The 45 Best TV Show Themes Ever

by elitist | created - 25 Jan 2011 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

From the 50s to the 21st century.

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1. Hawaii Five-O (1968–1980)

60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The investigations of Hawaii Five-0, an elite branch of the Hawaii State Police answerable only to the governor and headed by stalwart Steve McGarrett.

Stars: Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong, Herman Wedemeyer

Votes: 5,196

2. Miami Vice (1984–1989)

TV-14 | 48 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Resplendent with authentic 1980's music, fashion and vibe, "Miami Vice" follows two undercover detectives and their extended team through the mean streets of Miami.

Stars: Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago, Olivia Brown

Votes: 21,192

3. Doctor Who (2005– )

TV-PG | 45 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer known as the Doctor and their companions from planet Earth.

Stars: Jodie Whittaker, Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Matt Smith

Votes: 186,487

4. Mission: Impossible (1966–1973)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

An elite covert operations unit carries out highly sensitive missions subject to official denial in the event of failure, death or capture.

Stars: Peter Graves, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus

Votes: 7,254

5. Dad's Army (1968–1977)

30 min | Comedy, War

A ragtag group of Home Guard volunteers prepare for an imminent German invasion during World War II.

Stars: Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn, John Laurie

Votes: 5,061

6. Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The lives and work of the staff of an inner city police precinct.

Stars: Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz, James Sikking

Votes: 6,606

7. The Civil War (1990)

TV-14 | 680 min | Documentary, History, War

A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.

Stars: David McCullough, Sam Waterston, Julie Harris, Jason Robards

Votes: 11,691

8. The Avengers (1961–1969)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A quirky spy show of the adventures of eccentrically suave British Agent John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and his predominately female partners.

Stars: Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman, Linda Thorson

Votes: 6,010

9. Red Dwarf (1988– )

TV-14 | 30 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

The adventures of the last human alive and his friends, stranded three million years into deep space on the mining ship Red Dwarf.

Stars: Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn

Votes: 31,145

10. The Name of the Game (1968–1971)

TV-PG | 90 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

This groundbreaking series had 3 rotating stars, who were featured in independent episodes tied together by a loose common theme; Howard Publications, the publishing empire of Glenn Howard.... See full summary »

Stars: Gene Barry, Susan Saint James, Robert Stack, Anthony Franciosa

Votes: 443

11. The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)

TV-PG | 51 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Ordinary people find themselves in extraordinarily astounding situations, which they each try to solve in a remarkable manner.

Stars: Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts, Vaughn Taylor

Votes: 63,711

12. Cheers (1982–1993)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Drama

The regulars of the Boston bar Cheers share their experiences and lives with each other while drinking or working at the bar where everybody knows your name.

Stars: Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt

Votes: 43,982

13. Taxi (1978–1983)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The staff of a New York City taxicab company go about their job while they dream of greater things.

Stars: Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner

Votes: 10,537

14. Skippy (1968– )

25 min | Adventure, Family

Sonny and his kangaroo Skippy live in Waratah National Park in New South Wales. Matt Hammond, Sonny's father is the park ranger. Skippy saves the day in many adventures.

Stars: Ed Devereaux, Tony Bonner, Ken James, Garry Pankhurst

Votes: 839

15. The West Wing (1999–2006)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama

Inside the lives of staffers in the West Wing of the White House.

Stars: Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, John Spencer

Votes: 57,378

16. Police Rescue (1989–1996)

50 min | Crime, Drama

The lives and cases of the members the Australian, Sydney based, New South Wales Police Rescue Squad.

Stars: Gary Sweet, Sonia Todd, Steve Bastoni, John Clayton

Votes: 335

17. The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends (1992–1995)

24 min | Animation, Family

An animated series, telling the story of many beloved Beatrix Potter characters.

Stars: Niamh Cusack, Enn Reitel, Sheila Steafel, Suzanne Bonetti

Votes: 693

18. The Simpsons (1989– )

TV-PG | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

The satiric adventures of a working-class family in the misfit city of Springfield.

Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer, Julie Kavner

Votes: 340,342

19. Minder (1979–1994)

60 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Arthur Daley, a small-time conman, hires former boxer Terry McCann to be his 'minder', so Terry can protect him (Arthur) from other, small-time, crooks. While Terry is trying his hardest to... See full summary »

Stars: George Cole, Glynn Edwards, Dennis Waterman, Gary Webster

Votes: 1,677

20. Twin Peaks (1990–1991)

TV-MA | 47 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An idiosyncratic FBI agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the even more idiosyncratic town of Twin Peaks.

Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook

Votes: 158,596

21. The Rockford Files (1974–1980)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The cases of an easy going ex-convict turned private investigator.

Stars: James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos, Luis Delgado

Votes: 6,180

22. The Prisoner (1967–1968)

TV-PG | 50 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

After resigning, a secret agent is abducted and taken to what looks like an idyllic village, but is really a bizarre prison. His warders demand information. He gives them nothing, but only tries to escape.

Stars: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat, Peter Swanwick, Peter Brace

Votes: 11,604

23. Yes Minister (1980–1984)

TV-PG | 60 min | Comedy

The Right Honorable James Hacker has landed the plum job of Cabinet Minister to the Department of Administration. At last he is in a position of power and can carry out some long-needed reforms, or so he thinks.

