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…
F is for Family Affair:
Family Affair is an American sitcom that aired on CBS from September 12, 1966 to March 4, 1971. The series explored the trials of well-to-do civil engineer and bachelor Bill Davis (Brian Keith) as he attempted to raise his brother’s orphaned children in his luxury New York City apartment. Davis’ traditional English gentleman’s gentleman, Mr. Giles French (Sebastian Cabot), also had adjustments to make as he became saddled with the responsibility of caring for 15-year-old Cissy (Kathy Garver) and the 6-year-old twins, Jody (Johnny Whitaker) and Buffy (Anissa Jones).
Family Affair ran for 138 episodes in five seasons. The show was created and produced by Edmund Hartmann and Don Fedderson, also known for My Three Sons and The Millionaire.
F is for The Fugitive:
The Fugitive is an American drama series created by Roy Huggins. It was produced by QM Productions and United Artists Television. It aired on ABC from 1963 to 1967. David Janssen stars as Richard Kimble, a physician who is falsely convicted of his wife’s murder and sentenced to receive the death penalty. En route to death row, Kimble’s train derails over a switch, allowing him to escape and begin a cross-country search for the real killer, a “one-armed man” (played by Bill Raisch). At the same time, Dr. Kimble is hounded by the authorities, most notably by Police Lieutenant Philip Gerard (Barry Morse).
The Fugitive aired for four seasons, and a total of 120 51-minute episodes were produced. The first three seasons were filmed in black and white; the final season was in color.
The Fugitive was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won the Emmy for Outstanding Dramatic Series in 1966. In 2002, it was ranked No. 36 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. TV Guide named the one-armed man No. 5 in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.
F is for The Flying Nun:
The Flying Nun was an American situation comedy produced by Screen Gems for ABC based on the 1965 book The Fifteenth Pelican, written by Tere Rios. It starred Sally Field as Sister Bertrille. The series originally ran on ABC from September 7, 1967, to April 3, 1970, producing 82 episodes, including a one-hour pilot episode.
Developed by Bernard Slade, the series centered on the adventures of a community of nuns in the Convent San Tanco in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The comic elements of the storyline were provided by the flying ability of a novice nun, Sister Bertrille.
In the hour-long series pilot, Chicago native Elsie Ethrington arrives in San Juan from New York City after her arrest for having been involved in a protest; she then adopts the name of Sister Bertrille. It is also later learned (in the episode “My Sister, The Sister”) that Sister Bertrille comes from a family of physicians and is the only one who did not follow in their footsteps. She became a nun, joining the Convento San Tanco, after being impressed by the missionary work of her aunt, and broke up with her boyfriend of eight months, a toy salesman.
Sister Bertrille could be relied upon to solve any problem that came her way by her ability to catch a passing breeze and fly. This was generally attributed to her weighing under 90 pounds, high winds at the Convent high on the ocean bluffs, and the large, heavily starched cornette that was the headpiece for her habit. (The cornette was based on one worn until the middle 1960s by the Daughters of Charity, although Sister Bertrille was never said to belong to that order. Indeed, the order which included the Convento San Tanco was never specified in the series.) Her flying talents caused as many problems as they solved. She explains her ability to fly by stating, “When lift plus thrust is greater than load plus drag, anything can fly.” The reason behind that statement was that Sister Bertrille weighed only 90 lbs.; in one episode, she tries to gain weight so she could stay grounded, but the attempt failed. Additionally, in the first season episode “Young Man with a Cornette,” she specifically tells a young boy who intended to use her cornette to fly that there were many factors other than her weight (which was distributed differently than that of the boy) that made her flying possible. The only time she was unable to take off was when heavy rains or storms occurred and caused her starched cornette to lose its shape or when she had to wear something that would keep her grounded at all times.
F is for The F.B.I. :
Here’s another police drama. Can you tell I’m into cop shows? 🙂
The F.B.I. is an American television series broadcast on ABC from 1965–74. It was sponsored by the Ford Motor Company, and the characters almost always drove Ford vehicles in the series. Alcoa and American Tobacco Company co-sponsored the first season only with Ford.
