Gary Portnoy (Cheers): “Good credits make the audience feel in tune with the series they’re watching”

Gary Portnoy (Cheers): “Good credits make the audience feel in tune with the series they’re watching”

While Cheers is finally available in France on Paramount+, we caught up with composer and credits performer Gary Portnoy.

applause left its mark on American television forever, entering the pantheon of viewers with its latest episode and its 85 million viewers. The series also significantly changed the life of the performer of the credits of this series, Gary Portnoy whose song – Where everyone knows your name – became a hit long before the series itself: ” No one was watching, no one watched Cheers the entire first season, the ratings were so low the show almost got cancelled. But the morning after Cheers premiered, I got a call from the song’s publisher, Paramount Pictures. He said: “My phone has been ringing all morning. People want the sheet music for this song, people want a recording, they want to know where to get this song.«

We then used his expertise to understand what makes a song a good credits song:
« There are many ways to answer this question. When I was growing up, topical texts were not banal, but very descriptive. In a series like Shipwrecked Island, the credits literally told the story. You understand the castaways who are lost at sea. And the same with the Brady Bund, I don’t know if you know this series. They were all American sitcoms with credits literally telling the story, here’s the story of a man named Brady. Then over time we got away from that and were able to be a little more creative and explore more of the overall feel of the show than the actual plot. When I started there was a little more freedom with the lyrics, we could express ourselves without being so specific about the show. I think that’s a good thing, but I also like those early credits, which were pretty innocent in their own way. They would tell you what the show you wanted to see was about. I think there are two types of credit: good and bad. Good credit is good credit, regardless of genre. What we want above all is to create a feeling in the audience that corresponds to the series that they are about to watch. »

Watch the full interview with Gary Portnoy on the Credits TV Show HERE

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