These days, pretty much everyone has a favorite television theme tune. Some people like a credit sequence that sets up a show's back story (Gilligan's Island), some go for a catchy melody (late-'70s Doctor Who), while still others prefer a perfect evocation of the show's atmospherics (the classic Edward Gorey-illustrated Mystery curtain-raiser). But if current trends continue, the youth of 2025 probably won't even recognize the term theme tune.
Over the years, runtimes have shrunk as ad breaks have grown longer. And with more and more viewers equipped with DVRs, producers are loath to devote precious seconds to opening themes. Nowadays, the only place to find a credit sequence that lasts longer than the time it takes to reach for the fast-forward button is on TV Land and premium cable.
What do the new, downsized theme tunes sound like, and how do the opening credits of the 2010 TV season fit in the genre's glorious tradition? Click here for a video slide show. After you've seen what this season has to offer, visit the comments section, below, and tell us your favorite theme tune. (And try—just try—to keep the WKRP in Cincinnati jingle out of your head while you're typing.)
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
- NSA Is Letting its Chief Technical Officer Work 20 Hours a Week for a Private Company
- After 13 Years of U.S. Occupation, Afghanistan Opium Production Is at an All-Time High
- The Pennsylvania Fugitive Sniper Is Still at Large After 39 Days
- Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years, May Only Serve Ten Months
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?