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Whatever happened to Theme Show Music?


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58 replies to this topic

#1 of 59 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 04 2009 - 07:55 AM

I've always thought "Carnivale" had the most creative opening credits I've ever seen. The theme and visuals sold the show. Variety today raises a great article: what happened to TV theme songs? Ugly Betty is the shortest (12 seconds) and some shows basically forgo them altogether.



Whatever happened to TV theme music? - Entertainment News, Road to the Emmys: Creative Arts, Media - Variety
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#2 of 59 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 04 2009 - 08:01 AM

I like a good theme as much as anyone but when they have a choice of using 30 to 60 seconds on story or wasting 30 to 60 seconds on a theme song, I'm glad they choose to use the time for the story.

#3 of 59 ONLINE   Hanson

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Posted June 04 2009 - 08:20 AM

I skip the theme and intro on pretty much every show I DVR after the first time (which is exclusively how I watch TV). It's a waste of time for me. The only ones I watch are the Simpsons because of the different couch gags, and if I know ahead of time that there's a different intro (like the recent Michael Scott Paper company version for The Office). For some reason, I usually watch the 30 Rock intro all the way through because I like the theme and it's pretty short. Incidentally, even though it's only 12 seconds, I usually skip the Ugly Betty intro anyway.

#4 of 59 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted June 04 2009 - 08:29 AM

Think if Green Acres, Star Trek, Beverly Hillbillies and others did'nt have themes. Themes set the stage for a great viewing experience. Most shows today forgo them for added commercial time. Look at Dexter what a great Theme and visuals, it greately enhances the show to come.
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#5 of 59 OFFLINE   Josh Dial

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Posted June 04 2009 - 08:39 AM

We DVR virtually everything we watch, and generally watch the opening credits if there are any (examples include NCIS, House, BSG--where we grew to love the pre-cap, The Unit).

#6 of 59 OFFLINE   Joe_H

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Posted June 04 2009 - 09:38 AM

Look at Dexter what a great Theme and visuals, it greately enhances the show to come.
Agreed entirely, Dexter has the best opening sequence I've seen in a long time. (Though I was a little annoyed during a certain episode when they rehashed it in the middle of it.) But, I do think some shows don't really need one. I can't think of anything more fitting for Lost, for example, than the logo moving across the screen and the accompanying sound.

#7 of 59 OFFLINE   AnthonyC

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Posted June 04 2009 - 11:19 AM

[quote]

Most shows today forgo them for added commercial time.

[quote]

Like Travis alluded to though, I'd rather see a theme song cut rather than unique episode content. I usually skip the theme unless it's a show that doesn't always cut to commercial afterwards (30 Rock or How I Met Your Mother--although you can usually tell whether they'll cut or not based on how long the intro segment lasts).

Despite all that, it always throws me off guard when they cut the Survivor intro. That's one that I'll agree really sets the mood.

#8 of 59 OFFLINE   Nicholas Martin

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Posted June 04 2009 - 12:24 PM

I've found a lot of good end title themes that are never heard on broadcast because of 'next week' previews. For whatever reason, I never skip title sequences even if I've seen them literally thousands of times. On DVD, reruns, doesn't matter. They still help establish the world the show is bringing the viewer into, even if it's episode 152. My favorite is one I hear daily: CBS Evening News. Though I am a bit biased in calling it my favorite.

#9 of 59 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted June 04 2009 - 01:17 PM

I like the opening credits to Chuck, and almost never skip them. One of the few shows today, where they have opening sequence AND show the person of the cast with their name on it. The only other ones that I can think of, are the CSIs, Law & Orders, 30 Rock. I can remember back in the 80's, I would only watch the opening sequences of some shows (like Dallas and The Love Boat), then change the channel.

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#10 of 59 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 04 2009 - 02:50 PM

For whatever reason, I never skip title sequences even if I've seen them literally thousands of times. On DVD, reruns, doesn't matter. They still help establish the world the show is bringing the viewer into, even if it's episode 152.
Same here.

#11 of 59 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted June 04 2009 - 03:28 PM

I can remember back in the 80's, I would only watch the opening sequences of some shows (like Dallas and The Love Boat), then change the channel.
I remember doing the same thing withe Welcome Back Kotter (another hit theme they didn't mention), One Day at a Time etc...
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#12 of 59 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted June 04 2009 - 06:10 PM

I like a good theme as much as anyone but when they have a choice of using 30 to 60 seconds on story or wasting 30 to 60 seconds on a theme song, I'm glad they choose to use the time for the story.
Only because they chopped 'story time' first in favour of ad time, and now chop 'theme time' to recover a bit back. No surprise then that cable shows are the only ones that still have full-blown opening sequences with themes, as discussed in the article.

#13 of 59 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 05 2009 - 07:26 PM

Some great theme songs that I think setup their shows.






Hell, I loved that theme so much I bought the soundtrack.. not once, but at least three times.

Very few theme songs get the entire concept of a show in 1 minute. This does.



Could you imagine this show without the theme?



Or this one?





Along with a ton of others. Posted Image
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#14 of 59 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 05 2009 - 07:28 PM

On of my favorites.. ever.
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#15 of 59 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 05 2009 - 07:31 PM

And of course, 80s cartoons had awesome ones:
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#16 of 59 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted June 05 2009 - 07:48 PM

The only theme music I've consistently enjoyed is a bit old, but I really like "Star Trek: Voyager" with the opening visuals and the great music in the background. The only thing I listen to now is "The Big Bang Theory", nothing else really stands out, so a quick fast forward to skip it. Just switched to DISH and now have Showtime, so am looking forward to them rerunning Dexter. I've never seen it, but episodes 1-3 played earlier this week. Hopefully they'll repeat, because I ended up with a dud DVR where the hard drive failed after four days, so lost all my recordings. 4-5 are playing next week, so may be out of luck.
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#17 of 59 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 05 2009 - 08:05 PM

Dexter theme.. which admittedly, is my favorite currently running.
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#18 of 59 OFFLINE   Greg Kettell

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Posted June 06 2009 - 07:31 AM

The Big Bang Theory's intro is the only one I watch every time, but it's short and quick. Lots of other good ones but I usually skip them if I've seen them more than a couple times.

#19 of 59 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 06 2009 - 08:25 AM

Yeah - for those that haven't seen the LONG form CBS promo before the show's premiere:
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#20 of 59 OFFLINE   Kevin Hewell

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Posted June 06 2009 - 12:30 PM

One of my favorites. HBO really does good theme music. And this, which is appropriate for the D-Day anniversary. I really love instrumental themes.




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