French TV’s Unique Theme Songs For American Shows


The bizarre new theme songs that French TV producers added to USTV shows.

I think that we can all agree that a TV theme tune is always improved with the addition of lyrics – think of Nichell Nichols’ emotive version of Star Trek, for instance. But French TV has tended to go one better, with a strange, surprisingly long history of writing brand new theme songs for US TV shows that they have broadcast in dubbed versions, and they are quite something.

Here, for example, is the extraordinary theme song for Dallas, which will stick in your head immediately – just try not to belt out “DAHL-ASS” every few minutes after hearing this.

Nothing quite matches this, but you’ll certainly be tapping your foot to the theme song for L’Amour du Risque – that’s Hart to Hart to the rest of us – performed by Les Texans:

The A-Team‘s theme song, by Shuki Levy, sort of sticks with the original music while adding that extra something special that I think you’ll agree sets the show up nicely:

Lionel Leroy’s song for Starsky & Hutch is dramatic stuff – perhaps not quite up there with Lalo Schiffrin’s iconic theme tune, but not far short I think you’ll find.

You might think that this was strictly a 1970s and early 1980s phenomenon, but apparently not. Here’s Victoria Petrosillo performing the theme song for Heroes:

There’s more of this stuff out there if you care to explore. Thanks to Meli Gueneau for sending us down this rabbit hole to begin with.

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  1. Gene Roddenberry wrote the Star Trek lyrics in order to snatch 50% of the royalties from composer Alexander Courage, who never worked with him again because of it.

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