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ABC Color Movies (since 1961)

      (ABC Primetime, 1961 - Present)

      [Network film presentations prior to 1961 were usually quite
       dated or foreign. NBC's "Saturday Night at the Movies" on 
       September 23, 1961 started a new trend. After years of waging
       war on TV, Hollywood studios began negotiating with "the enemy"
       so finally better movies began to appear. There were perhaps
       two converging trends at work here: (1) the networks obtained
       the rights to broadcast more recent feature films from major 
       motion picture studios, and (2) the advent of color TV made
       these film broadcasts more acceptable to the audience, which
       had only seen TV as a black and white delivery medium. After
       NBC tried it and succeeded in terms of high ratings, the other 
       networks soon followed suit with color feature film series.

       ABC experimented with a late-night umbrella concept under 
       the title "Wide World of Entertainment" (the title aligned with 
       their popular "Wide World of Sports"...not to be confused with
       NBC's "Wide Wide World" :-) ABC's late-night entertainment block
       varied from talk shows to variety shows to rock concerts, but 
       included occasional Made-for-TV Movies as well...It was 
       sometimes called "Wide World Mystery"...

       This was similar to NBC's late-night concept of a number of
       Made-for-TV Movies to introduce rotating series concepts,
       which could be spun off on their own if they were successful, 
       all premiering under the umbrella title, "NBC Mystery Movie";

       The concept of a network movie series has been slowly eroding
       since the late 1990s, replaced by more late-night talk and
       reality shows and various other attempts to find ratings;

       Below are some of the titles used by ABC for its movies...

      "The  ABC Sunday     Night Movie"        (Fall,   1962)
      "The  ABC Wednesday  Night Movie"        (Summer, 1966)
      "The (ABC Tuesday)   Movie of the Week"  (Fall,   1969)

      "The  ABC Monday     Night Movie"        (Winter, 1970)
      "The (ABC Wednesday) Movie of the Week"  (Fall,   1972)
      "The  ABC Suspense Movie" (on Saturday)  (Fall,   1973)

      "ABC Wide World of Entertainment"        (Winter, 1973)
          (aka: Wide World Mystery)
      "The  ABC Family Movie"]  


Theme 1: "Theme - 'The Sunday Night Movie'"

    [Above is title as filed for copyright;
     Related copyright: "Opening - 'The Sunday Night Movie'";
     
     ASCAP title: "The Sunday Night Movie (Signature)";
     aka: "Sunday Night Movie Theme"]
    [probable dates of use: 1964 - 1969]

     Composer: Winston S. Sharples (ASCAP)

     1964 Publisher: Ampco Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
     1978 Publisher: American Broadcasting Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
     1998 Publisher: American Broadcasting Music, Inc. (ASCAP), of
                     New York, NY
                     
     Copyright Name: Opening - "The Sunday Night Movie"
     Copyright Date: Nov. 25, 1964; Eu 854 762.     
                     
     Copyright Name: Theme - "The Sunday Night Movie"
     Copyright Date: Nov. 25, 1964; Eu 854 763.
     
     Recordings: 
          LP: "Theme from Peyton Place and 11 Other Great Themes"
          Frank DeVol and his Orchestra
          ABC-Paramount ABC/ABCS-513 (1965)


Theme 2 (Tuesday/Wednesday): "New Movie Theme [adapted from 'Nikki' & 'Are You There']"

    [aka: "Wednesday Night"]
    [probable dates of use: 1966 - 1974;

     This nice broad anthem of a movie theme incorporated
     what musicians call "licks" (musical figures or motifs)
     from arrangements of compositions by Burt Bacharach --
     "Nikki" and "Are You There" which were popular songs
     on the Billboard charts at the time.
     
     In a 1966 article on TV music in the BMI promotional
     publication "Many Worlds of Music", THEME credit for
     the ABC Tuesday/Wednesday Night Movie was given to
     Harry Betts (a BMI composer/arranger)...Bacharach
     (an ASCAP composer) received no BMI mention. 
     
