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July 31, 2014

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The 10 Best Classic TV Theme Songs

by Maggie Furlong, posted Oct 19th 2011 2:00PM
The Mary Tyler Moore ShowThe TV theme song is sort of a dying art: Some shows still have them -- and they're making a comeback of late -- but most choose a quick diddy and they're done. Having anything TV-related stuck in your head for days in this line of work is a very good sign of something special, so we prefer the shows that go all out.

Our pals over at AOL Radio are re-launching with a new and improved listening experience today, powered by Slacker, and one of the stations we're most looking forward to is TV Tunes. Obviously. They're playing theme songs from popular shows, past and present, 24 hours a day, now with 50% fewer commercial interruptions ... if only real TV was like that.

It got us thinking about our own favorite TV theme songs (including new ones like 'New Girl' on Fox. "Who's that girl? It's Jess!" ... and we adore her), which got us going a ways back in the old AOL TV archives for these gems: Our reader picks for the Best TV Theme Songs. Ever.

Take a look and tell us if you agree with this classic-filled top 10 ...

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Peter Graves on 'Mission: Impossible': 3 Most Memorable Moments

by David Hofstede, posted Mar 16th 2010 10:00AM
Peter GravesFrom the children's western series 'Fury' to his appearance in the comedy classic 'Airplane,' Peter Graves had a prominent and wide-ranging career in both film and television. But the distinguished, silver-haired actor, who died on March 14 at the age of 83, will always be best remembered for his work as Jim Phelps, the brilliant tactician of 'Mission: Impossible' (1966-1973).

Graves' portrayal of Phelps, featuring those famous scenes in which he received his mission instructions from a tape that "will self-destruct in five seconds,' was so iconic that some might be surprised to learn that he joined the cast in the series' second season, replacing Steven Hill as team leader Dan Briggs. He remained with the show for the next seven seasons.

The complete 'Mission: Impossible" series is available on DVD. Here are three of the best episodes featuring Jim Phelps.

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'Mission: Impossible' Star Peter Graves Dead at 83

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 14th 2010 11:04PM
Peter GravesPeter Graves died of a heart attack at his Los Angeles home today. He was an actor who seemed to do a little bit of everything, and where you know him from might depend on your age.

He was team leader Jim Phelps on 'Mission: Impossible' in the '60s and also had a memorable role as the pilot Captain Oveur in the first two 'Airplane' movies in the '80s. He was also the host of A&E's 'Biography' for ten years and appeared in several commercials ("I'm Peter Graves..."). You might even know him from voice work he did on 'American Dad.' He had a recurring role on '7th Heaven' and guest roles on 'Cold Case,' 'House,' 'Diagnosis: Murder,' 'The Love Boat,' 'Fantasy Island,' and other shows.

Graves wasn't happy about Phelps being the bad guy in the big-screen 'Mission: Impossible' movie but was actually going to film a cameo in the fourth film in the franchise.

Graves was the brother of another TV icon, 'Gunsmoke's' James Arness. After the jump, the opening to 'Mission: Impossible.'

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What's the best TV theme of all-time, Happy Days or Gilligan's Island?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 12th 2009 3:04PM
Gilligan's Island/Happy Days
I know, I know, you're thinking, those are the only two choices I get, Happy Days and Gilligan's Island? Yes, according to this poll over at AOL Television. For the past several weeks they've pit various TV show theme songs against each other in a tournament, and the two finalists, for some reason, are Happy Days theme and the Gilligan's Island theme.

Now, it seems like these aren't the "best" theme songs, just the ones that readers and TV fans thought were the most iconic, or maybe it's the fact that they both have lyrics and that's what readers were looking for?

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 2nd 2009 6:06PM
The ShieldHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

If you loved The Rockford Files and you own the season sets, you'll probably want to buy Volume 1 of the movies (four in this batch) that is being released tomorrow. They weren't as good as the series, of course (sort of like the Spenser: For Hire movies that Robert Urich did after that series ended), but they're actually pretty good.

And season 6 of Kate & Allie is out. That reminds me: I still have to get season 5.

  • Afro Samurai - Complete Murder Sessions
  • The Clone Wars - Season 1
  • Doctor Who - The War Games and The Black Guardian Trilogy
  • Edge of Darkness - The Complete BBC Series

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Best '60s TV Shows

by Kim Potts, posted Aug 24th 2009 4:00PM
Best Shows of the '60s Andy GriffithIn AOL TV's continuing countdown of the best TV shows of each decade, we travel back in time to the 1960s, when viewers were entertained by wacky sitcoms like 'Green Acres,' 'Bewitched' and 'The Addams Family,' a proliferation of Westerns that featured future superstars like Clint Eastwood and Michael Landon, variety shows like 'Laugh-In' and 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour' and James Bond-inspired spy shows like 'The Saint' and 'I Spy.'

Viewers were also into grittier fare like realistic cop dramas ('Ironside,' 'Adam-12') and war action series ('12 O'Clock High,' 'Combat!'), though there was plenty of classic sitcom fun on the airwaves, too, from 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' to 'Get Smart' and 'My Three Sons.'

Take a look at our picks of the decade's best and let us know if we got it right. -- By Kimberly Potts

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TNT's giving us more Leverage

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 19th 2009 11:26AM
Nate_Leverage
While this off-network summer season has reached a fevered pitch after last with the return of Mad Men, not to be overlooked is that other cable shows have also been delivering the goods. Shows like Burn Notice and Leverage, for instance. Regarding Leverage, there's good news to report. TNT will air two extra Leverage episodes in the weeks ahead.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 27th 2009 6:04PM
Star TrekHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

Question: how many freakin' versions of the original Star Trek are there on DVD? It seems like there's a new released every six months. And the funny thing? I bet hardcore Trek fans will buy all of them.

