Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Top Ten TV Show Intros of all time

Going through all of the memorable TV intros takes forever. There are dozens of great ones deserving of mention so it was tough to narrow it down to these ten. Keep in mind this is not a top ten shows list. Not even close. None of these are among my favorite shows which would include The Office (American and British versions), Arrested Development and House. These are the best intros only. What makes a great intro? Very simple- Does it make you want to watch the show? It should combine a good theme song with well edited show images. It should be exciting and/or funny. Some shows were never as good as their introduction. And some great shows had horrible intros or horrible theme songs...Family Ties for instance! If that song had no nostalgic effect on me I'm sure I'd find it nauseating.

Admittedly this list is biased. I favor the shows I grew up watching but part of that is because the TV intro was more in style back then. Having a catchy theme still works but back then everybody knew the theme song for Cheers, and M.A.S.H., and The Jeffersons. By the way none of those made this list. Actually I should give a few honorable mentions that are great but didn't make the cut.
Happy Days
Mission: Impossible (awesome theme song)
Get Smart
Laverne and Shirley
The Addams Family
Mork and Mindy
The Andy Griffith Show
The Beverly Hillbillies
Spongebob Squarepants (Yes!)
Good Times
Gilligan's Island
I Spy (one of the best produced openers of all)
The Greatest American Hero (love it or hate it you'll never get "Believe It Or Not" out of your head!)
and a whole bunch more you will hate me for leaving off....sorry ladies no Brady Bunch or Bewitched either.

Here are the ten I chose:

Hawaii Five 0

Strong sound and image combination. Practically anyone can hum this theme song. The show is back but probably won't be as good without Jack Lord.

Star Trek

The original and simply the best intro. "To boldly go where no man has gone before" That kind of teaser made even skeptics tune in. Then they saw a Romulun and decided "Naaaah, not for me"

The Dukes of Hazzard

Dumb show but excellent intro. It has all the elements that make a large demographic feel compelled to tune in. Fast cars, guitar picking, Catherine Bach making preteen boy hearts go all aflutter, and of course a character named "Cooter".

The Twilight Zone

This spine tingling music along with Rod Serling's ominous voice make one great TV intro recipe. Hard to compete with this in the "memorable" department. People sound out this music any time they are freaked out in the same way we all hum the Jeopardy theme when somebody won't hurry the hell up!

Police Squad

Two words- Abraham Lincoln. Classic. Absolutely the funniest opener of all time!

Knight Rider

Very 80s but the soundtrack holds up surprisingly well unlike many other action shows from the period; MacGyver and Street Hawk for instance.

Simon and Simon

Underrated classic that's hand-clappin' good. This intro gets me all fired up and ready for some butt kickin' 80s TV action! Nice 'stache McRaney!


This has a special place in my heart. As a young boy I'd come a runnin' at the sound of it!

Magnum P.I.

BOOM! In yo face with 'copters and ferraris and a massive mustache! Yeah, Hawaii and guns and girls and stuff! Where's Kenny Loggins to provide some vocal power?
Perhaps I was too young to get it but the show never lived up to the hype of this intro to me.

The A-Team

This is my favorite intro ever! Makes me wanna blow crap up! In mere seconds you respect Hannibal, wanna be coooool like Face, laugh at Murdoch, and get the heck out of B.A.'s way! And this theme song never gets old like so many others. It still packs a punch. Classic.