“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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