Movie Mom

Movie Mom


TV Show Theme Songs (Part 1)

posted by Nell Minow

ScreenRant has a sensational list of the best TV show theme songs of the 2000’s, including . I especially enjoyed it because so many of today’s shows have all but jettisoned the idea of an opening theme. I still love some of the classics.

The theme from “Gilligan’s Island” sets the scene perfectly, giving us the background and introducing us to the characters. (Later season versions mentioned the professor and Mary Ann, too.)

Of course, I have a special attachment to that one!

As I have explained before, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was the only opening credit sequence to have two variations — you never knew if he was going to trip over the ottoman or not.

The whistled theme music and the father and son walking to the fishin’ hole immediately transport us to Mayberry.

This theme song became a top 40 hit for the Rembrandts.

If a junkyard played music, this is what it would sound like. In an episode of “Will and Grace,” Will and Jack do a funny little dance number to this song.

Some shows were not as memorable as their theme songs. Valerie Bertinelli’s then-husband Eddie Van Halen composed the theme for her short-lived series, “Sydney.” David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat, and Tears performed the theme song for the Saturday morning series, “Mugsy.” I love Sammy Davis, Jr.’s theme song for “Baretta.”

More coming soon — and I’d love to hear your favorites.



  • Toby Clark

    Mine would have to be Neighbours and Home and Away, both of which have sadly been cut down to save time in recent years. I also like California (The OC), A Place in Time (The 4400) and How Soon is Now? (Charmed).
    I’m also a massive fan of the Japanese Pop songs used for anime themes, especially The Biggest Dreamer (Digimon Tamers) Makafushigi Adventure (Dragon Ball), Heartbeat (Deltora Quest) and Moonlight Densetsu (Sailor Moon).

  • nillawafer

    beverly hillbillies

  • http://theravelledsleave.blogspot.com Lynn

    Perry Mason (all-time best theme) and the Peter Gunn theme, which the drill team in my high school had a snappy drill for

  • Pam

    I loved the theme song to Hawaii Five O. Going farther back, the theme song to The Rebel (Johnny Yuma) and Have Gun, Will Travel were classics – and use up valuable space in my brain ;-)

  • Pam

    To undate myself a little, I’ll add — I thought California, for the OC & Where You Lead by Carole King as the theme for the Gilmore Girls, were great contemporary theme song choices.

  • Alan

    I thought your choices were very good. To that list I might add the theme from Silver Spoons, Gimme A Break, The Facts Of Life, Brett Maverick, The Fall Guy, Alice, Diff’rent Strokes, Threes Company, Cheers, Welcome Back Kotter, and The Jeffersons. Those were in no particular order, and are some of my favorite singalong theme songs. I did, and probably still can sing along with each one of them, and took pride in memorizing theme music and also the spoken themes. I may not have gotten all the lyrics and words right, but I never failed to sing along, and still do.
    And since you didn’t limit it to the singalong themes, there’s also, Bewitched, Star Trek (especially the original), M.A.S.H. (and the haunting suicide themed lyric version from the movie which they understandably removed from the series version). And the spoken intros, Battlestar Galactica (the original of course) which also had a great spoken end theme, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, The Incredible Hulk (which had a rousing spoken intro, and also had wonderful instrumental end music), The A-Team, and many, many others.
    But I’ve saved, what is probably my personal favorite, then and now, for last (look it up on Youtube), the Waylon Jennings theme from The Dukes Of Hazzard. Man that bass guitar can still stop me in my tracks to this day, couple it with footage of fast cars leaping over creeks, and it has almost the same impact on a 40 something as it did on me at 15yo. I drove DJ’s nuts back then at our little country music station, requesting that song. It was like that Rembrandts tune, incredibly popular on radio. And it still is, on Classic Country stations. Waylon had a lot of hits, and many more that I didn’t know of till recently. Sadly he has not yet received the recognition he deserved, along with the more recognised Willie Nelson and Johnnie Cash. The Dukes Theme, may never be recognised as his most artistic hit, no matter, it is a great sounding, hard driving tune, that will always be a rebel sounding standout amongst the more conventional themes that have always been paired with TV shows. And, unlike most of the above tunes, I still know all the lyrics to this day.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Great choices, Alan! I have two more selections coming up and then maybe I’ll do a fan favorite, too.

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