Saturday, November 21, 2020


Here are a few more themes that earned enough votes to make The Top 100 ...

But not enough to hit The Top 50 ...

S.W.A.T. (#39 in 2013) 

The Theme from S.W.A.T. became a #1 Hit for The Rhythm Heritage in 1975.  (Here it earned 113 votes, enough to earn it a #65 showing.)

They also covered “Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow,” the theme song from Baretta.  

Although this songs seems to be best known for Sammy Davis, Jr.'s vocal version, the best that record could do was “bubble under” in 1976, meaning that The Rhythm Heritage actually had the bigger hit!

(For those of you at home keeping score, The Baretta theme ... sung by Sammy Davis, Jr. ... earned 48 votes.  That put it at #145.)


LA LAW (this one did not make the list in 2013) 

Another GREAT ensemble cast: Harry Hamlin (Michael Kuzak), the return of Susan Dey (Laurie Partridge) to television (all grown up as District Attorney Grace Van Owen), Corbin Bernsen (as the ALWAYS ready, willing and able … to bed his clients … divorce attorney Arnie Becker), Alan Rachins (tightwad Douglas Brackman, Jr. … before he became Dharma’s hippie father!), Richard Dysart (Law Firm Patriarch Leland McKenzie), Michael Tucker (Stuart Markowitz, whose Venus Flytrap sexual technique had the entire country buzzing for more information as to how to exactly perform it), his TV (and real life) wife Jill Eikenberry (Ann Kelsey), Susan Ruttan (as Arnie Becker’s sexually frustrated secretary Roxanne Melman), Larry Drake (Benny Stulwicz, their mentally challenged office assistant), Michele Greene (young attorney Abbie Perkins) and Jimmy Smits (as Hispanic … and brilliant … attorney Victor Sifuentes.) 

In addition to great acting and great writing with compelling cases, a touch of romance and an excellent sense of humor, this series also gave us yet another great Mike Post theme song.  (Hey ... I wonder if they ever fixed that elevator???) 

The series ran for eight years (why isn’t THIS show available on DVD?) 


MOONLIGHTING (this was an “Extra” in 2013 ... 98 points and a #71 showing in 2020)

This was always a fun program to watch. 

Designed as a starring vehicle for model-turned-actress Cybil Shepherd (notoriously always filmed with a soft lens!), it ended up making a star of former bartender Bruce Willis … which caused quite a bit of conflict behind the scenes. (Word is that by the time David Addison and Maddie Hayes were FINALLY ready to get it on in Season Five, the two stars couldn’t stand each other and were barely speaking!) 

Willis somehow morphed from a wisecracking private eye on television to a wisecracking major motion picture action hero star … and Shepherd has rarely been heard from since. 

This is another great smooth jazz theme song, handled brilliantly by Al Jarreau, who also cowrote the tune. It became a #23 pop hit in 1987. 


LASSIE (this one did not make the list last time) 

What kid didn’t watch Lassie on Sunday nights? 

Starting in 1954 (!!!), the show ran for an incredible NINETEEN seasons, longer than the typical lifespan of the collie breed. 

Every dog to ever portray Lassie on television was actually a MALE collie (as female collies tended to shed their coat during their “in heat” season.) Male dogs also tended to outweigh their female counterparts by about fifteen pounds … which producers felt made Lassie to give off a stronger appearance on camera. 

Several dogs portrayed Lassie over the years … and sometimes even within a given season … as such, the studio had to make sure all the dogs looked essentially alike. 

The original Lassie, (real name, Pal, from the 1943 film, “Lassie, Come Home”) played Lassie on the first two television episodes … and then continued to make sporadic appearances until his death in 1958. Pal’s grandson, Baby, played the role for six years (until his death at the age of eight.) Although Baby appeared in the most episodes, he was the only collie to fill the role that lived to be less than seventeen years old. 

Incredibly, the program remained on the same network on the same night of the week and in the same timeslot for its entire original run.  During that time, a total of NINE different collies played the lead role. 

The show was so popular, they even got away with changing owners … from Jeff Miller (Tommy Rettig, 1954 - 1957) to Timmy Martin (Jon Provost, 1957 – 1964) 

When the new family took over in prime time (this is when the series’ theme song changed to the whistling tune that earned all of your votes), those first four seasons starring Tommy Rettig were released in syndication as “Jeff’s Collie.” 

Although the plots were rather weak (C’mon, girl, lead the way … Timmy’s fallen into the well again!), Lassie herself was an institution, and made appearances on other variety shows all the time.  She even went out on tour!!!

DIDJAKNOW?:  Although this seemed to be the running gag for as long as the series ran, over the course of its entire run of 366 episodes, Timmy NEVER … EVER ... fell down a well … yet that seems to be the greatest memory (and mockery) of the program!