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
- 'Survivor: Second Chance': Woo says he won't make same epic mistake twice
- Now's your chance to see 'Mad Max: Fury Road' in IMAX theaters
- Obama to honor Stephen King, Sally Field with National Medals of Arts
- Queen Elizabeth is a huge fan of 'Downton Abbey'
- You can binge all of TNT's new show 'Public Morals' — only on Labor Day weekend
- New 'Batman v Superman' pics show Wonder Woman, the Batmobile
- 'Star Wars: Aftermath': Finding Han Solo for a quick galactic run
- Force Friday: See Hasbro's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' toys
- How three worlds collided for the Shondaland cast shoot: See the exclusive photos
- 8 most polarizing celebrities in 'Dancing With the Stars' history
- All the VMAs 2015 performances graded
- VMAs 2015 Red Carpet: See All the Looks!
- Dakota Johnson, Keanu Reeves, Bar Refaeli & More!