The 10 Coolest Title Sequences and Theme Songs Never Nominated for an Emmy
film / tv / lists / guides / news / love / celeb / video / think pieces / staff / podcasts / web culture / politics / dc / snl / netflix / marvel / cbr

The 10 Coolest Title Sequences and Theme Songs Never Nominated for an Emmy

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | July 19, 2012 | Comments ()


Just so you know, Title Sequences and Theme Songs fall into two different categories, and a lot of people conflate the two. You can have a great theme song and a lousy title sequence ("Friday Night Lights," for instance) and vice-versa ("Mad Men").

The Emmy Awards have been handing out nominations for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music since 1988. They have been handing out nominations for Title Design since 1990. It is my understanding that shows are only eligible for the categories in their first year of existence, otherwise I suppose a great theme song could win year after year. Yet, despite the fact that the Emmy voters get to choose five new title sequences and theme songs every single year, they still managed to miss out on these ten in each category.

Also, before we get to the list, here's this year's nominations for Title Sequence:

"American Horror Story"
"Great Expectations"
"Magic City"
"New Girl"
"Strike Back"

Main Title Sequence

Aeon Flux

Dead Like Me




Flight of the Conchords


Breaking Bad

The Wire


Main Theme Song

Here are this year's nominees for theme song, followed by the 10 Biggest Snubs in that category.

"Great Expectations"
"Hell on Wheels"
"Page Eight"

Game of Thrones


Doctor Who

Band of Brothers


Friday Night Lights

Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Law & Order


Battlestar Gallactica

The 2012 Emmy Nominations | And Here We... Go! (Again.): Why Rotten Tomatoes Closing Its Comments For The Dark Knight Rises Is A Net Good

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • DickClark

    Band of Brothers never won!!!!! Its second only to The Pacific.

  • Uriah_Creep

    "The IT Crowd" and "Red Dwarf". I could watch and listen to these any time.

  • Viking

    I love the Terriers theme song too. Nice list!

  • lowercase_ryan

    I'm getting sick of you guys pretending Luck didn't happen. Yes it was a run that made Firefly look successful in comparison, but I'll take this intro over any on this list.

  • Theunis Stofberg

    the best ever and it might even be the super best ever opening sequence for any series ever had to have been for the Edward Woodward series The Equalizer. I am talking 80's here people. Look at the awesomeness over here.

  • Jerce

    Oh fuckmerunning, you are 100% correct. I can't believe I forgot about this show. It was one of the few things in the shitty 80s that made my shitty life bearable. (It was composed by the drummer for The Police, whose name currently escapes me.)

  • thaneofmemphis

    Best ever? Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

  • MJ

    The Batman (animated series) LOVE the original opening theme song (and credits)..

  • Rooks

    That is all.

  • Tinkerville

    3..2..1.. let's jam.

  • Rooks

    I think it's time we blow this scene... get everybody and the stuff together. Okay...

  • Ruthie O

    New Girl was nominated? It took me months to even try out the show because the title sequence was so obnoxious. I'm glad I did because I now adore the show, but man, I always fast forward past that sequence/song.

  • I mute it - I love the show but damn I hate when Zooey warbles that earworm of a theme song. Glad they didn't get a nod for best theme song!

  • puddin

    Would you even call it a song? Its, like, three notes. My solo in the Christmas pageant in second grade was more substantial.

    FYI--I was brilliant in that Christmas pageant.

  • ed newman

    Most of these are pretty blah, and not worthy of a nom anyway.
    The one song that got robbed was the theme from Terriers.

  • FrOprah

    I love Archer's opening credits. No matter how many times I watch older episodes, I must watch that short, slick, spy goodness.

  • Nuthin.

  • BWeaves

    As much as I love the Doctor Who theme music, my favorite version is still the original version:

  • dizzylucy

    I realized a little while ago that I greatly dislike most of the intros on Showtime shows. I have to lunge for the remote for Nurse Jackie especially, I don't know what it is but I hate that thing. HATE it.
    I remember liking the Damages intro a lot, and FNL. Justified's got a good one too.
    It's silly, but I love the Psych theme song.

  • Tatiana Berg

    Nurse Jackie's is just so SMUG and LAME and the music is terrible and she makes the goofiest expressions I HATE IT TOO. Whew!

  • Rocabarra

    I love the Dexter intro, with the playfully diabolical music.

  • dizzylucy

    I don't mind Dexter's so much. The first time or two I saw it, I actually liked it, but then I was binge watching and it got very repetitive. So that one's on me, but I still skip it now.

