theTVaddict’s Favourite TV Theme Songs

This season one of the things theTVaddict has been mourning (aside from the death of EVERWOOD) is the disappearance of the traditional TV theme song. Historically, the TV theme song was a show’s calling card. I vividly remember being sent off to bed on Friday nights just as my mom crawled into bed to watch her favourite show DALLAS. To this day, I’ve never seen an episode of DALLAS, yet I can hum the theme song to perfection.

The following are a few of my favourite TV theme songs. Please share any of your favourites that I missed in the comments below.

THE FLASH Airing on CBS in 1990, THE FLASH starred John Wesley Shipp as the man in red (Dawson’s deceased dad on DAWSON’S CREEK) and featured an unforgettable theme by music maestro Danny Elfman (THE SIMPSONS, BATMAN, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS). The show lasted for only one season, and being too young to understand how the television industry worked, it took years before I realized that the show was cancelled, and didn’t just disappear!

THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY JR Another one hit wonder from theTVaddict’s childhood was FOX’s short-lived Western Sci-Fi starring cult legend Bruce Campbell (EVIL DEAD). Aside from having a catchy theme, the show was also executive produced by none other then LOST mastermind Carlton Cuse.

THE COSBY SHOW Aside from being one of the funniest family comedies ever, THE COSBY SHOW had a theme that changed from season to season. One of the most anticipated parts of the new fall season was seeing what Bill came up with for the new season’s opening. Can you guess what season this version’s from?

DAWSON’S CREEK Long before Tomkat and Scientology there was a cute innocent high school student named Joey Potter. On a nightly basis, Joey used to crawl into Dawson’s bed at night and watch Spieldberg flicks. While I jumped off the DAWSON’S bandwagon pretty quickly (teenagers do not talk like that!) I loved every minute of that first season.

BEVERLY HILLS 90210. If Aaron Spelling were alive today, he wouldn’t stand for this ‘lack of theme song to make money ploy’ the networks are forcing on shows. Spelling shows always had an uber cheesy theme song, and 90210 was no exception.

THE WEST WING Regardless of political affiliation, THE WEST WING portrayed the group of politicians we wish we had. Ideal and honest men and woman who strived their best to do what was right. Hearing those opening drum beats was a weekly sign to turn of my cell phone, compueter and everything else that was on and just sit back, relax and watch Bartlet be Bartlet.

EVERWOOD Dawn Ostroff, Yup, still bitter. If you want me off your back, release seasons 2 to 4 on DVD, or at the very least iTunes.

For all the latest TV news and reviews

  • InvaderSteven

    I’d have a completely different selectoin of favorite theme songs than you, but a lot of my favorite tv viewing was in the early 1980s anyway.

    As for the Flash theme- all Elfman’s heroic themes sound alike to me. The Flash theme always sounded like a ripoff of his earlier Batman theme.

  • 1. InvaderSteven…. agreed.. Danny Elfman’s work sounds very similar, but I love it regardless.

    2. What are some of your favs?

  • InvaderSteven

    Well, I always loved the opening creds to Manimal (1984ish), despite the cheezy big cat growl.

    Speaking of Cheezy 80s themes- Misfits of Science, anyone?

    The season 5 credits for Babylon 5 were also excellent. B5 is another show that changed the credits every year. All five are here:

    Always loved the music in the Airwolf opening credits…

    There’s a ton more. “Stargate: Atlantis” theme is nice, so’s the “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego” theme. Heh.

    I suspect I watch as much television as you, if not more.

  • Courtney

    Thinking about theme songs always brings me back to two fine (?) shows from 80s childhood: Family Ties and Facts of Life. I also really like the Party of Five theme

    Good call on The Cosby Show – I definitely remember the anticipation for the new season’s opening

  • Raj

    How can you leave out “The O.C.”? It is the most fitting, and best theme song ever.

  • Fredrik A.

    I remember Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Step by Step. 😛

  • Sam

    If we didn’t know you’d pick Everwood and 90210 as favorites, we don’t know you at all, lol.

    I agree The O.C. theme song is really great. A lot of my favorites don’t really have lyrics, like the psuedo creepy Medium theme song or that kinda-sorta short theme for the beginnings of LOST. All time favorite though-Roswell.

  • ranger99

    The only new show that has a terrific theme song (some may say it is better than the show itself) is Standoff. Every time I hear that damn thing I end up singing along. Had to put the closed-captioning on to figure it out!

  • turkelton

    buffy is my favorite theme song of all time. love the firefly theme and angel had a cool theme too. you can tell i’m a whedon fan lol. the oc has a great theme. i always loved the fresh prince of bel-air theme and saved by the bell theme.

  • Fresh Prince and Saved By The Bell are classics, good call turkelton – and great name!

    As well, DS9 is my favourite of the Star Trek themes (Enterprise being the worst)

    and for animated fun, Tiny Toons will always hold a special place in theTVaddict hall of fame.

    We’re Tiny… We’re Toony… We’re all a little Looney….

  • Common Sense

    PeeWee’s Playhouse
    That Girl
    I Dream of Jeannie
    Nanny & The Professor

  • Common Sense, who knew you were so old school!

  • Nobody mentioned Veronica Mars!

    Saved by the Bell, Step by Step, The Fresh Prince and Family Matters were all good old ones. Oh and Passions too.

  • Lisa, Loved the original VMars song, version 2.0 not so much.

  • Common Sense

    Just remembered the theme that still gives me chills every time I hear it:

    DYNASTY ! ! !

    For the first four or so seasons, there was no greater prime time thrill. Joan Collins was classic from her first scene in the courtroom, and remains my favorite veteran-actress icon to this day. The original Fallon and Steven were great, too. But man, that theme and show-opening—awesome.

    (And I’m not that “old school,” just watched a lot of great TV and reruns in the late 60s and througout the 70s.)

    P.S. BONANZA theme song, I believe we’d all agree, was incredible, too.

  • Stargate Atlantis is a good one. I always liked the FULL HOUSE one too.

  • Sean, sadly, adding FULL HOUSE actually occured to me. I remember when I was young, every friday night..

    whatever happened to predictably the milkman the paperboy the evening tv you miss your old familiar friends waiting just around the bend everywhere you look (everywhere you look) there’s a heart (there’s a heart) a hand to hold on to everywhere you look (everywhere you look) there’s a place of somebody who needs you when your lost out there and your all alone your ride is waiting to carry you home everywhere you look

  • Dan, for classic theme songs, I go for classic TV. There is nothing better than:

    “Here’s a story. About a man named Brady.”

    “You take the good, you take the bad. You take them both and there you have. The Facts of Life.”

    “Sunday, Monday, Happy Days.”

    “Show me that smile again (Ooh show me that smile) Don’t waste another minute on your cryin'” — Growing Pains

    “I bet we’ve been together for a million years. And I’ll be we’ll be together for a million more.” –Family Ties

    For instrumentals:

    The whistle tune on Andy Griffith.

    Magnum P.I.’s toe-tapping beat.


    And the classic of classics, “M*A*S*H*

    Thanks for starting me down this walk down memory lane!

  • tscribble

    Does anyone know the name of the theme song for Medium?