Themes from ‘Edd Kalehoff’

“World News Tonight” Current Theme


With the start of the fall 2020 TV season, ABC’s World News Tonight went back to its roots. The top rated newscast picked up its classic theme again. It’s not the same version as was used before 2012, when it was replaced by a totally new theme. Though it is not exactly new either. It’s a version that was recorded in 2002 by Edd Kalehoff but was not used at the time. For the opening headlines, David Muir’s broadcast still uses a cut from the previous package by Remote Control Productions.

Edd Kalehoff – World News Tonight theme
Remote Control Productions – World News Tonight headlines


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“The View” 2014 Theme


After Barbara Walters had officially retired from The View in 2014 as co-host, changes were made. Control of the show was transferred from ABC Entertainment to ABC News. A new executive producer with roots in cable news was appointed as well as a couple of new co-hosts (including the return of Rosie O’Donnell).

The changes also included a new set, graphics and theme music. The classic theme music by Edd Kalehoff was given a very contemporary arrangement. I don’t know who is responsible for this production. It, however, only lasted two months, at which point The View started using a completely new theme.

Unknown – The View theme


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“The View” 2007 – 2014 Theme


This theme was used for a number of years, starting when Whoopi Goldberg joined the show as the new moderator. During its usage a number of co-hosts sat around the table with one arched leaf, a hallmark of the show’s set. Among them: Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and Joy Behar.

Edd Kalehoff – The View theme


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“Primetime” 2004 – 2008 Theme


Primetime Live in its heyday during the 90’s was a successful hard-hitting and investigative live news magazine. When the program was known as Primetime Thursday its reputation wasn’t as strong according to critics, likely due to the lack of time anchors Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson could afford to spend on the show considering their duties as anchors of Good Morning America. To fix things, in 2004 ABC appointed a prominent producer, tweaked the show’s name and added a whole bunch of anchors. Gibson was dropped as anchor (though he still contributed occasionally) while Sawyer continued to anchor on a rotating basis with Chris Cuomo, David Muir, Cynthia McFadden and John Quiñones. A new theme along with a totally new graphics package was introduced. A year later in 2005 the program dropped the “Live” off of its name, simply being called Primtime. Ultimately the changes failed to revive the news magazine. Starting with the 2006-07 season, Primetime stopped airing as a stand alone program. For a few years afterwards the name returned for special formats (such as Primetime: Crime or Primetime: What Would You Do?).

Edd Kalehoff – Primetime theme


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“The View” 2004 – 2007 Theme


When Meredith Vieira left The View in 2006, Rosie O’Donnell took her spot as moderator. It became one of the most turbulent seasons in the show’s history. The shouting matches between the former Queen of Nice and the conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck became increasingly personal. O’Donnell only lasted for a season as moderator and the show made some changes in 2007. Hence this theme was dropped for the 2007 season.

Edd Kalehoff – The View theme


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“Primetime Thursday” Theme


In 1998 Primetime Live disappeared in name but stayed around in spirit, only to make a full comeback as Primetime Thursday in 2000. All of ABC’s news magazines in 1998 were merged into editions of 20/20 so that ABC had just one news magazine brand with multiple editions a week, like Dateline. So Primetime Live became 20/20 Thursday. While it worked for NBC — which at its peak aired four editions of Dateline a week — it did not work for ABC. In 2000 Primetime Live returned as Primetime Thursday. Diane Sawyer now anchored the program alongside Charles Gibson. Why did they not reinstate the name Primetime Live? Well, the program wasn’t live anymore. Both anchors had early morning duties at Good Morning America, which was preventing them from anchoring a live weekly news magazine at night. During this era of the broadcast, which lasted from 2000 to 2004, they used an update of the original Bill Conti Primetime Live theme, which was done by Edd Kalehoff. The orchestration was slightly updated and it is significantly shorter.

Edd Kalehoff – Primetime Thursday theme


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“World News Tonight” 2000 – 2012 theme


This is the version of the World News theme by Edd Kalehoff that was used in a period during which the broadcast underwent significant changes. Longtime anchor Peter Jennings passed away and one of his replacements, Bob Woodruff, was severely injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Eventually the other replacement for Jennings, Elizabeth Vargas, who was in effect sole anchor as Woodruff was out of the running, was replaced by Charles Gibson. He retired after three years as anchor of the program and was succeeded by Diane Sawyer. This theme is fifteen seconds shorter than the previous versions of the theme. Kalehoff compressed the front part, giving the theme a more urgent sound.

