Emmy-Winning Composer Earl Rose to Pen Theme for 'Carson on TCM' (Exclusive)

Johnny Carson, Joan Rivers
NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Joan Rivers was a favorite of Johnny Carson’s and a frequent guest until she was given her own talk late-night show on Fox as the network was launching. Carson never spoke to her again. “I kept saying, 'I don’t understand, why is he mad?' ” Rivers wrote in a December piece for The Hollywood Reporter.

The pianist and composer has been hired to write the original theme for the series of vintage Johnny Carson interviews, which will be hosted by Conan O'Brien.

Emmy Award-winning composer Earl Rose has been tapped to write the original theme for the upcoming Carson on TCM series, hosted by Conan O'Brien.

Rose will write the theme for the show, which will see TCM air 50 vintage interviews curated and edited by Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmakers Peter Jones and Mark Catalena. O'Brien will introduce the segments. 

The series is set to air July 1 on TCM, beginning with Carson's 1982 interview with a then 7-year-old Drew Barrymore.

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Beginning as a five-interview showcase, Carson on TCM will then air as single-interview interstitials highlighting stars whose films are featured on the network.

Interviews will include more than 20 Academy Award winners, great comics such as Mel Brooks, Steve Martin and Robin Williams, and memorable interviews spanning Carson's 30 years as the king of late-night TV.

Rose brings a unique perspective on The Tonight Show, having been an NBC page assigned to the show during his college years.

His career began when he later progressed to part-time assistant music conductor, directly working on and off for the show both in NYC and later in L.A. with famed band leader Doc Severinsen of The Tonight Show Band.

Rose and Jones previously collaborated on the 2012 PBS documentary Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, for which Rose wrote the original score.

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The pair have done similar duty for the Peabody Award-winning PBS documentary Inventing L.A.: The Chandlers and Their Times as well as the TCM Emmy Award-winning Stardust: The Bette Davis Story.

Rose's résumé boasts performing his own original music in Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve as well as stints as guest pianist with Elvis Costello, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All, among many other appearances. He's written music for TV shows including Pan Am, Bored to Death, Sex and the City, ER, The West Wing and several daytime soaps.

Rose continues to perform with his trio every week at New York's Carlyle Hotel.

The interviews for Carson on TCM have been pulled from the extensive Carson archives controlled by Carson Entertainment Group -- headed by president Jeff Sotzing – many of which have not been broadcast since their initial airing.