TELEVISION: Network Scramble

As the Big Three frantically strategize their new schedules for the fall, they've neglected one thing: good shows

At a press conference in Los Angeles this summer, ABC Entertainment president Ted Harbert shocked a gathering of critics and reporters by announcing the end of a TV tradition. Henceforth, he said, ABC would ask producers to eliminate or drastically reduce the opening-credit sequences in their prime-time shows -- and with them theopening theme songs. The goal is to reduce program downtime, when viewers are most tempted to grab the remote control and switch the channel. Logical, perhaps, but rather coldhearted. Imagine Mary Tyler Moore without Mary to "turn the world on with her smile," Gilligan's Island without its bouncy "tale...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!