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Signoffs - TV Production Taglines

"And dance by the light of the moon." - At the conclusion of each episode of the yuppie drama THIRTYSOMETHING/ABC/1987-91 produced by the Bedford Falls Company, viewers saw snow falling onto an old house and heard the song lyrics "And dance by the light of the moon." The signoff was inspired by the town of Bedford Falls, New York in the classic Christmas movie It's A Wonderful Life (1947). In the film James Stewart and Donna Reed sing refrains from "Buffalo Girls Won't You Come Out Tonight" and then stop to throw stones through the windows of an old abandoned Victorian home; a house they would both later renovate.

Bochco Signoffs - The signature ending of Steven Bochco productions featured a violinist swiftly playing a violin. The violinist is Bochco's Polish father who was a concert violinist. The Manhattan-born Bochco produced such TV classics as HILL STREET BLUES/NBC/1981-87, L.A. LAW/NBC/1986-94, COP ROCK/ABC/1990, DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D/1989-1993, N.Y.P.D. BLUE/ABC/1993-2005 and PUBLIC MORALS/CBS/1996.

Chuck's Vanity Page - At the sign off of the sitcom DHARMA & GREG/ABC/1997-2002 the last frame of the show displayed sentiments written by the show's executive producer and co-creator, Chuck Lorre. Those who videotape the program can freeze frame on the message frame and read a series of "I Believe..." statements written by Mr. Lorre.

The following is a distillation of some of those thought which appeared on what Mr. Lorre likes to call "Chuck's Vanity Pages"

  • [Chuck's vanity card No. 1:] "Thank you for videotaping Dharma & Greg and freeze framing on my video card. I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my beliefs. I believe that everyone thinks they can write. This is not true. It is true, however, that everyone can direct. I believe that beer is a gateway drug that leads, inevitably to vodka and somebody oughta do something about it. I believe that when ABC reads this, I'm gonna be in big trouble. Once again, thanks for watching Dharma & Greg. Please be sure to tune in again to the vanity card for more of my personal beliefs."
  • [Chuck's vanity card No. 2:] "I believe that in my earlier statement of beliefs, I erroneously believed that beer was a gateway drug that led to vodka. After intensive consultation with ABC executives, I now believe I was very, very wrong. Beer is good. Especially beer brewed by major manufacturers, and enjoyed in a responsible manner."
  • [Chuck's vanity card No. 3] "I believe that El Nino is an international conspiracy perpetrated by evil roofing contractors. I believe that TV is the cause of all the violence and immorality our society - ha! just kidding."
  • [Chuck's vanity card No. 4 1/2: ] "I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy. I believe that all work and no play makes Chuck a dull boy...."
  • [Chuck's vanity card No 5: ] "I believe that this episode, which on the surface deals with a funny Valentine's adventure, in fact grapples with the weighty issue of Weltschmera. Weltschmera is a German word which loosely means 'world suffering deriving from the inevitability of reality to never match up with our expectations.' Hey, only the Germans could come up with a word like that....Finally, I believe that when I retire and teach sitcom writing at a community college, I'll use this theme for one of my classes to impress the kids."
  • [Chuck's vanity card No. 6: ] "For those of you who are new, this is my sporadic attempt to share my personal beliefs with millions of people (hence the term 'vanity'). This attempt has led me into communicating many deep thoughts, and, I'm afraid to say, quite a few shallow ones as well. But what I've found most interesting is that after a few weeks, I've discovered myself scrounging for new beliefs. Things about which I could stand up and say with pride, I believe in this, dammit!'...I do believe that JFK had a much better understanding of the word 'perky.'"
"For Jack Maple, Who Lived It" - At the very end of the closing credits of the police drama THE DISTRICT/CBS/2000-2004 the last thing the viewers see is the message FOR JACK MAPLE, WHO LIVED IT ("And made a difference, We are honored to have known him" was also seen as an addendum to the first phrase). The phrase is an homage to Jack Maple, the series co-creator and former deputy commissioner of operations for the New York City Police Department and a consultant to the New Orleans police. The 'District" series portrayed the fictional adventures of Jack Mannion (Craig Nelson), a tough, eccentric and newly hired Police Commissioner for the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C). Mannion, like the real Jack Maple, uses sophisticated Crime Maps that plot crime in the city and predicts trends and concentrations of criminal activities which allows for a more efficient assignment of police officers to combat crime. In the early 1990s, Jack Maple gained fame for helping create COMSTAT, New York City's crime-mapping program that has been responsible for a major decline in New York's crime rate in recent years. Maple later consulted with the City of New Orleans in starting a similar COMSTAT program. Jack Maple, who was five-feet eight-inches tall and weighed 220 pounds, became known for wearing his patented bow ties, homburg hats and two-tone shoes. In 1999, Doubleday published Maple’s book, "The Crime Fighter: Putting The Bad Guy Out of Business." Jack Maple died on August 4, 2001 at the age of 48, after a long battle with colon cancer.

"I made this!" - The sound a small boy proudly saying "I made this" (over the noise of a sputtering movie projector) is heard at the signoff of each episode of Ten Thirteen Productions, the producers of the occult dramas THE X-FILES/FOX/1993-2002 and MILLENNIUM/FOX/1996-99. The boy's voice belongs to Nathan Couturier, the son of the show's supervising sound editor, Thierry Couturier. The "10-13" company name refers to the birth date of the series' creator, Chris Carter.

"Sit Ubu, sit!" - Reference to a Black Labrador retriever formerly owned by Gary David Goldberg, the producer of UBU Productions, Inc. founded in 1981. At the end of each of Goldberg's television programs (FAMILY TIES/NBC/1982-89 among others) a photograph of Ubu is flashed on the screen accompanied by the spoken phrase "Sit Ubu, Sit!" and the comment "Good Dog!" followed by a quick, single dog bark. Ubu Roi (who died in 1984), had played Frisbee with Goldberg during his college days.

"This has been a Filmways Presentation" - At the closing of each episode of the sitcom THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES/CBS/1962-71, the theme song lyrics finish with the phrase "Ya'all come back now, hear! Immediately after, the voice of Donna Douglas who played the role of Elly Mae Clampett on the show, proclaims "This has been a Filmways Presentation."


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