CBS/Paramount home video finally put out an official response on the whole The Fugitive re-scoring fiasco, but it’s really no response at all:
Obviously we would have preferred to include all the original music in ‘The Fugitive’ second season DVD release, but unlike season one, there were a large number of cues, the current ownership of which was not clear. We didn’t want to disappoint fans by significantly delaying the release of the second season so we chose to replace the music. We kept the original theme song, but decided it would be better to rescore full episodes to give viewers a seamless, consistent experience throughout.
There’s a whole bunch that doesn’t make sense about that one. The first season drew on the same music libraries as the second, so the idea that everything suddenly changed in season 2 isn’t very plausible. And they replaced the few bits of actual licensed music in the episodes (like songs sung by guest star Janis Paige), strongly suggesting that this is more about keeping the budget low. I would guess that they’re just reluctant to come out and say: We paid for the soundtrack cues in the first season, and this time around, we wanted to save money. But that’s probably what happened. Especially since other people involved with the project have hinted that it was about residuals for the musicians who played on these cues.
And if they’re telling the truth, and they actually did believe that it was better to rescore the whole episodes rather than just replacing the cues they didn’t own, then they’re kind of silly. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to replace cues with other music-library cues from the same era, instead of synth music?