A rich, intelligent television book is Jon Burlingame’s TV’s Biggest Hits, subtitled ”The Story of Television Themes From Dragnet to Friends.” Burlingame has had one of those so-obvious-it’s-clever ideas and did a ton of research to dig up anecdotes about the theme songs and background music that are the soundtrack to a TV watcher’s life. What crops up again and again is the notion that the music producers and arrangers who work in television are witty pop scholars who take their themes seriously. For instance, Alf Clausen, who writes scores for The Simpsons, once quoted Elmer Bernstein’s theme from The Great Escape to give an episode about little Maggie Simpson’s day-care adventures some tense zing. A-
Posted June 28 1996 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Leonard Nimoy's Mr. Spock: A tribute to the humane spirit
- 'McFarland, USA' and the neutering of sports movies
- Leonard Nimoy: 9 'I Am Not Spock' TV roles
- Look, but don't retouch? Female celeb photo debate
- Margot Robbie's 'Focus' audition, a.k.a. 'the craziest 24 hours of my life'
- 'Focus' is weekend's No. 1 movie; 'Fifty Shades of Grey' drops to No. 4
- 'SNL' react: Your quick take on Dakota Johnson and Alabama Shakes?