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Old 09-10-2019, 05:29 PM
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TV shows that use theme songs from other TV shows


The Leftovers made extensive use of the theme from Perfect Strangers. An episode of Adventure Time uses the theme from Mr. Belvedere. Any other examples? I'm especially interested in examples so old or obscure that the primary target audience of the newer show may not get the reference at all.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:38 PM
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The show Newhart used Schubert's Piano sonata No. 20 as it's theme song. The show Wings used the same piece for their theme song. Both shows took place New England. Wings gives full credit to Franz Schubert for the music while on Newhart the credit is given to Henry Mancini, pretty shabby treatment of a righteous dude like The Franz.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:39 PM
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Zillions of shows have made use of the theme from The Lone Ranger whenever there is a race. Two and a Half Men frequently played a portion of the William Tell Overture as well (although not the Lone Ranger part).
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:45 PM
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George uses a parody of the theme song from Greatest American Hero as his answering machine message on Seinfeld.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:38 AM
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From How I Met Your Mother -

Wait for it...
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
The Leftovers made extensive use of the theme from Perfect Strangers.
Perfect Strangers, itself, had Balki humming the theme of I Dream of Jeannie in one episode - I can't remember the context, but I remember the image of him dancing down the stairs at work as he did so, vividly.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:28 AM
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Another episode of Adventure Time featured Simon singing the theme song from Cheers.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:12 PM
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The Simpsons pay homage to an earlier animated series
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
The show Newhart used Schubert's Piano sonata No. 20 as it's theme song. The show Wings used the same piece for their theme song. Both shows took place New England. Wings gives full credit to Franz Schubert for the music while on Newhart the credit is given to Henry Mancini, pretty shabby treatment of a righteous dude like The Franz.
I don't hear it, but then I don't hear the plagiarism in "Sussudio," either.

Newhart

Wings

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 09-11-2019 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:38 PM
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I don't hear it, but then I don't hear the plagiarism in "Sussudio," either.

Newhart

Wings
Well it could be me, I have tin ears. The two versions are played with different instruments and don't start the same way. Maybe that is confusing me, but the underlying melody sounds very much the same to me.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:06 PM
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In the Bonanza episode "Bank Run", they used a riff similar to Dragnet's (DA-da-da-Dum) a couple of times when Hoss was standing guard outside of a bank.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:13 PM
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Speaking of Bonanza

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX5Z40N_bHo
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:57 PM
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Star Trek: The Next Generation stole their theme song from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Does that count?
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:33 PM
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Friends used the Odd Couple theme (and a short piece of I Dream of Jeannie) in one of the cold opens.

There's also a scene in London in which a homesick Joey finds Cheers on TV.

I can't think of any obscure examples, however.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:50 PM
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Here's an old school one: Card Sharks used the same theme as the original 1970s CBS version (not the one with the obstacle courses) of Double Dare.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:39 PM
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On Scrubs, Ted's group The Blanks went thru a theme song phase. They covered Facts of Life, Charles in Charge, and Underdog. (Maybe others?)
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:03 PM
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The Greatest Event in Television History recreates the openings of 4 TV series. In particular, there's a scene where Adam Scott and Paul Rudd are correcting Billy Joel on the words to "My Life" (the theme to "Bosom Buddies").
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:40 PM
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The BBC radio series Cabin Pressure and the CBS sitcom Mom both use Mikhail Glinka's Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila as their theme music. It's not obvious if you watch the opening of Mom; the piece is five minutes long and the two shows use different snippets in their openings. The closing credits of Mom use the same section of music as Cabin Pressure.

While googling this, I found an interview asking Chuck Lorre why he chose to use classical music for Mom and he doesn't mention Cabin Pressure, so it may have just been a coincidence.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:20 PM
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In the Seinfeld episode "The Cigar Store Indian", a crazy guy ends up with a copy of TV Guide he thinks belongs to Elaine and he hums the theme to "I Love Lucy" to himself as he turns it into a bouquet of paper flowers.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
Star Trek: The Next Generation stole their theme song from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Does that count?
I'd say yes, but I'd also point out that you'd be more correct in pointing out that TNG combines the themes from TOS and TMP.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:26 AM
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The Simpsons and Family Guy alone probably have enough examples to fill a book.

Some miscellaneous examples I can think of:

In one episode of Seinfeld, Jerry and Elaine are waiting in line for the opera, Elaine comments she doesn't want to miss the overture, which prompts Jerry to go into the whole Bugs Bunny "Overture, curtain, lights" routine.

In one episode of That '70s Show, everybody's on a road trip, and Hyde, trying to mess with Kelso (who is hooking up with both Jackie and Laurie at the time) gets the entire vanload of people to sing the Three's Company theme.

In one episode of Full House, Jesse is trying to remember the Three's Company theme (for reasons that escape me now), but the closest he can get to the line "Where the kisses are hers and hers and his" is something along the lines of "With the thing and the thing and that guy falling off his bike".
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:00 AM
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I get nothing but disagreement when I bring this up, but I swear that the theme for the X Files is basically the theme from the 1960s sitcom The Mothers-in-Law played more slowly and "spookily".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpqffgak7To

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGdtFv3TQH8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFnU8QVgrNA
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Last edited by CalMeacham; 09-13-2019 at 09:01 AM.
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