The James at 15 Theme Song
A few years ago a little show on NBC called James at 15 was being touted as the sexiest teenage angst fest ever. The story centered around a fifteen-year-old whose life was a slog, but whose parents were in hock, and whose best friend was in the hospital. In the end, all of these high-schoolers end up proving to each other that they can stand up to the challenges of youth. The show also provided a glimpse into what the real world was like for the aforementioned characters.
On September 5, 1977, James at 15 debuted on NBC. Lance Kerwin starred in the show as a nerdy, but not uncool, teenager. He is accompanied by a group of friends, including a geeky art student (Kate Jackson) and a call girl. Kerwin’s role in the show is minor but his performance is complemented by a few solid supporting performances from other actors. Some notable cast members include Teri Nunn, Joe Hardy, and Martin Manulis.
A few months later the show changed its title, and in December of the same year, Ron Rubin took over for Martin Manulis and Joe Hardy. This spruced up the show, which at one point was known as “The Man From Atlantis”. It was then renamed to “James at 16.” The name changed again in February, and the show continued until the end of its run, sadly, in the same fashion as its predecessor. To this day, many of the characters still exist, and the show has become a fond memory for many a television viewer.
One of the more impressive achievements of the show was the fact that it made a number of NBC executives sit up and take notice. A few years later, they contacted Dan Wakefield, who had recently relocated from Indianapolis to Boston. After a few years of tinkering with the project, he finally had the gumption to write an entire television series about the city he knew best. Luckily, he and his crew were able to woo their new employer, and after a few pilot episodes, a full-blown series was in the works.
As for the show itself, it was a bit of a slugfest, with NBC threatening to cancel it in the early going, and the studio refusing to do anything about it. Nevertheless, the show was a success, if only for the fact that it was a good time. For those of us who grew up in the era, it was like a time warp. Although the show’s best days are long gone, it was a milestone in the history of TV. Among its numerous accolades were the best-rated teen show of all-time, the best-rated kids’ show of all-time, and the best-rated series of all-time.