Themes from ‘This Morning’

“Early Show” 2011 – 2012 Open


This is based on the 1987 CBS Evening News package that was picked up again in 2011. It was performed and recorded at the end of June, debuting about a month later on the Early Show. It again unifies the branding of CBS News while also underscoring the Early Show’s hard news focus. With the cancellation of the Early Show, the new CBS This Morning started to use new theme music. However, this open is still used for other CBS News programs in the morning: the Morning News and Up To The Minute.

Trivers/Myers Music - Early Show open

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“Early Show” 2008 – 2011 Theme


This is a remix of James Horner’s original Early Show theme that the morning program used for a little over three years. While the original sounds like a piece of classical music, by giving it an urban beat the theme became a very hip sounding piece of music. This theme premiered on the day that they started to use their redesigned street level set and Maggie Rodriquez started her run as co-anchor. Over the years the Early Show used various slightly differently arranged versions of this open.

James Horner - CBS Early Show theme

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“Early Show” 2006 – 2008 Open


Since 2002 an ensemble of four anchored the Early Show to give the show a less formal feel than other morning news shows. By the time this theme started to be used, that concept was phased out, eventually returning to a more traditional format. This is the theme that James Horner composed for the Early Show. It was recorded in New York, two weeks after the original session in Los Angeles during the summer of 2006. In comparison to his work for the Evening News, he wanted the theme for the Early Show to be more energetic, gentler and intimate. It debuted about two months after Horner’s Evening News theme went on the air. CBS decided to use this theme as the headline cue and used a shortened version of the Evening News close as its open.

James Horner - Early Show open

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“The Early Show” 1999 – 2002 Theme


On November 1, 1999 a new morning show debuted on CBS: The Early Show. The name was chosen to reflect that it should be considered a counterpart to the Late Show, like the Today Show is to the Tonight Show. Besides a new name, the program also got a new set of co-hosts, former Today Show co-anchor Bryant Gumbel and CBS News correspondent Jane Clayson, as well as a $30 million street level studio, just like Today and GMA. The theme is composed by Chris Bowman and is called ‘Sunrise’. It was pure luck for Bowman that his music was selected to be the show’s theme. When he heard that Gumbel was to anchor a new morning show on CBS, he sent in a piece of music that he thought would make a great theme. His one-in-a-million shot paid off. It lasted until 2002 when Bryant Gumbel left The Early Show and the program was revamped. (For the next few years they would use an instrumental version of the song Brand New Day by Sting.)

Chris Bowman - Early Show theme (1999 version) Chris Bowman - Early Show theme (2000 version)

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“CBS This Morning” 1996 – 1999 Theme


Throughout history, CBS has performed miserably in the morning timeslot. While GMA and Today competed for first place, CBS was mostly a distant third. It wasn’t because of a lack of stars. Since the 1950′s people such as Walter Cronkite, Dick van Dyke, Jack Paar and Mike Wallace have served the morning shift for CBS. It had more to do with Captain Kangaroo. The hour long children’s program was on the morning schedule for thirty years, from the 1950′s to 1980′s. It hampered CBS’s ability to program a morning show that could fully compete with Today and GMA. From its earliest days, they never developed a morning audience.

Over the years, CBS has tried with various shows. In the 1980′s they tried hard. In 1980 they developed a program called ‘Morning’ with hosts Charles Kuralt and Diane Sawyer. After Captain Kangaroo was moved off the weekday schedule, Morning was stretched to a full two hours. But after a few seasons both anchors had left and were replaced with various unsuccessful anchors. So it was decided that the program needed a total makeover. On January 12, 1987 CBS launched ‘The Morning Program’, a 90-minute show hosted by Mariette Hartley, Rolland Smith, weather by Mark Mc Ewen, and comedy by Bob Saget. Their attempt to blend hard news with comedy failed after only ten months. Once again, a new program was launched. On November 30, 1987 CBS This Morning premiered with Harry Smith and Kathleen Sullivan. In 1990 Sullivan was replaced by Paula Zahn. This anchor team remained intact until Mark McEwen (formerly the show’s weatherman) and Jane Robelot (formerly the news anchor) took over in 1996 when the show was revamped. They also changed the format to include more local news breaks. During this period in CBS’s long history of morning show failures, this theme was used. It’s performed by Carly Simon, who also co-wrote it along with Peter Fish.

Carly Simon & Peter Fish - This Morning theme

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“CBS Morning News” 1982 – 1984 Theme


Since the 1960′s the title ‘CBS Morning News’ has been used for various programs on the CBS schedule. In the early 1980′s it was used for the predecessor of the show now called the Early Show. At the time the CBS Morning News was anchored by Bill Kurtis, who previously anchored a highly rated local newscast in Chicago, and Diane Sawyer. The program was well received and was able to – for a brief period – rise from its perennial third place to second, beating the Today Show. Kurtis and Sawyer also anchored the CBS Early Morning News together.

Signature Sound - CBS Morning News theme

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