Forsythe providing the voice of their boss. Later additions to the cast were Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack, and Tanya Roberts.
Despite mixed reviews from critics and a reputation for merely being “Jiggle TV”, the show enjoyed an astonishing popularity with audiences, and was a top ten hit for its first two seasons. By the third season the show had fallen from the top 10. The 4th season of the show saw a further decline in ratings. The series ended in 1981 after 5 Seasons. The series continues to have a cult and pop culture following through syndication, DVD releases, and subsequent TV and film remakes.
Season 1 Intro and Opening Credits:
C is for Cannon:
Cannon is a CBS detective television series produced by Quinn Martin which aired from September 14, 1971 to March 3, 1976. The primary protagonist is the title character, private detective Frank Cannon, played by William Conrad. He also appeared on two crossover episodes of Barnaby Jones.
Frank Cannon was a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, however he retired after the deaths of his wife and son in a car accident and later became a private detective. The series begins at the point where Cannon is just beginning this new career (the pilot film picks up after Cannon has just spent 2 1/2 months overseas on an investigation). The cause of death of Cannon’s wife and child was not clear through the first four seasons of the show. However, the first episode of the fifth and final season revolves around Cannon’s investigation of the deaths, and he finally finds out the reason they were killed.
The noticeably overweight Frank Cannon had expensive tastes, especially in food and cars. (His primary vehicle was an ice-blue ’72 Lincoln Continental Mark IV.) During the series’ run, his car would range from a Lincoln 1971 Mark III to a 1976 Mark IV in various color schemes, all dark over light blue exteriors, with interiors ranging from red velour to dark-blue leather… Cannon’s investigations were mostly for clients in the Southern California area, although on occasion he was called in for investigations much farther away (e.g., New Mexico in the pilot).
Cannon occasionally would get hurt (shot or beaten) and knocked unconscious. He carried a gun for self-defense, usually a snub-nosed .38 Special revolver (which appeared to be a Colt Detective Special). Sometimes he used other guns (Including an M1911 and a B.A.R). He was known to subdue suspects with karate chops, judo holds, and occasionally he would thrust and knock down adversaries with his huge abdomen.
In the first two seasons Cannon was a pipe smoker. In the third season, the pipe was seen occasionally; it was subsequently dropped altogether.
Here is a typical episode opening:
C is for Columbo:
Columbo is probably my favorite detective show, even after all these years. I never tire of watching his sleuthing. Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, popularized the inverted detective story format which begins by showing the commission of the crime and its perpetrator; the series therefore has no “whodunit” element. The plot revolves around how a perpetrator whose identity is already known to the audience will finally be caught and exposed (which the show’s writers called a ‘howcatchem’, rather than a ‘whodunit’).
Columbo is a friendly, verbose, disheveled police detective of Italian descent, whose trademarks include wearing a rumpled, beige raincoat over his suit, and smoking a cigar. He is consistently underestimated by his suspects, who are initially reassured and distracted by his circumstantial speech, then increasingly irritated by his pestering behavior. Despite his unprepossessing appearance and apparent absentmindedness, he shrewdly solves all of his cases and secures all evidence needed for a conviction. His formidable eye for detail and relentlessly dedicated approach, though apparent to the viewer, often become clear to the killer only late in the story line.
Much to my dismay, as hard as I searched, I didn’t find a decent intro theme song online for Columbo. Instead I’ll present this hilarious Emmy acceptance speech from the 1972 Emmys Archives. I love Peter Falk and hopefully you’ll like this short video:
C is for Cheers:
Cheers is an American sitcom that ran for eleven seasons between 1982 and 1993. The show was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions in association with Paramount Network Television for NBC and created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. The show is set in a bar named Cheers (named after the popular toast) in Boston, Massachusetts, where a group of locals meet to drink, relax, and socialize. The show’s main theme song, written and performed by Gary Portnoy, and co-written with Judy Hart Angelo, lent its famous refrain, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”, as the show’s tagline.
After premiering on September 30, 1982, it was nearly canceled during its first season when it ranked last in ratings for its premiere (74th out of 77 shows). Cheers, however, eventually became a highly rated television show in the United States, earning a top-ten rating during eight of its eleven seasons, including one season at number one. The show spent most of its run on NBC’s Thursday night “Must See TV” lineup. Its widely watched series finale was broadcast on May 20, 1993, and the show’s 275 episodes have been successfully syndicated worldwide. Nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series for all eleven of its seasons on the air, it earned 28 Emmy Awards from a record of 117 nominations.
We came to know the characters so well and they were all so beloved that I thought I’d include this character synopsis that I found on Wikipedia:
Ted Danson portrays Sam Malone, a bartender and an owner of Cheers. Sam is also a lothario. Before the series began, he was a baseball relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox nicknamed “Mayday Malone” until he became an alcoholic, taking a toll on his career. He has on-again, off-again relationships with Diane Chambers, his class opposite, in the first five seasons (1982–1987). During their off-relationships, Sam has flings with many not-so-bright “sexy women”, yet fails to pursue a meaningful relationship and fails to seduce other women, such as intellectuals. After Diane is written out of the series, he tries to pursue Rebecca Howe, but he either fails to achieve or gets uninterested if passion is attempted. At the end of the series, he is still unmarried and recovering from sexual addiction with a help of Dr. Robert Sutton’s (Gilbert Lewis) group meetings, advised by Frasier.
