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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Top Five.

Okay. Here we go.

Most of these are no-brainers, except maybe a couple, which are, in fact, brainers.

#5. "Mr. Lucky"

I told you Mancini would be represented here.
A dazzling song, and a dazzling arrangement for a not so dazzling show.
The show was very watchable, and Ross Martin was wonderful on it, but they got
a guy to play Mr. Lucky whose only qualification for the role was that he looked
a helluva lot like Cary Grant.
He certainly didn't act like him.
The song had a far longer shelf-life than the show.

#4. "Open End. A/K/A "The David Susskind Show."

Whenever David Susskind produced anything, it absolutely reeked with class.
This was the case with the theme for "Open End"
It took me a while to track down the source for it's theme.
It turned out that its composer was Robert Farnon, who was considered the
Leroy Anderson of Canada. The theme can be found on a CD called "Canadian
Impressions". The theme itself is the first cut on the CD, called "Gateway
to the West" I thought it might have been from a movie that Susskind produced,
but I was mistaken. This was a brainer.

#3. "The Dick Powell Theater"

Probably the most exciting and innovative use of opening titles ever, using still
photo clips of action from the show, to the rhythm of the music.
Some of this music originated a few years earlier on "Richard Diamond, Private Detective",
also owned by Powell's company.
So at least some of it was already in the library.
But then the Powell theme swelled orchestrally into something magnificent,
and it was what was used for the closing credits.

#2. "Route 66"

It was a virtual toss-up for number 1 and number 2. "Route 66" was a great show,
and Nelson Riddle's theme for it was groundbreaking, inspiring, and made this very young New Yorker,
who had never left the Tri-State area, want to see what else was out there.
And it didn't have to be in a Corvette.

#1. "Playhouse 90"

The song itself, the orchestration, the way it was used to present the show, and the composer, Alex North, were unmatched.
The release of the song, the middle part, was also astounding.
I really can't say enough about it.

So there you have it.

Now, you can all feel free to call me on the carpet for the ones you think I wrongfully left out.
I look forward to defending myself.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. The theme to Hill Street Blues. I remember when Daniel J. Travanti was doing press for the show in the first year. People asked him what the most important part of the show was and he said ,"I think it starts with the music."
    Other than that possible omission, I have really enjoyed going through this history of television with someone who really loves the medium.

  2. It wasn't an omission on my part. I gave it some thought. I just didn't care for it as much as the ones I included.

  3. For some odd, unexplainable reason, my kid brother was terrified of the opening of "Playhouse 90". The theme music and the sight of the star shaped mobile that introduced the show sent him into screams of terror and had him burrowing behind the living room couch. Happened every time. As middle agers, I asked him why he was so frightened by it. He had no idea.

  4. You could be qualified for a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  5. There's a chance you are qualified to get a free Apple iPhone 7.



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."