The Top 15 TV Title Sequences

Quick! Think of your favorite TV show. Chances are, your memory turns to a favorite character, a favorite episode, or a favorite line. But when it comes to defining the overall feel of the show, the show's opening title sequence probably comes to mind.

A title sequence isn't just the name of a show spelled in a cool font, slapped over a few choice scenes from last season, and then sewn together with a snappy theme song. In under 90 seconds, a title sequence can tell you what a show is about, and what it wants to be. It can evoke terror, bring a smile, tell a story, ask a question -- and convince you that what you're about to watch is special. TV.com reviewed the best of the best title sequences throughout TV history (and there are quite a few excellent ones out there). These made the cut as the Top 15 Title Sequences of all time.

15. Sex and the City
Don't act like this theme song wasn't your ringtone for at least six months, because it was. Those bells, that hair, that tutu, that bus, and that splash of water all represent Carrie Bradshaw's (Sarah Jessica Parker) fashionable, emotional exploration of sex and love in New York City.

14. Cowboy Bebop
The trumpets, the rapid-fire stand-up bass, and those colors! Japan's Cowboy Bebop title sequence makes other cartoons mad with jealousy.

13. Dexter
Who knew that shaving and frying eggs could be so ... creepy?

12. Weeds
It doesn't matter who sings "Little Boxes" -- the irony in this idyllic suburban scene is so obvious that you can smell it. What is that smell, anyway?

11. Pee-Wee's Playhouse
This two-minute-plus title sequence gives Fantasia a run for its money in the "Most Likely Created Under the Influence" category.

>> Click here to go to the next five! >>

10. Star Trek
Three words: The final frontier. Three more words: To boldly go. Now there's how you split an infinitive.

9. The Muppet Show
Is it just me, or did the Muppets work harder than anyone else in show business? Check out that choreography!

8. Flight of the Conchords
Bret and Jermaine may lead dull lives, but that doesn't mean that their salt and pepper shakers can't do a little dance. Look at 'em go!

7. The Brady Bunch
3x3 grids were never this cool before, and they'll never be this cool again. Neither will Florence Henderson's haircut.

6. Mad Men
The title sequence doesn't contain Jon Hamm's face, but it's mesmerizing nevertheless. And that silhouette? It's already legendary.

>> Click here to go to the next five! >>

5. Desperate Housewives
On the surface, it's a campy, fluffy homage to pop art. But dig a little deeper, and you'll see twinkles in those dark eyes and sarcastic smirks behind all the smiles.

4. The Simpsons
The clouds always part, there's always an aerial view of Springfield, Bart always ditches school, Homer always gets in an accident, Marge always shops for groceries, and Lisa always jams on the sax. Other than that, it's all up in the air -- and in the end, they all end up on the couch.

3. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Will Smith stars in a blockbuster film every summer, but he still can't top his debut performance.

2. The Sopranos
The big white Suburban, the drag on the cigar, the New Jersey Turnpike, and solitude: four of Tony Soprano's (James Gandolfini) favorite things. Cue the smoky music, and you've got an iconic image.

1. True Blood
Why did a two-year-old show's title sequence beat out all these other guys? It's overflowing with sin-and-redemption symbolism, the footage is raw and graphic, and the song is almost too good. In short, it's perfect.

One more thing ...
We couldn't include everything on this list, but we have to give credit where it's due. Honorable mention shout-outs go to The IT Crowd, The Six Million Dollar Man, Chuck, The United States of Tara, Nip/Tuck, Six Feet Under, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Police Squad!, and so many more. And don't worry, we haven't forgotten shows like Friends and The Addams Family -- our "Best Theme Songs" list is up next!

