It used to be that a vital part of a successful TV series was a catchy and memorable theme song. But there are a handful of TV shows that had such great theme songs that they became hits…and far surpassed the popularity of the shows they came from. Here are some TV theme songs that were huge hits, that came from shows that were quickly canceled.
In the early ’90s, the young Fox Network scored a bunch of hits with soap operas about good-looking young people, all produced by Aaron Spelling: Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place, in particular. A third entry in the genre was called The Heights, which was about a struggling rock band called…the Heights. The show’s theme song was a huge hit. Attributed to the fictional band from the show, it hit #1 for two weeks in 1992. By the time it topped the charts, The Heights had been canceled.
Greatest American Hero
William Katt starred in this superhero comedy about a mild-mannered teacher who is visited by aliens and given him a suit that provides superhuman abilities. But then he loses the instruction manual, and the show focuses on his adventure as a wacky, bumbling superhero. The show didn’t last long, but soft rock and oldies stations even today still play its opening number “Theme From Greatest American Hero (Believe It Or Not).” Sung by country singer Joey Scarbury, it hit #2 in 1981.
Actor David Naughton is best known for co-starring in the horror-comedy An American Werewolf in London. In 1979, he got his big break starring in a sitcom called Makin’ It. Naughton played a young Italian guy who wanted to be a disco singer and spent all of his nights at disco clubs (it was loosely based on the movie Saturday Night Fever). The theme song, also called “Makin’ It” was the only piece of music Naughton ever recorded and it hit #5 on the pop chart in the summer of 1979—months after Makin’ It had aired its ninth and final episode.