EMMY Awards | Best TV Theme Music

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The Category That Is But Never Was

Depending on your age, the Emmy’s were always the second most boring award show your parents MIGHT let you stay up until 10 PM to watch. (Coming in hot behind the Oscars, #SorryNotSorry Academy)

You’d sit idly by while they’d barrel through the technical categories and wonder why it simply wasn’t 45 minutes of categories you’d care about, like: Most Hilarious Show, Show With Best Use of Excusable Nudity, Show That Had The Least Annoying Commercials, et al.

But the one category we just couldn’t wrap our head around being absent was: Best Theme Music.

Seriously, how could we not celebrate the tunes we all knew by heart? “There’s a story…” Songs that would burrow into your inner cranium keeping you up for hours at night? Standing tall, on the wings of a dream!”  Shower ballads “What would we do baby, without us?”, and of course, the obvious: content for future trivia nights. “What is the theme from Charlies Angels?”

So, we got curious, and started digging, and…

There totally freaking is.

And we wrote about it here…and you’re welcome forever.

First of all, we still can’t get over this revelation- and why isn’t it featured on the live show?! Who thought we’d be DTF with Outstanding Technical Direction and NOT THE MUSIC THAT HAUNTS OUR SLEEPLESS NIGHTS?! “As long as we’ve got each other…”

Rather than be front and center with the popular categories (and we’ll get to our crowd starter campaign to get this on the primetime ballot later, REST ASSURED) they stuck our beloved songs deep in the Arts and Sciences awards. With the engineers…The shame.

But that’s not even the worst part.

Some of the winners, you just can’t even imagine…

But it’s the omissions that will get you.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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I won’t bore with the really early stuff- I’ll just start where I first really wanted to break glass. It was the awards for 1983 (The 35th Emmy Awards to be precise) and the nominees were:

55th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (ok), Bare Essence (sounds like a Cinemax show, except it was on CBS), Cheers (makin’ our way in this world today, SON!) Happy Endings (CBS, these names, I’m getting nervous), Quincy, M.E. (every year a doctor show), Suzanne Somers and 10,000 G.I’s (wait- what? Seriously, CBS? What is going on at the ‘eye’ in 83?), and Two of a Kind G.E. Theater. (whatever what that means.)

So….who do you think won?

I mean, “where everybody knows your name,” is a bloody slam dunk, right?

WRONG.

The envelope went to whatever the heck Two of a Kind G.E. Theater was, and I suppose we should all be glad it didn’t go to Suzanne and her crazy military gang bang  (and I guess all the copy editors were on strike in ‘83 because HOW DOES THAT GET BY STANDARDS?!)

Let’s not even discuss the omissions: The A Team, Family Ties, Night Rider, Newhart, St Elsewhere.

In 1984, FAME is somehow nominated twice, and STILL loses to something called Here’s Television Entertainment. Baby, no one’s remembering your name.

In 1985, Love Lives On would beat Moonlighting. Left out? Murder She Wrote, The Cosby Show, Miami Vice, Night Court, Who’s the Boss, CHARLES IN CHARGE for goodness sake!

Growing Pains would lose in 1986 to Andy Williams and the NBC Kids Search for Santa, I guess because the eighties were just a terrible time.

But here’s where it gets weird: Typically, Emmy category winners are determined by a nominee with the most votes.

Not here my friends. We had no idea how savage the world of ‘Music and Lyrics’ was until now.

According to the Emmy’s rules and standards, a winner must have a minimum of 50% of the vote, or nobody wins. Nobody gets ice cream!

So- from 1988, until 1992, there was no winner.

And perhaps you’re all, “Wow- why should I care?”

GREAT QUESTION! Let me run down the iconic tunes that were overlooked…or not even nominated: Fraggle Rock, Full House, 21 Jump Street, A Different World, My Two Dads, Ducktales, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA on NBC “Roundball Rock” by John Tesh, Saved by the Bell, Law and Order, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Blossom, In Living Color, Salute Your Shorts.

In 1993, the award returned and was given to Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Sorry Mad About You, Martin, and Guts (#DoYouHaveIt #GuessNot #AgroCrag!).

In 1994, the short-lived SeaQuest DSV would beat both The X-Files and NYPD Blue, leaving  shows like The Nanny, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Animaniacs without nominations.

But where it all went down, was in 1995. When Star Trek Voyager beat Friends.

Friends, ya’ll.

Friends. With the title theme that went platinum like, ten thousand times, or whatever! It’s played at least 3 times a day, everyday, on radios EVERYWHERE.

And by now you’re likely as angry as I am.

If you can imagine, and by now, I’m confident you can, this pattern of total lunacy would continue; sparring only in 2000, when The West Wing would win. (That title still gives me chills #LetBartletBeBartlet)

It would only take another 17 years until a worthy tune would arise- and it was a win for FirstCom partner Stranger Things.

And much like the ear worm you get from television’s titular tunes, this information will live with you forever. And Ronan Farrow may have the drop on breaking news in entertainment right now, but you can’t deny, this is some Pulitzer-worthy detective work right here.

Here’s t more sleepless nights. Cheers! (Ugh, it still burns. Everybody knows your name! I can’t even…)

The 70th Annual Emmy Awards will be presented LIVE on September 17th on NBC

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