Edd Kalehoff – World News Tonight theme

Edd Kalehoff – World News Tonight 2000 – 2008 headline bed

In 2008 they started using a different headline bed that lasted for about a year. The program had dropped the ‘Tonight’ from its name, simply calling itself ‘World News’.

Edd Kalehoff – World News 2008 – 2009 headline bed

And finally, this is the headline bed that ABC World News used from 2009 to 2012. It is derived from ABC’s election theme at the time. The music composed by VideoHelper made its on air debut just a few months before Charles Gibson left the anchor chair.

VideoHelper – World News 2009 – 2012 headline bed


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“The View” 1999 – 2004 Theme


The View premiered on ABC in 1997. The show had a unique format for daytime television, so Barbara Walters explained the premise in the open for the first few years:

I’ve always wanted to do a show with women of different generations, backgrounds and views: a working mother; a professional in her 30s; a young woman just starting out; and then somebody who’s done almost everything and will say almost anything. And in a perfect world, I’d get to join the group whenever I wanted…

The show’s original set was a leftover from the cancelled ABC soap opera The City. From the beginning the music was composed by theme music legend Edd Kalehoff. This is the third and perhaps most beloved version of the theme.

Edd Kalehoff – The View theme


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“World News Tonight” 1998 – 2000 Theme


This theme was used on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings until September 29, 2000 when they received brand new graphics. The theme was actually used on the weekend editions of World News Tonight until well into 2001 when that program got a graphics update as well. The music is essentially the same as the other versions with the exception that an extra “ta-da-dum” was added at the end. The version also sounds louder. This is because the string instruments seem to have largely been replaced with more brass.

Edd Kalehoff – World News Tonight theme

Here is the headline cue, which is slightly different than the ’90-version. Updates of the World News Tonight theme have since 1998 been composed by New York-based composer Edd Kalehoff. Kalehoff was ABC’s go-to man when it came to music, also composing for Monday Night Football, The View and Nightline around this time.

Edd Kalehoff – World News Tonight headline bed


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“Nightline” 1997 – 2005 Theme


For most of the early years, Nightline used the World News Tonight theme to open the broadcast. That changed in 1997 when they started using a theme that they would use through the rest of the Ted Koppel years. He retired in 2005, amidst a flurry of network anchor retirements. During the last few months of his run, they experimented slightly with the program. One of the things they tried was doing multiple topics. During their months of experiments, Nightline used cold opens, so this theme was used until a few months before the retirement of Koppel.

Edd Kalehoff – Nightline theme


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“48 Hours” 1996 – 1997 Theme


This theme is composed by Edd Kalehoff and used on 48 Hours for about a year. When they started to use this theme, 48 Hours dropped the big spinning TV camera (with the CBS News logo on it) that used to open the program. Dan Rather continued to anchor. While he is sometimes thought to be the first network evening news anchor to also anchor a news magazine, David Brinkley was actually the first. He hosted a monthly news magazine while also anchoring the Huntley-Brinkley report.

Edd Kalehoff – 48 Hours theme


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“48 Hours” 1990 – 1996 Theme


This is the second version of the classic theme composed by Edd Kalehoff for 48 Hours. This cue was used for the opening credits, which introduced all the correspondents. Around this time, Kalehoff composed a lot of themes for CBS News. His music was also used for West 57th, Face to Face, Saturday Night and Nightwatch.

Edd Kalehoff – 48 Hours open


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“Saturday Night with Connie Chung” Theme


This 1989 program replaced West 57th and was anchored by Connie Chung. Like West 57th it tried to set itself apart from other news magazines by doing things differently. How? In order to enhance the story telling, they used actors to recreate actual events. Critics charged that this blurred the line between news and fiction. The program, at any rate, was not very successful and only had a short run.

Edd Kalehoff – Saturday Night with Connie Chung


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“CBS News Special Report” 1989 – 1997


This is the classic CBS News Special Report theme that was used from 1989 until 1997. Edd Kalehoff is the composer. Kalehoff was quite active for CBS News at the time. He also did several news magazines, such as 48 Hours, and the CBS News Nightwatch theme. This Special Report theme was replaced with the headline bed from the 1991 CBS Evening News theme package. That was used for the remainder of the Dan Rather-era of CBS News.

Edd Kalehoff – CBS News Special Report theme


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“CBS News Nightwatch” 1988 – 1992 Theme


During this period CBS News Nightwatch used branding similar to the CBS Evening News. It’s logo and opening graphics are basically the same. The theme music, however, is different. Edd Kalehoff composed an entirely new theme for the overnight show. It was used until 1992, when the show was retooled into Up To the Minute.

Edd Kalehoff – CBS News Nightwatch theme


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