(Note: the Frost/Nixon set is not the Ron Howard movie, it's the original interviews between the two men.)

  • American Dad - Vol. 4
  • Fallen Angel - Compete Miniseries
  • Frost/Nixon - Complete Interviews

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50 Best TV Dramas Ever

by Kim Potts, posted Mar 11th 2009 6:00AM
CSIIt's not easy winnowing more than 50 years of small-screen gems into a list of 50.

But AOL TV's picks of the top TV dramas include the most brilliant doctors and lawyers, the angst-iest teens, sci-fi series that transcend their genre molds, family dramas that both warm and break your heart, terrorist- and mobster-fighting heroes ... and a show that combined the best of family and gangster drama into one unforgettable series.

Click through to see all 50 of the best TV dramas of all time.

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Emmys to feature Josh Groban's TV theme medley

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 10th 2008 2:01PM
Groban One of the highlights of this year's primetime Emmys is going to be musical. That's right, I'm psychic. I've looked into the future and can tell you without equivocation that Josh Groban singing a medley of TV themes from 60 years of programs will stop the show.

On September 21, the night ABC broadcasts the big anniversary of the Primetime Emmys, producer Ken Ehrlich has tapped balladeer Groban for a four-minute medley of TV themes. The mind reels with the possibilities of how many memorable melodies he can fit into 240 seconds.

Some choices seem obvious: Cheers (where everybody knows your name), The Jeffersons (movin' on up to the big time), The Beverly Hillbillies (black gold, Texas T), The Flintstones (they're a modern stone-aged family).

Like I said, the possibilities are vast, and the promise of a something hilarious is sure fire.

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Burn Notice: Scatter Point

by Paul Goebel, posted Aug 8th 2008 8:42AM

Burn Notice(S02E05) "Sammy's gettin' some hammy tonight." - Sam Axe

How great was it seeing Michael and Fi still sitting in that car? I like to imagine that they were sitting there for an entire week while we waited for the new episode.

Not that I didn't enjoy Michael's how-to on exposing covert security but I feel bad for the delivery guy. As if it isn't bad enough to get to the delivery and realize you've been pranked, this poor guy is also going to get the crap beaten out of him. No wonder Michael helps everyone he meets. He has a lot of bad karma to make up for.

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AmericanLife: It's swell

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 9th 2008 10:40AM
Richard BasehartWhile channel-surfing on my little office TV last week around 1 a.m., looking for something to keep me company, I stumbled across an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (star Richard Basehart, pictured), followed by Combat!.

"What is this channel that plays all these old shows I remember as a kid?" I asked the TV Gods.

"It's AmericanLife," they replied. "They feature classic family shows aimed at Baby Boomers -- shows like Remington Steele, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Lost in Space, and Welcome Back, Kotter."

Ok, the TV Gods didn't really say that. I looked it up on the AmericanLife Web site, not to be confused with Showtime's This American Life, the fab documentary series hosted by Ira Glass.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted May 12th 2008 6:00PM

Mission: Impossible Here are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

  • American Idol - Season 6 Finale
  • The Chase - Season 1
  • Drawn Together - Season 3 Uncensored
  • Galaxy Rangers - The Collection: Vol. 1
  • Garfield and His Friends - A Cat and His Nerd
  • The Incredible Hulk Returns and The Trial of The Incredible Hulk
  • Lovejoy - Season 3
  • The Magnificent Seven - Complete Series
  • Mission: Impossible - Season 4
  • The Rat Patrol - Complete Series
  • Saturday Night Live - Season 3
  • Sinatra (mini-series)
  • Stargate: Infinity - Complete Series
  • Two and a Half Men - Season 3

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 19th 2007 6:02PM

Love American StyleHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow:

  • The Batman - Season 4
  • Bozo's Big Top - Collection 2
  • BraveStarr - Vol. 1
  • CSI - Season 7
  • The Care Bears - 25 Years of Caring
  • Chappelle's Show - Series Collection
  • Charles in Charge - Season 2
  • The Doris Day Show - Season 5 and Doris Day Today
  • Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist - Complete Series
  • Inside the Actor's Studio - Johnny Depp
  • Little Britain - Abroad and Complete Collection
  • Love, American Style - Season 1, Vol. 1
  • Man with a Camera - Complete Collection
  • Mission: Impossible - Season 3
  • The Naked Brothers Band - Battle of the Bands
  • Queer As Folk - Complete Series
  • Star Trek - Season 1 HD
  • Tales of Tomorrow - Vol. 3
  • Teen Titans - Season 4
  • The Tudors - Season 1 (Canada)
  • The Wild, Wild West - Season 3

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 4th 2007 6:55PM

Johnny CarsonNew TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

  • Chappelle's Show - Best Of
  • CHiPs - Season 1
  • The Cosby Show - Seasons 3 and 4
  • Dark Angel - Seasons 1 and 2 (Thin)
  • The Dead Zone - Season 5
  • Doctor Who - Stories 115, 116 and 117
  • The Fall Guy - Season 1, Volumes 1 and 2 and also a Season 1 set
  • The Henry Rollins Show - Season 1
  • Hex - Season 1
  • Hogan's Heroes - Season 6
  • Mission: Impossible - Season 2
  • The Outer Limits - Vol. 1
  • Rescue Me - Season 3
  • Robin Hood - Season 1
  • Seinfeld - Season 8
  • SpongeBob SquarePants - Bikini Bottom Adventures
  • Survivorman - Survivorman
  • The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson - Best of Standup Comedians and The King of Late Night
  • Wait Till Your Father Gets Home - Season 1
  • What's New Scooby Doo? - Season 2

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