There is a general consensus among TV aficionados and critics that we are currently living through a period of quality television. Shows like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Jessica Jones, among others constantly reinforce the belief that quality storytelling is now to be found on the small screen.

Very often a TV series will take extra care over the soundtrack that it chooses to enhance the viewing experience for its audience, with the the theme song playing a special role. This article will take a look at some of this writers favourite television theme songs.

Gavin DeGraw – I Don’t Want to Be (One Tree Hill)

For the nine years from 2003 to 2012, The WB television series, One Tree Hill, was the definitive teenage drama on television. Set in a fictional town in North Carolina, the TV show followed the lives of two half brothers, Lucas and Nathan Scott, as they and their friend group attempted to navigate the tricky high school period of their lives. A TV show that became as well known for the quality of its soundtrack as it did for its actual storylines, the show needed a theme song that captured what the show stood for, and Gavin DeGraw’s 2004 release fit perfectly.

The Rembrandts – I’ll Be There For You (Friends)

Friends, which ran for ten seasons from 1994 to 2004, is considered to be one of the most iconic television shows, of any genre, of all time. The opening credits to Friends is also one of the most easily recognisable of any TV show, and catapulted this anthem by The Rembrandts to a global hit.

Drake Bell – Found A Way (Drake & Josh)

The Nickelodeon comedy series Drake & Josh has developed a massive cult following since it started broadcasting in January 2004. Josh Peck and Drake Bell seemed to perfectly fit the roles that they had been assigned and their obvious on screen chemistry made it an instantly lovable TV show. The them song over the opening credits, Found a Way, which was penned by Bell himself is still one of the most singable songs in recent TV history.

However it is not always the case that a show will make use of an already existing song, sometimes a lyric less soundtrack can be necessary to accurately set up the atmosphere and feel of the show. Here is a collection of some of the best.

RJD2 – A Beautiful Mind (Mad Men)

The opening theme of AMC’s Mad Men is the perfect opener to this fantastic TV series that is set in the fictional advertising agency of Sterling Cooper in the 1960s. The show investigates the inner workings of the agency as well as the changing societal norms of America at the time. A Beautiful Mind fit the tone brilliantly, and would become instantly synonymous with the Matthew Weiner series.

Nickelodeon – Rugrats Theme (Rugrats)

Rugrats was one of the most critically acclaimed animated TV series of 90s television, and the opening them, composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, remains one of the most popular and iconic opening themes in television.

Fox Broadcasting Company – The Simpsons Theme (The Simpsons)

It is hard to think of a more instantly recognisable image in television history than “The Simpsons” in yellow font on the blue skyline background. The melody, composed by Danny Elfman is one of the most famous compositions in TV history.