     Many viewers remember the "horn fifths" played in the
     string section from the introduction of the Bacharach
     song "Nikki"; and, as contributor Steve Owen points out, 
     other phrases from the Bacharach song "Are You There"
     were ALSO incorporated in this contemporary (for the 
     times) network movie theme.
     
     Usually the way these things happen is that the TV
     composer comes to a meeting at the network and is told, 
     "We've been using a custom piece written for us a few
     years back, and now we would like something more
     up-to-date, more hip." When the composer asks for a 
     specific example, the network guy who doesn't
     know what a network movie theme should sound like
     may say something like "I don't know how to tell you
     your business...but you know what I like to listen to? 
     I like songs by Burt Bacharach. If you could write
     something like Bacharach, it'd really be cool..."
     
     Of course that particular directive may be the wrong
     advice on which to base a TV theme for a network movie.
     But, with this sentence echoing in his head, the
     composer stumbles out the door wondering "How the heck
     can I turn love songs into a movie theme?" But he
     goes out and listens to a bunch of Bacharach records
     and looks for some way to please his client...
     
     Of course the melody of a pop song may be filed for
     copyright, but rarely is the arrangement. With a
     creative composer/arranger like Bacharach, those
     memorable licks may have been part of "the song" to
     fans, but they probably never found their way to the 
     copyright office...
     
     There may have been some discussion with Bacharach to
     ask if they would allow the movie theme to "quote"
     from their arrangements if it wasn't using the whole
     tune or even a whole melody. Or perhaps Bacharach was
     given some compensation for his cooperation...At any
     rate the THEME went on the air, and became widely known.
     
     So the influences converge -- the proud anthem style
     in which most movie themes are written, and the licks
     from contemporary songs "liberally quoted." In less
     capable hands, this could yield a goulash of styles. 
     
     But in the case of a talented and experienced man like
     Harry Betts who had a solid foundation in jazz and
     production music, this mixture worked at the time,
     resulting in a THEME remembered fondly decades later
     by those viewers growing up in the 1960's....]

     Credited Composer: Harry Richard Betts (BMI)

     1978 Publishers: 

     1998 Publishers: MCA Duchess Music Corporation (BMI),
                      of Los Angeles, CA
     
     Copyright Date: 
     Recordings:
     


Theme 3/4: "Sunday/Monday Night Movie Theme"

    [probable dates of use: 1969 - 1974;
     Themes 3 & 4 may have been the same composition at one point;

     We cannot verify if these refer to the same or two different
     compositions yet...but Harry Betts is credited in the BMI
     periodical "Many Worlds of Music" as composer of the
     THEME for the "ABC Sunday/Monday Night Movie" (1972-73).]

     Title: "Sunday Night Movie Theme"

     Composer: Harry Richard Betts (BMI)

     Original Publisher: [unknown]
     1998 Publisher: MCA Duchess Music Corporation (BMI),
                     of Los Angeles, CA
     Copyright Date: 
     Recordings: 

     Title: "Monday Night Movie Theme"

     Composer: Harry Richard Betts (BMI)

     Original Publisher: [unknown]
     1998 Publisher: MCA Duchess Music Corporation (BMI),
                     of Los Angeles, CA
                     
     Copyright Date: 
     
     Recordings: 


Theme 5 (The ABC Suspense Movie): "Suspense Movie Theme"

    [probable dates of use: circa 1973]
    [credited in BMI's "Many Worlds of Music" (1973 edition)]

     Composer: Pat Williams (ASCAP/BMI)
              [professional name of Patrick Moody Williams]

     1998 Publisher: [none found in ASCAP or BMI] but it is probably
                     MCA Duchess Music Corporation (BMI),
                        of Los Angeles, CA

     Copyright Date: 
     
     Recordings: 


Theme 6 (late-night): "Theme for ABC TV 'Wide World of Entertainment'"

    [probable dates of use: 1973 - 1976...

     ALSO: Betts may have composed TWO Themes under this title --
     one used during the 1973-74 season, and the more familiar
     one with a heavy back-beat from 1974 - 1976...Both are on
     ABC Network affiliate THEME Tapes.]