  • Jerce

    I don't know whether it's ever won any awards (and don't care), but the combo of images and music for Dexter makes it probably the best TV intro of all time. (OF ALL TIME.) Except perhaps for Star Trek: TNG. That one is also pretty damn awesome.

  • godzilla's foil

    I don't know whether it's ever won any awards (and don't care), but the combo of images and music for Dexter makes it probably the best TV intro of all time. (OF ALL TIME.)
    ^This. ABSOLUTELY this. Nothing else to add.

  • mex

    THANK YOU. that Nurse Jackie theme is the WORST. ugh. (love the show though.)

  • John G.

    Thank you for posting the flight of the conchords theme. My day just got a whole lot better.

  • Wicked

    I think the Band of Brother's Intro was amazing. It was emotional and touching, and it gave you a sense of what these soldiers went through. It always make me choke up when I listen to it, especially after watching the entire series. Maybe I'm biased because I believe its one of the best mini-series of all time. <3

  • klingonfree

    Was True Blood's opening (song and sequence) ever nominated? Because...dayum.

  • Bedewcrock

    A case of the intro song being better than the show.

  • klingonfree

    Well, to each his own.

  • Bedewcrock

    oh don't get me wrong, i really enjoy the show but i think there could be a completely different show based off the intro.

  • AudioSuede

    Wait, people are hating on the Mad Men title sequence now? I love that thing. Am I alone here?

  • melissa82

    I think it's that the title sequence is better than the song.

  • AudioSuede

    Impossible. Nothing is better than that drum fill.

  • mex

    "You can have a great theme song and a lousy title sequence (“Friday Night Lights,” for instance) and vice-versa (“Mad Men”)."

    whaaaat?!? you're crazy. the Mad Men theme song is outstanding.

  • AudioSuede

    Agree 100%

  • athena23

    There are some huge snubs on here, no question, and none worse (to me, at least) than GoT. What the hell else do these people want from their title sequences?! I must bring forth my best Joaquin Phoenix impersonation: This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.

  • space_oddity

    I love Homeland, but that 'intro song?' where it's just random snippets of music and dialogue from the show? Fucking hate it.

  • alannaofdoom

    Yeah, I am not a jazz fan myself - I understand the use of the music w/r/t the show, and it works, but I don't *like* it. The dialogue snippets feel so heavy-handed to me. The War on Terror is a thing! We get it! I wish they'd ditch it and go back to just throwing a title card up like they did for the pilot.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Game of Thrones should be up for both, not just the music.

  • pajiba

    GoT actually WAS nominated for title sequence.

  • L.O.V.E.

    I guess I need more coffee, because this is what I am reading, and I don't see GoT for either:


    Ah, pulled me head out of me rear, and reread the comment about only being eligible the first year. That is weak. I could understand being limited to a one time nomination, or being limited to winning it once, but half the time these voters don't get around to voting for a deserving show until its last season has aired.

  • athena23

    I think they mean last year. Although the comment machine keeps eating my replies, I posted that I thought I remembered that. [Waits to see if I'm just shouting into the wind or this posts.]

  • space_oddity

    And it won, too.

  • athena23

    I thought I recalled that. Still vexed that it didn't get a nod this year--look how many more places and character names they had to work in, peopl!

  • Guest

    That intro fascinates me. Like a cat taken with a laser-pointer.

  • Arran

    Surely pre-existing songs (eg, We Used To Be Friends, Teardrop) aren't actually eligible for the theme category?

  • pajiba

    MODIFIED to reflect that understanding.

  • Arran

    It's always good to know I'm making a difference in this world!

  • pajiba

    You may be right. I initially based my assumption on the fact that the "Friends" song was nominated, and now I remember that that song was released to for radio AFTER the debut of "Friends."

  • Rocabarra

    Yessss, a hundred times yes to Deadwood. Though now I miss that show more than ever. And Flight of the Conchords.
    And I've never seen Damages, but that is one super cool intro and I think I'd like to see the show now.
    The Game of Thrones intro is just brilliant. So much detail, such great music.

  • Bedewcrock

    have you seen the clip where the GoT actors who play Bran, Sansa, and Arya hum the intro? it's pretty precious.

  • eeeeee

    You mean THIS?

  • Rocabarra

    I have, and I agree wholeheartedly. I think it could warm even Dracula's heart, and I challenge anyone to listen to it without giggling at least once.

  • AudioSuede

    Deadwood's opening sequence has the best side boob in the history of opening title sequences.
    - The pervy opening title critic

  • Puddin

    Nerd question--was Carnivale nominated? Because I remember nothing about that show except FOR the opening sequence.

  • pajiba

    Yes, it was.

blog comments powered by Disqus