Stars: Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds, Diana Hoddinott

Votes: 11,131

24. Thunderbirds (1965–1966)

TV-G | 50 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

In the 21st century, the Tracy family operate a unique private mechanized emergency response service.

Stars: Sylvia Anderson, Peter Dyneley, David Graham, Shane Rimmer

Votes: 3,612

25. Six Feet Under (2001–2005)

TV-MA | 55 min | Comedy, Drama

A chronicle of the lives of a dysfunctional family who run an independent funeral home in Los Angeles.

Stars: Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, Lauren Ambrose

Votes: 112,621

26. The Aunty Jack Show (1972–1973)

Comedy

A large, violent, masculine, mustached, boxing glove-wearing, motorcycle riding woman and her troupe of other off-beat characters.

Stars: Grahame Bond, Rory O'Donoghue, Sandra McGregor, Garry McDonald

Votes: 58

27. John Adams (2008)

TV-14 | 71 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life of one of the USA's Founding Fathers, its second President, and his role in the nation's first 50 years.

Stars: Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett, Stephen Dillane

Votes: 25,644

28. Mad Men (2007–2015)

TV-14 | 47 min | Drama

A drama about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm's most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper.

Stars: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones

Votes: 186,023

29. Jeeves and Wooster (1990–1993)

TV-PG | 55 min | Comedy

Bertram Wooster, a well-intentioned, wealthy layabout, has a habit of getting himself into trouble and it's up to his brilliant valet, Jeeves, to get him out.

Stars: Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Robert Daws, Richard Dixon

Votes: 11,214

30. Jessica Jones (2015–2019)

TV-MA | 56 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Following the tragic end of her brief superhero career, Jessica Jones tries to rebuild her life as a private investigator, dealing with cases involving people with remarkable abilities in New York City.

Stars: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, Carrie-Anne Moss

Votes: 180,842

32. Batman (1966–1968)

TV-G | 25 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

The Caped Crusader and his young ward battle evildoers in Gotham City.

Stars: Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier, Neil Hamilton

Votes: 17,209

33. Stranger Things (2016– )

TV-14 | 51 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying supernatural forces in order to get him back.

Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, David Harbour

Votes: 668,823

34. BoJack Horseman (2014– )

TV-MA | 25 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

BoJack Horseman was the star of the hit television show "Horsin' Around" in the '80s and '90s, now he's washed up, living in Hollywood, complaining about everything, and wearing colorful sweaters.

Stars: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul

Votes: 75,581

35. Dr. Finlay's Casebook (1962–1971)

50 min | Drama

Dr. Finlay is a member of a medical practice in the Scottish town of Tannochbrae during the late 1920s.

Stars: Bill Simpson, Andrew Cruickshank, Barbara Mullen, Eric Woodburn

Votes: 80

36. 30 Rock (2006–2013)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), head writer of the sketch comedy show "TGS with Tracy Jordan", must deal with an arrogant new boss and a crazy new star, all while trying to run a successful television show without losing her mind.

Stars: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrayer

Votes: 105,645

37. Band of Brothers (2001)

TV-MA | 594 min | Action, Drama, History

The story of Easy Company of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, and their mission in World War II Europe, from Operation Overlord, through V-J Day.

Stars: Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Shane Taylor

Votes: 334,673

38. Cool McCool (1966–1969)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Comedy

Cool McCool, a spoof of James Bond, nabbed the bad guys in this cartoon by the creator of Batman. The 1/2 hour was rounded out with Cool's father Harry McCool and the Komedy Kops in their bumbling capers.

Stars: Chuck McCann, Bob McFadden, Carol Corbett

Votes: 121

39. Play School (1966– )

28 min | Family

Play School is an Australian Gold Logie award-winning educational television show for children produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It is the longest-running children's show... See full summary »

Stars: Justine Clarke, Angela Moore, Karen Pang, Teo Gebert

Votes: 228

40. Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973–1978)

30 min | Comedy

Accident-prone Frank Spencer fails to navigate the simplest tasks of daily life, while also trying to look after his wife and baby.

Stars: Michael Crawford, Michele Dotrice, Jessica Forte, Jane Hylton

Votes: 2,827

41. All in the Family (1971–1979)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

A working class man constantly squabbles with his family over the important issues of the day.

Stars: Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, Sally Struthers

Votes: 12,978

42. The Muppet Show (1976–1981)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Music

Kermit the Frog and his fellow Muppets put on a vaudeville show at their theatre, bringing in a famous celebrity to help out for each episode.

Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz

Votes: 21,283

43. Perry Mason (1957–1966)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The cases of a master criminal defense attorney, handling the most difficult of cases in the aid of the innocent.

Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, Ray Collins

Votes: 4,362

44. Barney Miller (1975–1982)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

The Captain of the NYPD 12th Precinct and his staff handle the various local troubles and characters that come into the squad room.

Stars: Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Max Gail, Steve Landesberg

Votes: 4,319

45. Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–1992)

Not Rated | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The cases of a portly and eccentric criminal law barrister.

Stars: Leo McKern, Jonathan Coy, Julian Curry, Marion Mathie

Votes: 1,005



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