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The 60 Coolest TV Show Title Sequences of All Time Part II

By Dustin Rowles | Guides | October 13, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Guides | October 13, 2010 |

Early television didn’t focus much on a show’s main title sequence; on most networks, a longer title sequence meant less time for commercials. They were utilitarian: They presented the names of the cast members, sometimes the characters would flash a grin or wink in a blur of swipes and dissolves, and often exterior shots of the city the show took place in were presented. Frequently, the main titles were simply clips from the show itself, edited down and spliced together under a theme song.

Theme songs were where it was at back in the 80s and 90s, but now the title sequence is as important — or more important than the music: It sets the mood and, in some cases, provides backstory (although, main titles that present backstories usually are not very good, e.g., “Battlestar Galactica.”) Back in the early 90s, these title sequences became such an integral part of a television show that an Emmy Category was devoted to them (one of the first nominees was “Downtown Julie Brown” over on MTV *wubba wubba wubba*). Now, all the cable shows have lavishly produced, complicated main title sequences that combine conceptual visuals and sound and often last more than a minute (the unimpressive-but-for-the-song “Treme” title sequence clocks in at a minute and 34 seconds; the “Entourage” theme is one minute long, and when added to the “Previously On” scenes, there’s barely any time left for a 20-22 minute show).

The best title sequences not only express the concept of a show, feature the typographic logo, and present the key production and cast members, but they capture our attention and draw us in to the show’s mood. These are the 60 Coolest Main Title Sequences of All Time.

Part I: 60- 41 || Part II: 40 - 21 || Part III: 20 - 1.

40. Doctor Who

39. Sherlock

38. The Simpsons

37. The Wire

36. Sanctuary

35. Pushing Daisies

34. House, MD

33. Homicide: Life on the Streets

32. Bored to Death

31. The Sopranos

30. Firefly

29. Being Human

28. Band of Brothers

27. Aeon Flux

26. Big Love

HBO “Big Love” main title design from directionbyreece on Vimeo.

25. Desperate Housewives

24. Dilbert

23. Boardwalk Empire

22. Human Target

21. Six Feet Under

Part I: 60- 41 || Part II: 40 - 21 || Part III: 20 - 1.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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