Shelley Long portrays Diane Chambers, an academic, sophisticated graduate student. In the pilot, Diane is abandoned by her fiancé, leaving her without a job, money, and man. Therefore, she reluctantly becomes a cocktail waitress. Later, she becomes a close friend of Coach and has on-and-off relationships with bartender Sam Malone, her class opposite. During their off-relationships times, Diane dates men who fit her upper-class ideals, such as Frasier Crane. In 1987, she leaves Boston behind for a writing career and to live in Los Angeles, California.
Nicholas Colasanto portrays Coach Ernie Pantusso, a “borderline senile” co-bartender, widower, and retired coach. Coach is also a friend of Sam and a close friend of Diane. He has a daughter, Lisa. Coach is often tricked into situations, especially ones that put the bar at stake. Coach listens to people’s problems and solves them. In 1985, Coach is explained to have died without explicit explanation; the actor Colasanto died of a heart attack.
Rhea Perlman portrays Carla Tortelli, a “wisecracking, cynical” cocktail waitress, who treats customers badly. She is also highly fertile and matrimonially inept. When the series premiered, she is the mother of four children by her ex-husband Nick Tortelli (Dan Hedaya). Later, she gives birth to four more, incorporated by Perlman’s real-life pregnancies. All of her children are notoriously ill-behaved, except Ludlow, whose father is a prominent academician. She flirts with men, including ones who are not flattered by her ways, and believes in superstitions, but secretly carries the torch for Sam. Later, she marries Eddie LeBec, an ice hockey player, who later becomes a penguin mascot for ice shows. After he died in an ice show accident by an ice resurfacer, Carla later discovers that Eddie had committed bigamy with another woman, whom he had gotten pregnant.
George Wendt portrays Norm Peterson, a bar regular and semi-unemployed accountant. A recurrent joke on the show, especially in the earlier seasons, was that the character was such a popular and constant fixture at the bar that anytime he entered through the front door everyone present would yell out his name (“NORM!”) in greeting; usually this cry would be followed by one of the present bartenders asking Norm how he was, usually receiving a sardonic response and a request for a beer. He has infrequent accounting jobs and a troubled marriage with (but is still in love with and married to) Vera, an unseen character. Later in the series, he becomes a house painter and an interior decorator. The character was not originally intended to be a main cast role; Wendt auditioned for a minor role of George for the pilot episode. The role was to only be Diane Chambers’ first customer and had only one word: “Beer!” After he was cast in a more permanent role, the character was renamed Norm.
John Ratzenberger portrays Cliff Clavin, a know-it-all bar regular and postal worker. He lives with his mother Esther Clavin (Frances Sternhagen) in first the family house and later an apartment. In the bar, Cliff unwittingly says things that either annoy people, motivate people into mocking him, drive people away, confuse people, are inaccurate, or are unnecessary to people. Ratzenberger auditioned for the role of a minor character George, but it went to Wendt, evolving the role into Norm Peterson. The producers decided they wanted a resident bar know-it-all, so the security guard Cliff Clavin was added for the pilot. The producers changed his occupation into a postal worker as they thought such a man would have wider knowledge than a guard.
Kelsey Grammer portrays Frasier Crane, a psychiatrist and bar regular. Frasier started out as Diane Chambers’s love interest in the third season (1984–85). In the fourth season (1985–86), after Diane jilts him at the altar in Europe, Frasier ends up frequenting Cheers and becomes a regular. After the series ended, in the spin-off Frasier, he gives child custody of their son Frederick to Lilith and moves to Seattle.
Woody Harrelson portrays Woody Boyd, a not-so-bright bartender. He arrives from his Midwest hometown to Boston, to see Coach, his “pen pal” (as referring to exchanging “pens”, not letters). When he learns that Coach died, Woody is hired in his place. Later, he marries his girlfriend Kelly Gaines (Jackie Swanson), also not-so-bright but raised in a rich family. In the final season, he runs for political office, and surprisingly wins.
Bebe Neuwirth portrays Lilith Sternin, a psychiatrist and bar regular. She is often teased by bar patrons about her uptight personality and appearance. In “Second Time Around” (1986), her first episode, also her only one of the fourth season, her date with Frasier does not go well because they constantly argue. In the fifth season, with help from Diane, Lilith and Frasier begin a relationship. Eventually, they marry and have a son, Frederick. In the eleventh and final season, she leaves Frasier to live with another man in an experimental underground environment called the “Eco-pod.” However she returns later in the season and reconciles with Frasier.
Kirstie Alley portrays Rebecca Howe. She starts out as a strong independent woman, managing the bar for the corporation that was given the bar by Sam after Diane jilted him. Eventually, when Sam regains ownership, she begs him to let her remain as business manager. She repeatedly has romantic failures with mainly rich men and becomes more and “more neurotic, insecure, and sexually frustrated”. At the start, Sam frequently attempts to seduce Rebecca without success. As her persona changes, he loses interest in her. In the eleventh and final season, Rebecca marries the plumber Don Santry and quits working for the bar.
What other C shows belong here? Did you have a favorite of what you saw here? What are your favorite TV shows, past and present?