Readers Poll: The Best Television Theme Songs - Rolling Stone
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Readers Poll: The Best Television Theme Songs

Selections include tracks from ‘Cheers,’ ‘Friends’ and ‘Sanford and Son’

tv show theme fresh prince of bel-air

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast. Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

The Fall TV season kicks off this week, but fans of the TV theme song will probably be very disappointed: The era of the long television theme song is almost entirely over. Back in the 1960s, Sherwood Schwartz pioneered the explanatory theme song with Gilligan’s Island. If you tuned into the show and wondered who those crazy castaways were and why they were on an island, all you had to do was “sit right back and hear a tale…” Later in the decade Schwartz created The Brady Bunch, and viewers heard a “story about a man named Brady.” Most theme songs weren’t that direct, but shows from All in the Family to Friends all set the tone for the show with their themes. Click through to see your 10 favorites.

In This Article: Friends, The Sopranos

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