'Cheers' vs. 'M*A*S*H': Vote for the Best TV Theme Songs

Dave Nemetz

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.

(1) "Cheers" ("Where Everybody Knows Your Name")

Whoa… this theme song bracket just got real, didn't it? Our Final Four is packed full of stone-cold classics; none of these four contenders are anything to sneeze at. Here, we have a real heavyweight matchup between two of the most iconic themes in TV history. In this corner: "Where Everybody Knows Your Name," an expertly crafted mix of melancholy and nostalgia that trounced poor old "Laverne & Shirley" in Round 3. With all the good memories this song conjures up of Sam, Diane, and the whole gang at "Cheers," it's tough to picture it not making the finals.

(2) "M*A*S*H" ("Suicide Is Painless")

And in this corner: the equally beloved instrumental theme "Suicide Is Painless," with an achingly mournful melody that perfectly set the stage for "M*A*S*H's" bittersweet wartime comedy. The 4077th survived a fierce challenge from Davy Jones and "The Monkees" last round, and now faces its toughest test yet. If we were asked to choose between "Cheers" and "M*A*S*H" as TV shows, we couldn't decide. But in a battle of theme songs alone, we're going with "Cheers" -- just for the lyrics and that spirit-lifting chorus. Sorry, Hawkeye; we expect to be yelling "Norm!" in the finals.

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 (Final Four voting ends Saturday 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.