I’ve written previously here about my frequent viewing of police and detective TV shows.
This is about half of my formula (I’ve already written about the other half) for TV-watching in my young days — cool theme music and cool wheels.
The ’70s TV Detectives Facebook page asked for members’ five favorite TV detective themes of the ’70s.
I replied that I couldn’t limit myself to five. Maybe five per network, starting with NBC …
… then CBS …
… then ABC:
I didn’t watch all of these. (I wonder how many people even remember Lorne Greene from anything after “Bonanza,” including the original “Battlestar Galactica,” the aforementioned “Griff” — whose theme music was undoubtedly better than the series — or “Code Red.”)
Responses to the original post also ran afield of both the decade and the specific genre, which I tried not to do here. So my list doesn’t include non-’70s (“Dragnet” ended in 1970 and “Mannix” and “Ironside” in 1975) nor non-detective shows, such as …
(Technically “Hawk” could have fit on the list given that, while it originally ran on ABC in 1966, NBC ran it in the summer of 1976 to capitalize on the popularity of Burt Reynolds, who by the way drove a Pontiac in “Hawk” 10 years before “Smokey and the Bandit” and its Trans Am.)
Why this group? you may ask. (Yes, you may ask.) Other than possibly an affinity for the key of B flat (“Adam-12,” both versions of “Johnny Staccato,” the start of “McCloud,” “Chase”), you might notice that most of these have horns of some kind. That was the usual arrangement before synthesizers started being used.
Anything written by Lalo Schifrin is of the highest quality, including non-police or non-TV stuff:
Now if someone would develop a detective movie or TV series where the hero drives a Corvette and Schifrin writes the theme music (he is still with us at 88) … that would be nirvana.