The ability to binge watch just about any show ever produced makes it easy to spot when television executives make a change to a television program. From recasting a character to completely redesigning the set, many of these changes are so routine that only the most diehard fan may notice. There is one aspect, however, that almost never changes: the theme.
Let’s take a look at a few of the more notable TV shows that have changed their tune!
Friends – Watch the pilot episode of Friends and you’ll be surprised to hear REM’s “Shiny Happy People” kicking off the show. After REM wouldn’t release the rights to NBC, The Rembrandts were tabbed to quickly record the instantly recognizable “I’ll Be There For You” that was used for the remainder of the show’s run. A full version was later recorded and became the band’s biggest hit, topping Billboard’s Adult Contemporary charts.
Happy Days – I can hear you singing now, “Sunday, Monday, Happy Days,” but for the first two seasons, “Happy Days” only played during the closing credits, while Bill Haley and His Comets’ B-side hit, “Rock Around the Clock” spun during the opening. As Happy Days and Haley’s song became huge hits, network execs did what network execs do and dumped “Rock Around the Clock” for “Happy Days” to save money on royalty fees.
Seinfeld – Originally, the funky licks starting every episode of Seinfeld were unique each and every week. Inspired by Jerry’s opening monologue for the melody, composer Jonathan Wolff used a synthesizer to create the slap bass sound everyone remembers for every episode. In addition to Seinfeld, Wolff is credited with arranging about 80 TV theme songs, including the themes for The King of Queens, Who’s the Boss?, and Married…With Children.
Tell us about your favorite TV show theme songs, Trivia fans!