Fact or Fiction

TV Theme Songs

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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
More Fact or Fiction

Comments: 15

  • Tru Cola from West MichiganI remember Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones being the theme song to Tour of Duty.
  • Jim from Mobile, AlThe Waitresses and Square Pegs
  • Julie from Nebraskaoh bla di oh bla da was used in the show life goes on I think. All I can remember was it had a 7th heaven feel to it in a way and there was Corky who was mentally challenged and the cute guy who was HIV positive. I could be wrong.
  • Vera from Isle Of Wright Wasn't The Beatles {Oh bla di Oh bla da" used for the Wonder Years
  • Gary S from Seattle, WaBeatles songs were also used as the opening and closing theme songs of the animated Beatles cartoon show that ran from 1965-1969. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_(TV_series)
  • Steve from West Chazy, NyI 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!
  • Karen from Manchester, NhThey Might Be Giants also did the theme song to the children's show "Higglytown Heroes".
  • Randy from IowaWhat about REM's "Stand" as the theme for the awesome but short-lived Chris Elliott show, "Get A Life"?
  • Muzza from Auckland, New ZealandThen there were all The Who Songs used on CSI ETC
  • Willie from Scottsdael, AzJohn 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.
  • Sharoney from UsaStewart Copeland of "The Police" wrote the theme for the hit series "The Equalizer."
  • Tony from Jackson, MiWith A Little Help From My Friends was also used on The Wonder Years speaking of Beatle songs used on ABC sitcoms 1988-93.
  • Cassidy from England#greatquiz, lovin it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Graham from EnglandI love big bang theory and friends but I didn't know the answers to some of these questions. definitely caught me out!
  • Kenny from IrelandCool facts!
    And clever questions too, a few of them caught me out.
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