ABC broadcast the telefilm Shirts/Skins in a 90-minute time slot as its Tuesday Movie of the Week at 8:30 p.m. on October 9, 1973. The TV movie overlapped with the last half-hour of Chase and an episode of The Magician (which starred Shirts/Skins cast member Bill Bixby) on NBC, and an episode of Hawaii Five-0 (FSMCD Vol. 13, No. 14) and the first 30 minutes of the series premiere of Shaft (FSMCD Vol. 11, No. 8) on CBS.

23. 1-M-1
The film’s opening sequence introduces the “Shirts”: Sidney Krebs (René Auberjonois), Jerry Axelrod (Leonard Frey) and Dr. Francis Murphy (Doug McClure); and the “Skins”: Teddy Bush (Bill Bixby), Dr. Benny Summer (McLean Stevenson) and Dick Dubin (Robert Walden). As each of the six protagonists experiences frustrations with his job and leaves his workplace to convene at a local gymnasium, Fielding’s music balances jazzy, percussion-driven material with light suspense. For shots of the men suffering at the hands of their employers and customers, the composer provides repetitive passages for synthesizers, strings and harp (the finished film omits music composed for two of these scenes). As the men make their exits from their individual places of work, Fielding captures their determination with a driving, snare drum ostinato joined by a bumbling, circus-flavored main theme.
Opening Titles
The main titles begin as the friends finally meet up and begin their basketball game; the score plays to their camaraderie with an arrangement of “Sweet Georgia Brown” (music by Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard, lyrics by Kenneth Casey) marked by whistling and castanets that turns toward jazz fusion as credits continue to unfold with a particularly dynamic statement when the telefilm’s title appears.
24. Priest in Dentist’s Chair
The friends decide to spice up their mundane lives by engaging in a competition: Both the Shirts and the Skins will hide a marked basketball somewhere in the downtown area for the opposing team to find; each member of the winning team will receive $100. When Dr. Murphy’s friend, Father Duffy (Martin Braddock), visits to have his teeth checked, the dentist coerces the priest into helping him hide his team’s basketball. Fielding underscores the exchange between Murphy and Duffy with a hymn-like passage that takes a threatening turn when the dentist begins to drill the priest’s cavity. The finished film omits the high-pitched sustained note that opens this cue.
They Set It Up
Fielding reprises his arrangement of “Sweet Georgia Brown” for a montage of the Shirts and the Skins searching the streets of Manhattan for the hidden basketballs.
25. Act In
The contest takes an ugly turn when the Shirts break into Dubin’s office and vandalize his desk. In a subsequent scene, castanets and snare support a playful synthesizer development of the “Sweet Georgia Brown” tune as Sidney complains about the contest to his wife, Arlene (Jessica Rains), over dinner. The finished film omits this cue.
Sneaking in Benny’s Office
After the Skins retaliate, quiet percussion alternates with mischievous electronics as the Shirts sneak into Dr. Summer’s office and resolve to steal a file box containing all of his patients’ information.
Sneaky Time
The Skins arrive in the garage below Dr. Murphy’s office building to exact revenge on the dentist; as they unload equipment from the back of their van, snare-driven percussion gives way to coy accordion and bass (this material is dialed out of the film). Overlapping snare drums sound for Dubin camouflaging his face with shoe polish before the men head to Murphy’s office.
Blackface in Tunnel
Before the Skins can exit the garage, three African-American men confront them, taking offense to the shoe polish on Dubin’s face. Fielding underscores the initial moments of the confrontation with a jittery development of the main theme.
The Missing Chair
Murphy arrives at his office to find that the Skins have stolen his dentist chair, with a hollow synthesizer pattern echoing under his shocked reaction. (The finished film omits the percussion that opens this brief cue.)
26. Rape
Soothing lounge jazz plays as Teddy’s wife Lynn (Loretta Swit) arrives home; she finds a note from the building superintendent (actually forged by the Shirts) informing her that her husband wishes to meet up for a romantic evening. While Lynn changes in her bedroom, the music takes on a funky vibe for the revelation of the Shirts hiding out on her balcony. A robust reading of the main theme sounds as Jerry strips down to his underwear, the cue climaxing as he tackles Lynn to the ground so that Sidney and Murphy can take pictures to blackmail her. Lynn begrudgingly agrees to stay at a hotel, causing Teddy to think someone has kidnapped her.
The lounge jazz returns for Teddy obliviously arriving outside his apartment with flowers and champagne. The cue reaches an alarmed conclusion when he enters to find the place ransacked and Lynn missing.
Toy Soldier
A frazzled Teddy visits Dr. Summer and informs him that the Shirts have taken Lynn. A repeating martial rhythm underscores the two men studying a map of the city labeled with the locations where the Skins have “hit” the Shirts, and vice versa. The finished film replaces this cue with a snare drum passage from “Sneaky Time.”
27. They Steal Mother
Dressed as ambulance attendants, the Skins kidnap Jerry’s mother (Audrey Christie). A quick-paced comical march plays as they wheel her out of her apartment on a gurney.
At the gym, the two teams squabble over the abduction of Jerry’s mother. Against the backdrop of their bickering, a coy version of “Sweet Georgia Brown” plays as Sidney and Summers exchange information, with each writing down the location of their team’s basketball (as well as Jerry’s mother) on an index card. Once the trade is completed, a mock-serious setting of the main theme underscores the six men tearing out of the gym and speeding through the city to their respective destinations. The music subsides as the Shirts arrive at an art museum. (The cue title refers to the men counting out “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi…” before picking up the index cards on the count of three.)
28. Into the Church
Percussive jazz melts into organ source music as the Skins reach a church (where a service is in progress), a unison melody suggesting the hymn from “Priest in Dentist’s Chair” for the men exploring the sanctuary; they eventually discover the basketball resting on top of a high ledge.
Church Time
The Skins re-enter the church with Summers dressed as a priest and Dubin disguised as a nun. A reverent development of the hymn for strings and organ sounds as they wait for the sanctuary to empty out so that they can retrieve the basketball.
Church and Museum
Fielding reprises the hymn, supplementing it with rich brass, as the Skins nervously await their chance to snatch the basketball. The religious material continues under shots of the Shirts sneaking through the museum after hours—the basketball they must retrieve is attached to a painting created by Dubin’s brother, a famous artist. (The finished telefilm dials out the latter part of this cue intended for action in the museum.)
Short Hymn Reprise
In the sanctuary, Summers pretends to pray as the hymn theme continues to play on organ.
29. The Stealing Nun
Percussion underscores the Shirts making their move to get the basketball at the museum. The action segues back to the now-empty church, where the percussion mixes with electronic suggestions of the hymn for the Skins retrieving their ball. Dubin manages to snatch the prize from the ledge when Teddy hoists him up on his shoulders, but a priest catches them in the act and mistakes them for vandals; the Skins hide under a pew as priests flood the sanctuary. Relentless, overlapping percussion marks a transition back to the museum, where Murphy removes the ball from the painting. After a security guard spots his cohorts, the woodwinds join the percussion as the action cuts back and forth between the museum and the church, with both teams hiding from their pursuers. The cue subsides with the hymn as Dubin makes a run for it, chased by the priests.
Meanwhile Back at the Museum
Percussion and echoing electronics underscore the Shirts evading a band of security guards and escaping from the museum.
30. All’s Well That Ends
Having convinced the priests that Dubin is an actual nun, the Skins make their way out of the church. Fielding captures their jubilation with a mixture of the percussive accompaniment to “Sweet Georgia Brown” and the martial figure from “Toy Soldier.” This material continues through a transition to the Shirts bursting out of the museum and excitedly trouncing through a fountain. The film segues to the gym, where a reprise of “Sweet Georgia Brown” plays through the end credits, which roll over a basketball game between the two teams. — 

