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The 60 Coolest TV Show Title Sequences of All Time

By Dustin Rowles | Guides | October 14, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Guides | October 14, 2011 |

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.

60. Big Bang Theory

59. Oz

58. John from Cincinnati

57. Lie to Me

56. Twin Peaks

55. Community

54. Nurse Jackie

Imaginary Forces - Nurse Jackie from Imaginary Forces on Vimeo.

53. Southland

52. Dark Skies

51. Max Headroom

50. Lost

49. Chuck

48. Rubicon

Rubicon Main Titles from Caleb Woods on Vimeo.

47. The Walking Dead

46. The Tudors

45. Downtown Abbey

44. Pretty Little Liars

43. Freak and Geeks

42. X-Files

41. The Twilight Zone

Part I: 60- 41

Part II: 40 - 21

Part III: 20 - 1.