Monday, March 24, 2014

Your Favorite Opening Credits (and Music) to a TV Show




There are so many good choices. Some opening credits are strong on music, some on information, some on atmosphere. I think this one does a great job of setting the story and you can't beat the music for me.

Runner -up would be the opening credits to Mary Tyler Moore.

What do you like?

30 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

I really like the opening credits to The Sopranos.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I don't watch serious television drama but the one I remember most is the opening credits to YES MINISTER. I like the way the characters behind the actors are drawn to a fine background score. And at the cost of sounding absolutely hackneyed, FRIENDS. The "I'll Be There For You" theme song by THE REMBRANDTS just refuses to go away. You've got to hand it to the sitcom for its universal appeal. It has some clever humour and one-liners.

Anonymous said...

Rescue Me - the Von Bondies.


Jeff M.

George said...

I always liked the opening credits and music to TAXI. Bob James' "Angela" is a haunting tune.

Charles Gramlich said...

Hum, I don't guess I often watch opening credits to anything. I always did like the opening to Star Trek, with the narration of "its five year mission." Oh, as a kid I used to watch the opening of Gunsmoke and draw against Matt Dillon!

James Reasoner said...

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and THE WILD WILD WEST. I'm showing my age here, aren't I?

Anonymous said...

Overall, for music and tone I think I'd go with Hill Street Blues.


Jeff M.

Jim Wilsky said...

No doubt about it for me. I have to go with the L.A. cop show, Southland. I just think it's outstanding in everyway.

2nd place and one that wouldn't leave my head for a long time is Mad Men.

Jim Wilsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

I loved THE WILD WILD WEST animated opening. Forgot about that. The later season of LOST IN SPACE with that chaotic whirling dervish-like theme song and the animation was cool, too.

If you're talking about the entire opening sequence (music, images and concept) then I pick:
Dexter
Game of Thrones

1970s TV had a lot of catchy theme songs (remember how many were released as singles, sold as 45s, and played on the radio?), but the credit sequences themselves were nothing like what we have today.

Anonymous said...

Jackie likes The Greatest American Hero. She used the song in her class at the time.

Mike Post did the music, as he did for Hill Street, Rockford Files, L.A. Law, Law & Order and so many others.


Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

Miami Vice - Jan Hammer. It defined the 80's and made Miami come back.

Hawaii Five-O.

Get Smart.

St. Elsewhere.

And of course there is an aragument to be made that the Cheers theme song made a dud into a hit show.

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

The music themes from Peter Gunn, Hawaii Five-O, Mission: Impossible and Bonanza have become iconic. Mannix, Cannon, and Ironside also had good opening credits that set the right mood for the "tough detective" genre.

But the opening credits sequence that made the strongest impression on me was Xena-Warrior Princess. :)

Graham Powell said...

I can't remember the credits, but I always liked the opening music for MAD ABOUT YOU. Just a charming little ditty.

It's tough to beat HAWAII 5-0, though.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Mad About You is now in my head. Peter Gunn was really iconic, wasn't it? Mike Post was brilliant.
I think I remember the GAH. Have to go check.
Funny how many of these I can remember both visually and aurally as you mention them. Maybe I need my memory lasered to make room.

Deb said...

Frasier--with the Seattle skyline--and the "cold" opening of Law & Order where the body is discovered before that iconic theme music begins.

Cap'n Bob said...

I didn't like the one you featured, Patti. Give me RAWHIDE or THE REBEL. PERRY MASON or ROUTE 66. THE WONDER YEARS or THE BALLAD OF DAVY CROCKETT.

James Reasoner said...

I like the DEADWOOD opening a lot. Also HELL ON WHEELS.

Jerry House said...

My vote goes to FAWLTY TOWERS, the episode where the hotel's sign was changed to read "Farty Owls."

Todd Mason said...

CHINA BEACH is a strong contender here, too.

TRUE DETECTIVE did a fine job among the most recent.

ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS:
PERRY MASON (the original)
THE OUTER LIMITS (original)
ANGEL (electric guitar and cello theme helped)
SERIAL EXPERIMENTS; LAIN

Joe Barone said...

When I saw this question on the iPad, I turned the big computer back on to give my answer--Peter Gunn. Maybe that dates me, but I still remember Manchini's (sp?) music.

pattinase (abbott) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pattinase (abbott) said...

Hard to beat it!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hard to beat it!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hard to beat it!

Anders E said...

Oh, yes. FAWLTY TOWERS. So sedate, totally at odds to what was in store.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-6TVj0feC4

BLACKADDER had some good ones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzCJegFK2Ec

From Sweden, the utterly fab mid 1970s children's series about the famous veterinarian Dr. Krall:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owczXb_tmag

Sick little rats, horses and rabbits
are helped by a certain dr. Krall
Toads with a cold may get medicine for small animals
and good advice from Rolf

I guess something's lost in translation...

Todd Mason said...

I don't know if he pronounced it properly as "Mancheenee," but it was spelled "Mancini"...

There certainly were enough good jazz/jazz-pop themes, ranging from JOHNNY STACCATO and MR. BROADWAY through BARNEY MILLER and THE BOB NEWHART SHOW of the 1970s, and onto MAD ABOUT YOU indeed.

Anders E said...

More from mid 1970s Sweden:

KALLES KLÄTTERTRÄD (appr. CHARLIE'S CLIMBING TREE).

Kalle likes to hang around in his tree, dreaming about Emma - who unfortunatley is only imaginary. Kalle's granddad likes to sit under tree and read the newspaper. Well, there's more to the series than that, but that's the intro.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzIXLV6efk8

Anonymous said...


Black: his gloves of finest mole / Black: his codpiece made of metal /
His horse is blacker than a vole / His pot is blacker than his kettle /
Black Adder, Black Adder, with many a cunning plan /
Black Adder, Black Adder, you horrid little man.


Great stuff.


Jeff M.

Erik Donald France said...

Even without looking I'd go with the same -- Sopranos.

True Detective's opener is like James Bond in Hell. . .