In honor of March Madness, we decided to do a TV-themed bracket of our own: a no-holds-barred tournament to determine the best TV theme song of all time. After lots of heated debate, we selected and ranked 32 of the most memorable TV theme songs ever, pitting them against each other in a winner-takes-all bracket. Over the past few weeks, we've been asking you to vote for your favorite theme songs until we get a winner -- and a few songs stuck in your heads.
(1) "Cheers" ("Where Everybody Knows Your Name")
Here it is: the ultimate showdown for theme-song supremacy. After more than a quarter-million votes and 30 eliminations, we're down to the final two contenders in our Theme Song Thunderdome. Both beloved classics, and both well-deserving of their spot in the finals. But who will be crowned the best TV theme song of all time? Will it be "Where Everybody Knows Your Name," the uplifting '80s piano ballad that, for 11 great seasons, reminded us that a little bar in Boston was always ready to greet us with a smile (and a nice cold one)?
(12) "Gilligan's Island" ("The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle")
Or will it be "The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle," which set the standard for all "story songs" to follow by explaining the S.S. Minnow's ill-fated journey in one tidy minute of jaunty exposition? Sure, it's super corny, but you still know all the words, don't you? ("The millionaire… and his wife… the movie star…") It's tough to argue with lyrics so goofy, they've remained lodged in our memories for half a century. But for our money, the "Cheers" theme is the superior song (and slightly less embarrassing to have on our iPods), so our vote goes to Sam and Diane.
Which theme song is the best of all time? Vote in the poll above (voting ends Wednesday at 6 PM PT), click here to view the full bracket and see how other pairings turned out, tweet out your choices using the hashtag #TVThemeSong, and hit the comments to tell us about all the great theme songs we forgot to include.
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- TV theme songs