Evolution of the TV Theme Song?

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Whatever happened to TV show theme songs? It seems to be a thing of the past. A quick flip of the remote (or computer mouse) and you’ll see a quick burst of a sound clip before going onto the show. What the heck?

Theme songs seemed to have taken an evolution of some sort. The intro songs used to establish a vibe for show the viewer was about to watch. The catchy tunes established a show’s brand that for many continued on long after the show went off the air (Pokemon, Happy Days, Dukes of Hazzard). Things have changed. Many shows have shifted to having nothing more than a pleasing tune and rolling credits. Several jingles clock at just a few seconds. ABC’s Modern Family has an intro tune that runs for just 13 seconds. Fox’s the Mindy Project recently shortened their opening jingle from 15 seconds to around four seconds.

It must depend on the show runners and whether they see a need for them. Arrested Development, a sitcom revived via Netflix streaming, has an elaborate mini story within opening. The viewer is out right told of a family and its riches to rags story in just 18 seconds.

TV show runners should consider the benefit that comes from producing a proper theme song and intro. It helps to establish a shows brand among the viewers. Whenever people hear the words “Hanging out, down the street, the same old thing…” many would be quick to answer that it’s from That 70’s Show. When “West Philadelphia, born and raised,” starts up an image of Will Smith in shades and proper 90’s attire instantly pops up.

Theme songs establish a brand to a show that can have a lasting impact on viewers. TV show runners should plan accordingly. 

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Posted in TV

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