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TV theme songs are a very big deal - or at least they used to be. Before Seinfeld introduced the concept of the 4-second theme song (leaving more time for show content), we would spend our first 45 seconds or so listening to a catchy tune about how the castaways got stranded on Gilligan's Island or how Jed struck oil on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Often, the songs became hits: the themes to Welcome Back, Kotter and Miami Vice both went to #1. Others weren't hits, but became part of the fabric of the show, setting the melancholy tone for M*A*S*H or making Cheers feel like a home away from home.

See how much you know about some legendary TV themes – and the artists who may or may not have recorded them – in this Fact or Fiction.


Further Reading:
90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TV
TV Themes the Last 4 Decades
~Jens T. Carstensen
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Comments: 10

I think They Might Be Giants are also responsible for the children's classic "Hot Dog Song" from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Not technically a theme song, but my 3 year old son thinks it is!Steve from West Chazy, Ny
They Might Be Giants also did the theme song to the children's show "Higglytown Heroes".Karen from Manchester, Nh
What about REM's "Stand" as the theme for the awesome but short-lived Chris Elliott show, "Get A Life"?Randy from Iowa
Then there were all The Who Songs used on CSI ETCMuzza from Auckland, New Zealand
John Sebastian from The Lovin' Spoonful wrote the theme for "Welcome Back Kotter," and I think it became a top 10 hit in the mid-1970s.Willie from Scottsdael, Az
Stewart Copeland of "The Police" wrote the theme for the hit series "The Equalizer."Sharoney from Usa
With A Little Help From My Friends was also used on The Wonder Years speaking of Beatle songs used on ABC sitcoms 1988-93.Tony from Jackson, Mi
#greatquiz, lovin it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Cassidy from England
I love big bang theory and friends but I didn't know the answers to some of these questions. definitely caught me out!Graham from England
Cool facts!
And clever questions too, a few of them caught me out.
Kenny from Ireland