Produced by Quinn Martin (who also produced The Fugitive) and based in part on concepts from the 1959 Warner Bros. theatrical film The FBI Story, the series was an authentic telling of or fictionalized accounts of actual F.B.I. cases, with fictitious main characters carrying the stories. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. played Inspector Lewis Erskine, a widower whose wife died as a result of an ambush that was meant for him. Philip Abbott played Arthur Ward, assistant director to F.B.I. chief J. Edgar Hoover. Although Hoover served as series consultant until his death in 1972, he was never seen in the series.
Some episodes ended with a “most wanted” segment hosted by Zimbalist, noting the F.B.I.’s most wanted criminals of the day (this was decades before the Fox Network aired “America’s Most Wanted”). The most famous instance during the series’ run came following the April 21, 1968 episode, when Zimbalist asked for information about fugitive James Earl Ray, who was being sought in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The series aired on ABC at 8 p.m. Sunday from 1965 to 1973, when it was moved up to 7:30 p.m. for the final season. The series was a co-production of Quinn Martin Productions and Warner Bros. Television, as Warner Bros. held the television and theatrical rights to any project based on The FBI Story. It was the longest running of all of Quinn Martin’s television series, having aired nine seasons. The series peaked at No. 10 in the 1970-1971 season.
Here is a typical intro along with closing credits:
F is for Flipper: This should be no surprise: Flipper was one of my favorite shows!
Flipper, from Ivan Tors Films in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television, is an American television program first broadcast on NBC from September 19, 1964, until April 15, 1967. Flipper, a bottlenose dolphin, is the companion animal of Porter Ricks, Chief Warden at fictional Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve in southern Florida, and his two young sons, Sandy and Bud. The show has been dubbed an “aquatic Lassie”
Flipper. Flipper is a dolphin and the companion animal of the Ricks family. Flipper is an extraordinarily intelligent dolphin who helps enforce regulations in the Preserve, assists Porter Ricks with rescues at sea, and keeps a watchful eye on Sandy and Bud, who themselves he has rescued or helped rescue from danger on numerous occasions. Flipper was portrayed by five different dolphins, the most commonly used ones were named “Kathy” and “Susie.”
Pelican Pete. A pelican named Pete, depicted in the original movie as Sandy’s pet before he met Flipper, had a recurring role on the show and appeared in several episodes.
Additional animal cast members. Other animals appearing on the show included a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Spray (real name was Chobee from Okeechobee, Florida) (seen only in a few early episodes), a seal, a baby elephant, alligators, a female albino dolphin (whose baby Flipper fathered during her only appearance, in the “White Dolphin” episode); and another female dolphin, introduced at the end of the second season, dubbed “Lorelei” by the Ricks family. Lorelei became Flipper’s “girlfriend”.
Porter Ricks. Brian Kelly fills the show’s moral center with his portrayal of Porter Ricks, a loving father, conscientious government employee, rugged outdoorsman, and all-around good guy. Porter is a widowed father with two sons, Sandy and Bud, and is employed as Chief Warden and Park Ranger at the fictional Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve in southern Florida. Kelly replaced Chuck Connors (the original Porter Ricks in the first movie Flipper) in the second movie Flipper’s New Adventure although he was then only at Park Ranger training school. Reflecting on Porter being single, Brian Kelly told TV Guide (July 9, 1966): “I’m going to bring a couple of bikini girls on. I want some groovy-lookin’ girls because a lot of fathers who see the show say, “Where are the chicks?”. Porter’s parenting style is firm yet fun as he involves his boys (particularly the older son Sandy) in his various exciting water borne tasks as Park Ranger all the while gladly allowing Flipper to befriend his sons and help with various crucial rescue efforts.
Sandy Ricks. Luke Halpin plays Porter’s elder son Sandy. Sandy begins Season 1 as a 15-year-old outdoorsy athletic teenager sometimes given to boyish mishaps and poor choices (although usually more responsible than his impish younger brother Bud) and ends Season 3 as an 18-year-old old enough for adult responsibilities and duties. Sandy often accompanies his father on dangerous adventures and rescues at, and under the, sea. The character of Sandy is carried over from both the feature films (Halpin was the sole lead actor/character to appear in both movies AND the entire TV series), where he was the one who first met Flipper and became his special friend. Halpin became an expert diver and thus was able to perform the extensive water related scenes throughout the series largely without stunt doubles. Halpin’s role as Sandy Ricks catapulted him to the rarefied atmosphere of teen super-stardom, a status bolstered by his frequent appearances in just cut-down blue jeans showing his tanned athletic swimmer’s build, his trademark mop of blond hair and model-quality telegenic looks.