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Nope, List is invalid without All In The Family, Lost, or Friends...
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How can Six Feet Under only be an honorable mention???? It is almost universally considered the best opening sequence in TV history!
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Both of the 'Big Love' opening sequences should have been in this list, they didn't even get a mention!
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omg they forgot the best one! the intro from grosse pointe (spelling may be off). it was Tom Jones singing "Sex Bomb" to all the characters. it just totally fit the show and was hilarious every time i heard it :)
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Sopranos, Will Smith and Simpsons should all be way over True Blood. True Blood might have the least believable characters in TV history. (And also the least necessary sex scenes). I agree with what other people are saying too. Friends, Twilight Zone, Mary Tyler Moore, Monty Python's Flying Circus. These lists always seem to overrate stuff that happens to currently be on TV.
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What about the Odd Couple?
Magnum P.I. was not bad either
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Hey, where's the theme to Stargate SG-1? It deserves a mention at the very least.
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glad they threw out cowboy bebop to all us otakus. but truly is a shame no twilight zone.
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They should follow this up with a 'animated title openings' list, thanks for the last giys, but really i have not seen hardly any of these shows...esp the newer ones
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Ummmm, what about Batman: The Animated Series? That show's intro was so freaking good, and is still good by today's standards. A perfect depiction of Batman, and a minute-long sequence that could rival some of today's movies. Now that's saying something.
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What about The X-Files?
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Hello, Miami Vice!!!!
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Where's Penn & Teller: BS? That show had a great opening

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REf0542FMCw
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Two animated intros that I'll be forever fond of:
Men in Black The Series -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WITix9QR7Ks&feature=related

Batman Beyond - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVdTbiLku48&feature=related
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Friday Night Lights should've been on this list. Any who agrees you should comment
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dexter should've been much higher! but true blood deserves #1 :)
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Friends should be more than an honorable mention. Also the intro to Two and a half men is great, as it's short (!). That '70s Show also has a great opening sequence
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I can jump around all day with firger guns jammin out to the bebop
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I had no idea how clasic cowboy bepop's intro was. still, star trek is #1.
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This list is a epic failure without "THE X-FILES" and "THE WONDER YEARS".
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Instead of bashing the choices (but to all those that do bash, do it with pleasure, there are a few choices that don't even deserve to be mentioned), I'm just going to say this list deserves to be expanded to at least 50 to do it justice.
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True Blood is excellent, but far from the best. Let me throw in a few other great mentions: For starters: How the HELL do you not include the title sequence to MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS?? Explain that to me, Stephanie Lee! How about "Mannix,", "The Man From U.N.C.LE." "The Untouchables" "House" even "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" kicks ass! Not only did you not include "The Addams Family" but you also left out "The Munsters!" And where's the love for David Hasselhoff ("Knight Rider" & "Baywatch"). "Miami Vice" has been often imitated yet never duplicated! And how about some props to some of the great shows with their legendary title sequences across the pond over in the U.K. ("The Avengers," "The Saint," 'Danger Man"/"Secret Agent," and "The Prisoner"). If you going to put "Star Trek" on the list (and deservedly so), then you have to include "Doctor Who." Also a big vote for the PBS shows ("Sesame Street," "The Electric Company" (Original), "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," and "Masterpiece Theatre"/"Mystery." Sorry Ms. Lee: But you totally blew this list big time.
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True Blood...really?... How could you not include Batman TAS as well as The Adem West Batman!? King of the Hill, South park, Married with Children,Twilight Zone,Friends, and The Simpsons should have been number one.
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The Brady Bunch? Seriously?
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Northern Exposure, Twin Peaks, and TRUE BLOOD!!!
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all i have to say is....The Wonder Years should be on this and on the "Best Theme Songs" list....
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Smallville, friends and the oc should have been there in my opinion
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COWBOY BEBOP SHOULD BE FIRST.....ITS LIKE THE BEST ANIME EVER!!!!!
p.s. SEX AND THE CITY SUCKS (THTS RIGHT F.R.I.E.N.D.S. RULES ) SJP CAN KISS MY ASS.
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True Blood!? How was that that intro worthy of #1? This sounds like some scheme for that show to get more attention that it doesn't need. There are also others that shouldn't be here. No modern TV show intro is any good compared to what was on 10 or more years ago.



