Occasionally, top TV show theme songs aren’t just popular – they join the soundtrack of a generation. These 16 hits won acclaim for being more than being the tune played over opening credits. Have a listen!
tv show opening credits
Discover the groundbreaking series Cagney and Lacey that set the bar for strong female leads in cop dramas.
Born in the gritty era of 1970s television, Baretta featured a unique blend of police procedural and character study. Starring Robert Blake as Tony Baretta,
Quincy had a massive impact on the landscape of television, and set the foundation for many detective dramas we love today. Here’s a look back!
Miami Vice was a ground-breaking American television show that aired from 1984 to 1989. Its blend of fast cars, flashy fashion, and synthesized music captured
From 1963 to 1966, the old My Favorite Martian TV comedy was broadcast, starring Ray Walston alongside future Incredible Hulk star Bill Bixby. Here’s a look back!
There were only 17 episodes made of H. R. Pufnstuf, but the kitschy kiddie TV show earned its cult status through reruns that aired through the ’70s and into the ’80s. Here’s a look back!
Good Times wasn’t just about humor; it tackled pressing social issues of its time — including unemployment, racism, and poverty.
First appearing on TV in 1975, Welcome Back Kotter would go on to become one of America’s best-loved sitcoms. Most notably, it starred a young John Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino.
From the hilarious misunderstandings to the lovable characters, “Three’s Company” has an enduring appeal. Reminisce with us!
The Bob Newhart Show turned the world of comedy upside down with its straight-faced humor and wry wit – let’s take a look back!
Take a look back at “The Odd Couple” — a classic comedy about friendship, divorce & making the most out of life’s second chances.
Moonlighting was a hit TV comedy/detective drama in the ’80s, starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd as an unlikely private investigator duo.
The Courtship of Eddie’s Father was a TV sitcom about a widower and his son, Eddie that debuted in 1969. The memorable theme song was by Harry Nilsson.
Sesame Street started in 1969 as a daily TV show for preschoolers, featuring a street filled with puppets and humans who told stories, sang and danced. But it became so much more than just a television program!
The Incredible Hulk TV show from the 70s, starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, proved that fans liked Dr David Banner even more when he was angry.
Gary Coleman stars as Arnold, a street-wise youth from Harlem, who is adopted by a white millionaire and becomes confused and suspicious about his sudden change of fortune on the comedy series, Diff’rent Strokes.
“I Love Lucy,” a domestic comedy TV series, reduces the role of husband to roughly that of the male spider, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, at the end of the season, Miss Ball ate him.
Revisit the ABC Afterschool Special episodes that shaped our childhood! We’ve listed every one of the vintage TV movies, along with photos and dozens of promos and full-length videos.
In this sitcom, WKRP in Cincinnati was a struggling radio station. Then someone new turns the station into a top-40 rock music outlet, and things get interesting.
NBC TV’s midseason situation comedy series, ‘Sanford and Son,’ about an aging black Los Angeles junk dealer, appears to be an instant, impressive hit.
Laverne & Shirley was a series about two spirited young women – Penny Marshall as Laverne DeFazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney – who worked in a brewery and managed to have fun on and off the job in Milwaukee in the 1950s.
The Batman TV show was a live-action series that aired on the ABC network from 1966 to 1968. The show was based on the DC Comics character Batman, a superhero who fought crime in Gotham City.
Say, kids, what time is it? Kids: It’s Howdy Doody Time! First gracing the airwaves in 1947, marionette Howdy Doody was a pioneer of American TV programming.
Lee Majors starred in the Six Million Dollar Man TV series as astronaut Steve Austin, who, after a crash that nearly killed him, was remade in a bionic man – essentially a cyborg – and turned into a government agent.
The old Disneyland TV show, known by various titles since its introduction in 1954 (and currently entitled The Wonderful World of Disney) was Walt Disney’s first foray into the weekly television show format.
Capitalizing on the success of The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman was a spin-off that ran for three seasons from 1976 to 1978. The show starred Lindsay Wagner as the physically augmented Jaime Sommers.
M*A*S*H debuted on TV in 1972, and centered around a team of doctors during the Korean War in the early 50s. M*A*S*H was a huge success, lasting for 11 seasons, and broke records on its way out.
Let’s look back at the popular sitcom The Facts of Life – meet the actresses, hear that catchy theme song one more time, and get the lyrics for the hit show’s opening credits!
The Love Boat sailed from ABC into American homes for nine seasons, from 1977 until 1986. The hour-long dramedy/sitcom was a favorite of viewers and critics alike – so come remember it here!
Through these vintage celebrity interviews (and an article bylined by the star himself), get to know Mike Connors, the star of the Mannix TV show, which was a big hit detective drama in the ’70s.
The new comedy series is a story of a mountain family who suddenly finds itself with $25 million after oil is found on its property, and then moves to Beverly Hills, California. See the opening credits, hear the theme song, and get the lyrics here!
Revisit the picture-perfect view of the ’50s with the Cleaver family, and their oh-so-retro daily ups and downs on the classic TV show, ‘Leave it to Beaver.’ You’ll also find out how Alfred Hitchcock was involved with this success story!
