Top 20 TV Show Theme Songs

This past summer, we asked you to name your favorite TV theme song, and the answers came pouring in! 

So what is the best TV show theme song of all time?

Topping the list was the Hawaii Five-0 theme, from the original series starring Jack Lord. And no wonder – it’s a snazzy, upbeat song recorded by legendary surf-rock group the Ventures

Related: ‘This Strange Effect’: the Story Behind the ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ Theme Song

Many of your choices came from classic shows from the mid/late 20th century – Sanford & Son, the Jeffersons, Mary Tyler Moore, Barney Miller. And of course Welcome Back, Kotter, which had an unforgettable theme written and sung by John Sebastian. 


A few more recent theme songs made the list, too, from shows including the Sopranos, South Park, and the Wire (specifically, the Tom Waits version of “Way Down in the Hole”). 


Another standout was the theme song for What We Do in the Shadows. Used in both the TV show and the film of the same name, the song is by American folk/pop singer Norma Tanega, and it first appeared on her 1966 album Walking My Cat Named Dog


You can see the full list below. 

Top 20 TV Theme Songs

1 Hawaii 5-0 (original) 11 Miami Vice
2 Twin Peaks 12 The Jeffersons
3 The Sopranos 13 WKRP In Cincinnati
4 Sanford & Son 14 The Rockford Files
5 Peter Gunn 15 Welcome Back, Kotter
6 Cheers 16 The Wonder Years (original)
7 What We Do In The Shadows 17 The Greatest American Hero
8 The Wire (Tom Waits) 18 The Golden Girls
9 Barney Miller 19 South Park
10 Mission Impossible 20 Mary Tyler Moore


Related: What are your favorite Colorado Sound songs of all time?



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