Rolling Stone has released their list of the 100 Greatest TV Theme Songs of All Time. While some of the expected classics rank high, they have rightly included some key titles from the past few years. In fact, ten shows make up for as many entries on the list.
Starting off the list at #100 is WandaVision, praising its bold move to change the theme song for each episode. WandaVision is one of three shows from the 2020s, joining two shows that debuted in 2022, Apple TV+’s Pachinko (#83), HBO Max’s Peacemaker (#65). Other shows that debuted in the past decade are Netflix’s Stranger Things (#88), season two of HBO’s The Leftovers (#84), Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black (#47), Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (#26), HBO’s Succession (#25), Adult Swim’s Too Many Cooks (#10), and CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (#4). (Note that this article is purposely omitting channel shifts and revivals, so shows like Sesame Street and The X-Files are not listed.)
In compiling the list, Rolling Stone “considered two main factors: 1) How great is it as a song? 2) How well does it prepare you for the show that follows, in terms of mood and/or an explanation of the premise?”
The Top 10 of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest TV Theme Songs of All Time, from #10 to #1: Too Many Cooks, The O.C., Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Twilight Zone, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Sanford and Son, a tie between The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island (cop out!), and, at #1, The Jeffersons.
Earlier this year, Rolling Stone released their list of the 100 Greatest TV Shows of All-Time, stirring up discussion by dismissing shows from “cancelled” stars like The Cosby Show, Roseanne and Louie.
What do you think of Rolling Stone’s list of tv theme songs? What are they missing? Which modern show’s theme song deserves a spot on the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!