Dragnet was one of the original police procedurals, which began as a radio show, then as a (now-iconic) TV show from 1951-1959 — later followed by a faithful reboot from 1967 to 1970. They all starred Jack Webb as police sergeant Joe Friday.
For two years, Tom Hanks pounded the streets of the city searching for a job. Then he was flown to LA, screen tested, and finally selected for the role of Kip Wilson in ‘Bosom Buddies.’ And so a star was born.
Spooky sitcom stars Fred Gwynne & Yvonne De Carlo talked about their lives & what it was like to film the vintage 1960s Munsters TV show in these classic cast interviews!
Star Trek’s original run lasted three seasons – but soon thereafter, it became a huge hit in syndication, inspired several TV series and more than a dozen movies.
Considering it spawned two revival series, a movie, books and comic books, it’s hard to believe that the original Battlestar Galactica TV series had such a humble beginning.
Judging by audience response to PBS new children’s show, Zoom may turn into the kind if household word television hasn’t heard since the halcyon days of Uncle Milty.
Take tic-tac-toe, toss in nine celebrities, stir in some questions and add fabulous prizes. What do you get? The original Hollywood Squares game show!
The Banana Splits Adventure Hour lasted only 31 episodes, but its funky psychedelia had a lasting impact. Take a look – and a listen!
While television hardly needed another cop series, ‘Starsky and Hutch’ was one of the better reasons to turn on a TV back in the ’70s. Here’s why.
Here Come The Brides was an hour-long comedy/Western TV series set in Seattle in the 1870s about a family of loggers who brought in 100 women as potential brides. The show launched Bobby Sherman and David Soul as teen idols.
Many critics were surprised that the ‘Emergency!’ TV show was a success. One factor for sure: actors Randy Mantooth and Kevin Tighe, who played paramedics John Gage and Roy DeSoto, made indelible impressions on viewers.
In one of the stranger television concepts in history, Sally Field played the title role of The Flying Nun – the 90-pound Sister Bertrille, who could use her starched cornette to take to the skies if the wind was just right.
Bald, Tootsie Pop-snacking Kojak was the king of the police procedural on TV, from 1973 through 1978. Here’s a look back!
‘All in the Family’ was a huge hit TV show that aired on CBS from 1971 to 1979, and was number 1 in the Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. Find out about the series here, and see the famous opening credits, too!
Based on the famous books, The Hardy Boys-Nancy Drew Mysteries TV series debuted in 1977, starring Parker Stevenson & Shaun Cassidy as the brothers Frank & Joe, and Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy.
Somewhere in that golden haze after Sesame Street, there was a little TV show called New Zoo Revue. Take a look back to that oh-so-retro kids’ show here!
Combining Southern icons like moonshine running, muscle cars, car chases and country music, The Dukes of Hazzard TV series ran for seven seasons between 1979 and 1985. Rewind and remember the show here!
CHiPS, a light-hearted one-hour action-adventure series, follows the exploits of a pair of young California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers on the busy Los Angeles freeways, and their encounters with the infinite variety of people who drive there.
Debuting in 1976, the classic TV series Charlie’s Angels was widely popular with viewers, eventually becoming a cult classic favorite and spawning feature films and reboots.
The Monkees may have been a prefab TV band, but there was nothing made up about their real-world success. Here’s a look back!
21 Jump Street was a cop show that debuted in 1987, and immediately found an audience: teenagers, especially girls. That was fair, since the show was about police officers who pretended to be teens. Johnny Depp was the series’ breakout star.
What was the Partridge Family TV series about? In an eggshell: Five siblings made the big-time playing rock ‘n’ roll music, and, led by their mom, toured the country. Squabbles, catchy tunes and hijinks ensued.
On this 1982 sitcom, the Square Pegs were Patty Greene (a young Sarah Jessica Parker) and Lauren Hutchinson (Amy Linker). Patty was the smart, skinny, nearsighted one; Lauren was the one with baby fat and braces. The round hole was Weemawee High School.
The Waltons was a story of a large family living in Virginia during the Great Depression. The classic TV show originally aired from 1972 through 1981. Find out what the cast thought of the program here.
The ’70s TV classic ‘Match Game’ redefined the modern game show. It went against convention, appealed to a younger, hipper audience and ushered in a new era of television.
For those who have not seen it, ‘The A Team’ is a straightforward piledriver of a show, a blue-collar ‘Mission Impossible’ without the finesse. Here’s a TV show review from 1983!
Ranked #13 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time, The Dick Van Dyke Show ran from 1961 to 1966, racking up 15 Emmy awards along the way.
Jim Nabors’ popular character on The Andy Griffith Show, joined the Marines and got his own spin-off TV series in 1964 – Gomer Pyle: USMC.
The Andy Griffith Show – with its memorable theme tune – ran between 1960 and 1968, which was more than enough time to establish itself as an icon of Americana, and start the career of a Hollywood legend.
Mork & Mindy was a sitcom that starred a hilarious young Robin Williams as alien visitor Mork, and Pam Dawber co-starred as his earthling girlfriend (later his wife) Mindy McConnell.