TV Pilot

After the Shirts/Skins telefilm generated overwhelming critical response and successful ratings, ABC ordered a pilot for a proposed half-hour series. Oliver Clark, William DeVane, John Pleshette and Alan Oppenheimer appeared alongside Leonard Frey, the only returning member of the original cast. The network aired the program on Monday, May 13, 1974, in a 10:30 p.m. time slot following the second half of a rebroadcast of Ice Station Zebra (FSMCD Vol. 6, No. 2), the first part of which had aired the previous evening. (The booklet accompanying this release indicates the pilot never aired, but information to the contrary surfaced after the CD went to press; FSM regrets the error.)

The pilot’s story found the six friends heading out for a weekend camping excursion in a delivery truck filled with women’s clothing; they eventually land in jail, charged with disorderly conduct. One newspaper TV critic felt that the “pilot suffered from a cast that didn’t nearly measure up to that of the original” but did admit that “there were delightful spots” and suggested that the show might work as a mid-season replacement on ABC’s schedule the following year. Otherwise, the program attracted little attention and the network failed to pick up the pilot as a series.

31. Main Title (Sweet Georgia Brown)
As with the telefilm, Fielding employs an arrangement of “Sweet Georgia Brown” for the opening credits.
32. After the Girls/Sweet Georgia Brown (cop version)/Smoking Dresses
Fielding composed very little original music for the pilot; this track collects three brief cues from throughout the episode.
33. Sweet Georgia Brown (end credits version)
This shorter version of “Sweet Georgia Brown” appeared over the end credits.