     Composer: Harry Richard Betts (BMI)

     1998 Publisher: MCA Duchess Music Corporation (BMI),
                     of Los Angeles, CA
                     
     Copyright Date: 
     
     Recordings: 


Theme 7 (Sunday/Monday): "New Sunday/Monday Movie of the Week"

    [probable dates of use: 1974 - 1980]

     Composer: Perry L. Botkin, Jr. (ASCAP/BMI)

     1978 Publisher: American Broadcasting Music, Inc. (ASCAP) 
     
     1998 Publisher: American Broadcasting Music, Inc. (ASCAP), of
                     New York, NY
                     
     Copyright Date: 
     
     Recordings: 


Theme 8 (Sunday/Monday): "Star Tunnel: ABC Movie Theme"

    [Probable dates of use: 1980 - 1984]

    [BMI Title: "Star Tunnel Theme". The visual opening for the 
     network movie at this point was an animated sequence of 
     concentric stars in a receding tunnel perspective, hence the
     title above.]

     Composers: Ferdinand Jay Smith III (BMI), and
                Jeffrey J. Tyzik (ASCAP)

     Original Publishers: A B C/Dunhill Music, Inc. (BMI), and
                          American Broadcasting Music, Inc. (ASCAP)

     1998 Publishers: ABC Circle Music, Inc. (BMI),
                      of New York, NY; and
                      American Broadcasting Music, Inc. (ASCAP),
                      of New York, NY

     Composition Date [as per copyright form, "creation date"]: 1980
     Copyright Date: Nov. 3 1981; PAu-348-237.
     
     Recording:
     
     
NOTE: ABC Late Night Entertainment programs such as "ABC Wide World of Entertainment" also at times included feature films. THEMEs since 1984 have been often part of a yearly "promotion music package" coordinated with the Fall promotional campaigns written by "jingle" companies who produce such packages. So the details of THEMES are incomplete for the years 1984 - present time. Following are a few that are known...


Theme 12 (circa 1988): "A B C Movie of the Week Theme"

     Composers: Randall Craig Thornton (ASCAP),
                Bryan L. Hofheins (ASCAP/BMI), 
                Samuel F. ("Sam") Cardon (BMI), and
                Kurt Roland Bestor (BMI)

     1998 Publishers: A B C Circle Music, Inc. (BMI),
                         of New York, NY; and
                      American Broadcasting Music, Inc. (ASCAP), of
                         of New York, NY

     Composition Date [as per copyright form, "creation date"]: 1988           
     Copyright Date: Oct. 20, 1988; PAu-1-154-018.
     
     Recording:


Theme 13 [1989 - 1973 ABC Umbrella Theme]: "ABC Mystery Movie Theme"

    [for a rotating number of series including "Columbo"...
     which see...

     BMI alternate title
     aka: "ABC Mystery Movie Main Title"]

     Composer: Mike Post (BMI)
              [professional name of Leland Michael Postil]

     2001 Publisher: Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI)
                     c/o Universal Music Publishing Group
                     of Los Angeles, CA

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:

     Recording:

Theme 14 (circa 1990): "ABC 1990 Generic Movie Open"

     Composers: Bryan L. Hofheins (ASCAP/BMI), 
                Samuel F. ("Sam") Cardon (BMI), and
                Kurt Roland Bestor (BMI)

     1998 Publisher: A B C Circle Music, Inc. (BMI),
                       of New York, NY

     Composition Date [as per copyright form, "creation date"]: 1990           
     Copyright Date: April 19, 1990; PAu-1-359-167.
     
     Recording:


Theme 15 (circa 1996): "ABC Movie (Opening and Closing Theme)"

    [ASCAP title aka: "ABC Movie (OP & CL) (FFM)"]

     Composer: Leslie Francis Summerfield (ASCAP)

     1998 Publisher: Also Known As Songs (ASCAP),
                       c/o American Broadcasting Music, Inc.,
                       of New York, NY

     Copyright Date: [none found]
     
     Recording












































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