On the original ’60s version of the ‘Lost in Space’ TV show, somewhere the universe, a family is marooned while on a voyage to colonize a new world.
Gunsmoke, one of the longest-running TV shows in history, gave viewers a look at the old west – saloons and sheriffs, cowboys and horses.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, set in the 24th century, the updated USS Enterprise boldly went where no one had gone before – and enthralled millions.
Set in New York, the popular TV sitcom Taxi brought viewers into the lives of the folks at the Sunshine Cab Company – cabbies until they can get the careers they want.
The popular Benson TV show, a sitcom offshoot of Soap, starred Robert Guillaume as Benson DuBois, director of household affairs for a widowed state governor.
Find out about The Muppet Show, an all-family comedy-musical-variety TV series from the ’70s & ’80s, and see the opening credits and theme song lyrics here!
Happy Days starred Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham and Henry Winkler as Fonzie, and showed life in 1956 – or at least the 1956 some like to believe existed.
Lynda Carter, television’s wonderful Wonder Woman, had the strength of Hercules, the wisdom of Athena, the speed of Mercury and the beauty of Aphrodite.
Years ago, kids loved weekends because they could catch up on their favorite Saturday morning cartoons & TV shows. Here’s a look back!
Funny, fictitious Bullwinkle J. Moose leaped to fame on the popular cartoon series Rocky and His Friends. Here’s a look back!
In ‘Full House,’ a widowed talk-show host whose brother-in-law and best friend, a comic, helped him raise his three young girls.
The original Hawaii Five-O TV show hit the airwaves in the ’60s, and the Aloha State would never be the same again. Here’s a look back.
In the Brady Bunch family’s home-screen-home, the comedic power of the classic TV show came from combining a zany maid, two grown-ups, six kids, a dog and a cat.
Larry Hagman has a juicy, lip-smacking role, and he plays it to campy perfection. His J.R. Ewing on Dallas is rotten to the core. If he had a redeeming feature, he’d probably swap it for cash.
After moving to a new house, a man named Wilbur finds the previous owner left behind a horse. It’s Mister Ed, a talking horse! But Ed will talk only to Wilbur, meaning confusion and hijinks soon ensue.
For 7 seasons, the original Fantasy Island TV show featured Ricardo Montalban as the mysterious Mr Roarke, the overseer of a mystical island where people could live out their fantasies,
Gilligan’s Island was the hit sitcom that ran for a total of 98 episodes over three seasons – from 1964 to 1967. Find out more about the show and sing along to the theme song here!
Each episode of Adam-12 portrayed a day in the life of an LAPD ‘policeman’ as realistically as possible, with officers Malloy and Reed facing the tragic and amusing events of life in a big city.
Eight Is Enough premiered on March 15, 1977, and ran for five seasons before wrapping up in August of 1981. Starring Dick Van Patten, the show focused on Tom Bradford and his eight children.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show stars Mary in the role of Mary Richards, a small-town single girl who moves to the big city and lands a job as associate producer of a news program on a local TV station.
The Addams Family TV series portrayed the everyday life of one kooky and spooky family. Although the show had a huge impact on pop culture, it only ran for two seasons – from 1964 to 1966. Meet the cast and hear the snappy theme here!
In the popular ’80s sitcom Silver Spoons, a child-like millionaire meets the son he never knew – and that kid (Ricky Schroder) teaches his newfound dad how to be a grown-up.
On the ’80s TV show The Greatest American Hero, an average guy got a suit that gave him superpowers… but then he loses the instruction book. Believe it or not, the show was a hit.
After ‘That Girl’ proved a comedy success for the actress who played the title role, TV executives suggested the series be called ‘The Marlo Thomas Show.’
For nearly 30 years, Captain Kangaroo said good morning to kids across the country. Here, meet Bob Keeshan, the man behind the beloved character!
‘The Cosby Show’ enters millions of American living rooms precisely because it so well mirrors those living rooms. Sure, the Huxtable family is funnier, wealthier and more idealized than most.
Find out about the classic TV sitcom Rhoda, and meet the star, Valerie Harper, in two different vintage interviews!
It would be hard to find anyone between the ages of 30 and 50 who didn’t watch Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as a kid. And there’s a good reason for that.
Get a blast from the past with this 1978 article about the popular TV sitcom, “What’s Happening!!”, which soared past expectations and entertained millions.
Maude was a groundbreaking television series starring Bea Arthur that broke all the molds when it first aired in 1972.
Widely regarded as one of the most innovative television shows of all time, The Twilight Zone premiered in 1959, and would go on to dazzle, delight and frighten audiences for the next five seasons.
Come ride the little train that is rolling down the tracks to Petticoat Junction – and the Shady Rest Hotel – in this classic TV sitcom from the sixties!
The popular and highly-acclaimed ‘Little House on the Prairie’ TV series was based on the beloved books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, about the pioneer days.
The Flintstones TV cartoon sitcom ran for 6 seasons in the ’60s. Find out how the story began, plus see the opening credits & the catchy theme song lyrics!
The early-70s TV sitcom ‘Nanny and the Professor’ starred Juliet Mills, Richard Long, and a very young Kim Richards – best known now for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.