The 30 Best TV Theme Songs of the Millennium

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by Brian Morin on September 19, 2013

in Lists, Television, The Walking Dead

10. Friday Night Lights

The theme to Friday Night Lights, in my opinion, perfectly encapsulated both the series and the town of Dillon, Texas.  It was composed by W.G. Snuffy Walden, veteran composer and multi-nominated score composer for his work on The West Wing (#14 on this list), Felicity, My So-Called Life, and 30something.


9. The Wire

The Wire’s opening theme, Way Down in the Hole, is a blues-inspired song originally written in 1987 by Tom Waits.


8. Rescue Me

There was a video game in the mid-2000s that featured The Von Bondies’ C’Mon C’Mon on its soundtrack. I wanted to say it was MLB: The Show but I can’t seem to find it on any of the soundtrack listings. Long story short: I was happy to hear it years later as the theme to FX’s Rescue Me.


7. True Blood

Jace Everett’s “Bad Things” peaked at #2 in Norway in 2009, but more importantly serves as the perfect southern swampy theme song for HBO’s True Blood.


6. Two and a Half Men

Like the show or not, the signature opening theme is one of the best of the last decade and a half.


5. The O.C.

The dulcet piano tones of Phantom Planet’s California were an unmistakable and perfectly chosen intro for Fox’s The O.C.


4. The Walking Dead

I think the theme to The Walking Dead, accompanied by its post-apocalyptic images, sets a perfect tense and creepy mood for what is one of my favorite shows on TV right now.  Its composer, Bear McCreary has also done composition work for Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, and Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles.


3. Mad Men

Regarding the instrumental theme by RJD2, Erik Adams of The AV Club said it best: “There are six decades of artistic expression tied up in [A Beautiful Mine]“.


2. Scrubs

Just a 12 second clip of a full length song by Lazlo Bane, the theme to Scrubs can be most recognized by the long whistle at the end. I love Scrubs (although I waited a season to jump in during its first run).  It’s one of my favorite shows of all time and is constantly on our television ever since it went into syndication.


1. The Office

Watching the clip montage and hearing the music got you excited for the show, plain and simple. The Office theme was composed by Jay Ferguson, who is also known for composing music for Terminator 2 and the theme to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5. For his work on The Office theme Ferguson was awarded the  2007 Film & TV Music Award for Best Score for a Comedy Television Program.


Brian Morin (@bmorin54) is a fan of anything 80s. He hosted an 80s themed radio show while in college which justified his library of over 250 eighties CDs, and currently co-hosts The Walking Dads, a Walking Dead-themed podcast.


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Corey Chapman (@chapmanrunner) September 19, 2013 at 9:44 am

Home run, Morin. I was scared that you would have missed the PERFECT companion to Rescue Me, with C’Mon C’mon, but you nail it bro! (It doesnt hurt you ranked Mad Men as high as you did) Bravo!

Batfan September 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Nice list but, no Sopranos?

Howard Decker September 19, 2013 at 11:27 pm

It debuted in 1999. Same reason Family Guy and Freaks and Geeks didn’t make it. Had to debut 2000 or later.

Hail Mary September 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I can’t believe that I failed to include Game of Thrones. An egregious omission on my part. It should be top 10.

T2H September 20, 2013 at 12:12 am

Six Feet Under, anyone?

Dex (@Dex1138) September 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Bones theme by Crystal Method

Jason Gross (@SockOfFleagulls) September 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm

House and CSI would be top ten for me. Nice job, Hail Mary!

T2H September 21, 2013 at 3:11 am


B. Jones October 5, 2013 at 1:11 am

No Dexter or Sons of Anarchy?

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