Married With Children had a better intro than Desperate Housewives and True Blood combined.



citybug is right about the shows he listed in his comment, by the way.
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I find it funny that someone mentionned that LOST should of been on the list. They don't even have a song or anything it just says LOST! I think Family Guy should of been there, the song is catchy. Aaand the OC...I'm sure every teen in North America had "California" on their iPod
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Out of those, Star Trek is the best. It's legendary.
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Did they put any thought into this list at all? Seriously, Sex and the City? Weeds? Dexter? Half of the items on the list are from current or recent shows. True Blood? Mad Men? Flight of the Conchords? I refuse to believe "the greatest title sequences OF ALL TIME" all happened to be produced just within the last few years.

Next time, think about what has become iconic, instantly recognizable though the test of time, and has universal appeal... not just whatever fad is trendy or hip at the moment.
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what about battlestar galactica (the newer one) - an intro that you never want to skip through as it's got cool lil teaser clips from the episode, loved that!
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How about Smallville?! Best opening credits
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carnivale, deadwood, and the wire
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Ghost Whisperer also has a fantastic opening sequence..as well as the later seasons of Queer as Folk
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What the hell? Five of the most iconic openings are definitely overlooked...
1) The Odd Couple - An unforgettable theme song, a narrative that is forever remembered, and views of New York that have been parodied countless times in other forms of media.
2) Get Smart - Without doubt, one of the most original and inventive title sequences. Excellent theme music follows Don Adams through a series of sealed doors to the CONTROL headquarters.
3) Taxi
4) Hawaii Five-O
5) X-Files

Hell, I am only 21, and I know these shows enough to know excellent title sequences. God, whoever wrote this list proved that sex always win. True Blood's intro is alright, but not iconic.
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Weak.



The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air??? You're kidding me, right. Maybe in Bottom 15.



Where's MacGyver or A-Team.



Or Huff and House.



I would have gone with Deep Space 9 or Voyager instead the original ST.



Or how about Wiseguy - youtube.com/watch?v=nIuAf9BVr1g
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How i met your mother!
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True Blood, Ive never seen it but the opening made me want to NOT watch it...isn't that the opposite of what an opening is supposed to do?
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While many of the titles you've included in this list are undoubtedly popular, the ones that you've omitted are ICONIC! "The Six Million Dollar Man", "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", "MASH", "The Flintstones", "Mission: Impossible"...these are instantly recognized by anyone in any part of the world in any language. "Mad Men" and "Flight of the Conchords"....not quite so much.
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What, no Dallas or Quantum Leap? M*A*S*H?
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anybody ever hear of a show called Hawaii five-0? for the love of God people-it's the best credit sequence of all-time or at least in the top 10
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"The Prisoner" should definitely be at or near the top of this list, as should any of the several Emma Peel openings for "The Avengers." Other shows that deserve a spot are (in no particular order) "Hawaii Five-O," "Gilligan's Island," "Wild, Wild, West," "Mission: Impossible,""That Girl" (1966-68),"Patty Duke," "The Flintstones," "Johnny Quest," and maybe "Top Cat," "Combat," "Hogan's Heroes," "Gidget," "Rat Patrol," and "Time Tunnel." I'm glad to see others think shows like "The Persuaders," "Gunsmoke," and "Twilight Zone" should have been included as well.
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Where the hell is Carnivale!!!??
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Yes, the Twilight Zone! People are still humming it when something weird or kookie happens. Heck, I liked the Gunsmoke intro with Arness riding into town to that beautiful music. And MONK with Randy singing his bio... But the Simpsons is the ONLY intro we sit completely through.
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Considering this was supposed to be opening sequences from across TV history, an awful lot of the top picks were recent or current shows. I would like to have seen both "Wonder Woman" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in the list.
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There never was and never will be an opening like The Mickey Mouse Club. Whoever put this list together is obviously too young to be judging all-time greatest of anything pertaining to TV.
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Ummm, there is a glaring omission. How could you possibly leave out Cheers?????? Putting Weeds, Sex and the City, Flight of the Concords and Desperate Housewives ahead of it is complete heresy.
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