#RSFans’ Favorite TV Theme Songs – Rolling Stone
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#RSFans’ Favorite TV Theme Songs

Stand-out music from ‘Cheers,’ ‘The Munsters,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ and 13 more shows

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‘Cheers’

"Where Everybody Knows Your Name," written by Judy Hart Angelo and Gary Portnoy, won an Emmy in 1983 for Outstanding Achievement in Music and Lyrics – after having their first three attempts rejected by the studio.

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‘The Simpsons’

Danny Elfman of Oingo Boingo wrote the world-famous Simpsons theme in 1989, at the request of creator Matt Groening. He has since scored music for over 50 movies, working closely with Tim Burton and winning a Grammy for his work on Burton's Batman.

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‘Doctor Who’

The theme of Doctor Who was a wholly innovative piece of music when it was composed by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's Ron Grainer and Delia Derbyshire in 1963, with Derbyshire utilizing many novel-at-the-time electronic techniques such as tape splicing and oscilloscope modulation to give the song its brooding, futuristic sound.

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‘The X-Files’

The haunting theme of The X-Files was written by TV and film composer Mark Snow – with some "assistance" from X-Files creator Chris Carter. The story goes that Snow found the song's signature echo when, frustrated from Carter's criticism of the existing song, he laid his arm on his keyboard and the echo came out the other end.

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‘Hong Kong Phooey’

The theme – and the entire concept – of Hong Kong Phooey was written by the team of Watts Biggers, Chester Stover, Treadwell Covington and Joseph Harris, who created and sold cartoon characters with the aim of selling General Mills breakfast cereals.

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‘All In the Family’

In what may be the only theme song played and sung by its principal characters, All In the Family's theme was composed by songwriting team Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, who were responsible for the classic Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie.

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‘Growing Pains’

The Growing Pains theme song, co-written by John Bettis and Steve Dorff (father of actor Stephen Dorff), was sung by several well-known artists, including B.J. Thomas (singer of "Hooked On a Feeling"), Jennifer Warnes (who sung the Dirty Dancing hit "(I've Had) The Time of My Life") and soul singer Dusty Springfield.

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‘The Wonder Years’

The Wonder Years' classic theme is a cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" as sung by Joe Cocker. It was inducted into both the Grammy Award Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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‘The Sopranos’

The Sopranos theme song is a remixed version of "Woke Up This Morning," a song written by English band Alabama 3 in 1997. Their music has appeared in many shows and films including 3000 Miles to Graceland, A Life Less Ordinary and Gone in 60 Seconds.

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‘Game of Thrones’

Grammy-nominated composer Ramin Djawadi is responsible for Game of Thrones' brooding, epic intro song, as well as the rocking compositions in the first Iron Man movie.

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‘That ’70s Show’

Todd Griffin, a relatively unknown performer, was the singer covering Big Star's "In the Street" for That '70s Show's first season. His version was replaced with Cheap Trick's rendition starting with the show's second season – their additional, now-signature "we're all all right!" chant at the end was a nod to the band's song "Surrender." Got all that?

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