With March Madness in full swing, 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've 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 next few weeks, we're asking you to vote for your favorite theme songs until we get a winner -- and a few songs stuck in your heads.
(2) "M*A*S*H" ("Suicide Is Painless")
The instantly recognizable melody in "M*A*S*H's" title sequence is the instrumental version of "Suicide Is Painless," a song that originally appeared in Robert Altman's 1970 film which inspired the television series. Stripped of its lyrics, which were penned by Altman's then 14-year-old son, the haunting track perfectly suited the critically-acclaimed medical dramedy's theme of facing the tragedies of war with grace and humor. Though not technically part of the music, the most memorable bit of the song's arrangement occurs during the start of the opening credits when the sounds of a flying helicopter is heard alongside the melancholy tune.
(15) "The Facts of Life"
The theme song of '80s sitcom "The Facts of Life" is just as memorable as the series itself. And who could forget the antics and misadventures of Blair, Jo, Natalie, and Tootie? Like the show, the toe-tapping ditty is all about the ups and downs of growing up. After the first season, Gloria Lohring provided the track's vocals and the (now well-known) opening lyric became: "You take the good, you take the bad…" -- we'll just let you finish the rest!
Which theme song deserves to move onto the next round? Vote in the poll above, click here to see the full bracket and vote on other pairings (Round 1 voting ends Wednesday at 6 PM PT), 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.
- Arts & Entertainment
- TV theme songs