Clip O'Th'Day: Some 1990 TV Show Openings -

Clip O’Th’Day: Some 1990 TV Show Openings


Posting will be light for the next week or so, but I’ll keep things updated with some filler clips ™ and some links/posts when possible.

To follow up on the last post, here’s a selection from the 1990 TV show intros, right at the tail end of the golden age of long intros. (Intros shrank dramatically in the early ’90s, due to a combination of shortened running times and network executives who didn’t want people tuning out during the main title.) The clips here include that season’s intro for thirtysomething, the short-lived Flash series with the Danny Elfman/Shirley Walker theme music (which got Walker the job scoring Batman: The Animated Series); the equally short-lived TV version of Baghdad Cafe starring Whoopi Goldberg; the definitive Miller-Boyett/TGIF intro, Going Places; and the first TV version of Parenthood, to be supplanted — NBC hopes — by the new version.

The theme for that season seems to have been “rip off popular movies,” whether it involved doing a Flash series (because of the success of Batman the year before) or just straight-out adaptations of then-recent movies like Uncle Buck:

And in the category of “shows that flopped but that I vaguely remember watching,” Gabriel’s Fire, starring James Earl Jones (who won an Emmy) as a wrongfully-convicted cop who becomes a private detective after he’s released from prison. (I remember him celebrating his freedom by eating a hot dog.) I didn’t see the re-tooled version, Pros and Cons, that the network unveiled the following year.

This segment includes about 97 other Miller-Boyett shows, including The Family Man, a flop about which I knew nothing. Those guys really did own TV from about 1989 to ’91. That’s what TV was like in 1990 — a strange combination of ambitious, experimental hour-long shows (like Twin Peaks) and aggressively unambitious comedies (with some exceptions, like Roseanne and the new show that would take over the TV world within a few years, Seinfeld).

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