Bud Ricks. Redheaded, freckle-faced Tommy Norden portrayed Porter Ricks’s younger son. Bud (a character created specifically for the TV series) begins Season 1 as an impish 10-year-old boy who has a difficult time staying out of trouble. Many episodes revolve around mistakes made by Bud, intentionally or unintentionally, and his need to be rescued from the consequences. Bud is gullible and easily swallows the tall tales Hap Gorman feeds him. Bud is at home on or near the sea and loves animals of all sorts. Flipper is his special companion and he ends Season 3 as a 13-year-old able to do more of the work that his older brother Sandy does.
F is for the Flintstones:
The Flintstones is an animated, prime-time American television sitcom that was broadcast from September 30, 1960 to April 1, 1966, on ABC. The show, produced by Hanna-Barbera, fancifully depicted the lives of a working-class Stone Age man, his family, and his next-door neighbor and best friend.
The show’s continuing popularity rested heavily on its juxtaposition of modern everyday concerns in the Stone Age setting. The Flintstones was the most financially successful network animated franchise for three decades, until The Simpsons debuted. In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Flintstones the second Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time (after The Simpsons).
The show is set in the Stone Age town of Bedrock. In this fantasy version of the past, dinosaurs and other long-extinct animals co-exist with cavemen, saber-toothed cats, and woolly mammoths. Like their mid-twentieth century counterparts, these cavemen listen to records, live in split-level homes, and eat out at restaurants, yet their technology is made entirely from pre-industrial materials and largely powered through the use of animals. For example, the cars are made out of stone, wood and animal skins, and powered by the passengers’ feet.
Often the “prehistoric” analog to a modern machine uses an animal. For example, when a character takes photographs with an instant camera, inside the camera box, a bird carves the picture on a stone tablet with its beak. In a running gag, the animal powering such technology would frequently break the fourth wall, look directly into the camera at the audience and offer a mild complaint about his job. Other commonly seen gadgets in the series include a baby woolly mammoth used as a vacuum cleaner; an adult woolly mammoth acting as a shower by spraying water with its trunk; elevators raised and lowered by ropes around brontosauruses’ necks; “automatic” windows powered by monkeys on the outside; birds acting as “car horns”, sounded by the driver pulling on their tails or squeezing their bodies; an “electric” razor made from a clam shell, vibrating from a honey-bee inside; a pelican as a washing machine, shown with a beakful of soapy water; and a woodpecker whose beak is used to play a gramophone record. In most cases, “The Man of a Thousand Voices”, Mel Blanc, contributed the animals’ gag lines, often lowering his voice one to two full octaves, far below the range he used to voice the character of Barney Rubble. In the case of the Flintstones’ cuckoo clocks, which varied from mechanical toys to live birds announcing the time, when the hour approached 12:00, the bird inside the clock “cuckooing” usually just ran out of steam and gave up vocally, physically, or both.
Fred Flintstone is the main character of the series. Fred is an accident-prone bronto-crane operator at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company and the head of the Flintstone household. He is quick to anger (usually over trivial matters), but is a very loving husband and father. He is also good at bowling and is a member of the fictional “Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes” (Lodge No. 26), a men-only club paralleling real-life fraternities such as the Loyal Order of Moose.
Wilma Flintstone is Fred’s wife. She is more intelligent and level-headed than her husband, though she often has a habit of spending money (with her and Betty’s catchphrase being “Da-da-da duh da-da CHARGE IT!!”). She often is a foil to Fred’s poor behavior.
Pebbles Flintstone is the Flintstones’ infant daughter, who is born near the end of the third season.
Dino, a prosauropod dinosaur, is the Flintstones’ pet who barks and generally acts like a dog. A running gag in the series involves Dino knocking down Fred out of excitement and licking him repeatedly. Though this irritates Fred a lot, he generally likes Dino very much.
Baby Puss is the Flintstones’ pet saber-toothed cat, who is rarely seen in the actual series, but is always seen throwing Fred out of the house during the end credits, causing Fred to pound repeatedly on the front door and yell “Wilma!”
Barney Rubble is the secondary main character and Fred’s best friend and next door neighbor. His occupation is, for the most part of the series, unknown, though later series depict him working in the same quarry as Fred. He shares many of Fred’s interests like bowling and golf, and is also a member of the “Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes”. Though Fred and Barney frequently get into feuds with one another (usually due to Fred’s short temper), their deep fraternal bond remains evident.
Betty Rubble is Barney’s wife and Wilma’s best friend. Like Wilma, she too has a habit of spending money.
Bamm-Bamm Rubble is the Rubbles’ abnormally strong adopted son, whom they adopt during the fourth season; his name comes from the only phrase he ever speaks as a baby: “Bamm, Bamm!”
Hoppy is the Rubbles’ pet Hopparoo (a kangaroo/dinosaur combination creature), whom they adopt in the beginning of the fifth season. When he first arrives, Dino (and eventually Fred) mistakes him for a giant mouse and becomes frightened of him, but they eventually become best friends in a manner similar to that of their owners. He babysits the kids as he takes them around in his pouch, which also serves as a shopping cart for Betty. Fred Flintstone regards Hoppy as an overgrown and obnoxious nuisance until the fateful day that the Flintstones and the Rubbles go out together on a picnic. The families’ lives are endangered during the picnic and Hoppy goes for help.
Other characters: Do you remember these secondary characters?
Mr. Slate is Fred’s hot-tempered boss at the stone quarry. Though he is friends with Fred and Barney and often joins them for events such as parties, he is often not impressed with Fred’s antics at the quarry, and has fired him on many occasions, only to give him his job back at the end. A running gag is his ever-changing first name, which has been presented as Sylvester, Nate, Oscar and George. On the episode “The Long, Long, Long Weekend”, which originally aired on January 21, 1966, he is shown as being the founder of Slate Rock and Gravel Company. The company is still in business two million years later and is being run by his descendant George Slate the Eighty-Thousandth.
Arnold is the Flintstones’ paper boy, whom Fred absolutely despises, because he often, unintentionally, throws the newspaper at Fred’s face. A running gag has Fred being outsmarted by Arnold. His parents are mentioned, but almost never seen. His mother has never been seen on screen, but her name is Doris and she is a friend of Wilma’s and Betty’s as evidenced in the episode “The Little Stranger”, which originally aired on November 2, 1962. His father was shown on the episode “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, which originally aired on April 27, 1962. His name, however, is unknown.
Joe Rockhead is a mutual friend of Fred and Barney. Usually, when Fred and Barney have some kind of falling out, Fred mentions doing something (such as going to a baseball game) with Joe. Joe was, at some point, chief of the Bedrock Volunteer Fire Department (as shown on the episode “Arthur Quarry’s Dance Class”, which originally aired on January 13, 1961). His appearance varied throughout the run of the series, but his appearance in the episode “The Picnic”, which originally aired on December 15, 1961, was the one most commonly used.
Pearl Slaghoople is Wilma’s hard-to-please mother, who is constantly disapproving of Fred and his behavior. Their disastrous first meeting was recounted in the episode “Bachelor Daze”, which originally aired on March 5, 1964. They briefly reconciled in the episode “Mother-in-Law’s Visit”, which originally aired on February 1, 1963. That is, until, she found out that she became Fred’s “nice fat pigeon” when he suckered her out of money he need to buy a baby crib for Pebbles. They would reconcile again at the end of the TV movie “I Yabba Dabba Do”.
The Great Gazoo is an alien exiled to Earth who helps Fred and Barney, often against their will. He is actually from the future, and is quite dismayed when he realizes he has been sent back to “the Stone Age”. He can only be seen by Fred, Barney, Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm, other small children, Dino and Hoppy.
Uncle Tex Hardrock is Fred’s maternal uncle and a member of the Texarock Rangers. He constantly holds Fred’s future inheritance over his head.
Sam Slagheap is the Grand Poobah of the Water Buffalo Lodge.
The Flintstones Intro and Closing Credits:
What are your favorite TV shows, past and present? Do you like cartoons? Are there any other classic shows that start with F that should’ve been included here?