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Nov 2013

12 TV Shows That Changed Their Theme Song

Posted by / in Main Titles / 6 comments

I love TV themes. The best ones become iconic, part of our cultural fabric… like Hawaii Five-O, Peter Gunn, Star Trek, The Addams Family and The Brady Bunch to name just a few. But several famous shows completed scrapped their opening themes… some early on as they were finding their way and some later in their runs to revitalize the series. Here are 12 examples (three of them shows that I worked on):



Lost in Space

Season 1
Season 3

Magnum PI

Land of the Giants
Season 1
Season 2

Simon & Simon

The Avengers


Space: 1999

Walker Texas Ranger


Martial Law
Season One
Season Two


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  • Kitty

    November 16, 2013, am30 9:14 AM

    Out of the shows I watched, I like the earlier versions of Kojak and Bonanza, and I prefer the later versions of Magnum PI, The Avengers and Monk. Love that Randy Newman song.

  • Gil

    November 16, 2013, am30 11:36 AM

    Definitely the first Bonanza. 2nd Magnum PI, Walker, Monk, Avengers, Simon and Simon. Te rest are forgettable for each. Thanks for reminding me of the Avengers.

  • AuntyEm

    November 16, 2013, pm30 2:12 PM

    I think which theme song you prefer can depend on which one you first hear. For example, I watched Lost in Space and Bonanza early on in those series when I was a child and the theme songs that I remembered were the original ones. However, I came to The Avengers and Magnum later and prefer the second theme songs for them because that was what I remembered best. Music is meant to evoke an emotion so my theory is that if you enjoyed a show when you first watched it, you’re more likely to remember that theme song than you are a version you hear later. Having said that though, I came to Monk later but then made a point of watching all the series (thank you cable tv) and have to say that I prefer the first theme. Of course, who can forget Marci’s comment to Monk about never changing his theme song if he ever gets his own tv show! And I especially like how the producers played the original theme song in other ways throughout that series. Well done Monk.

  • 14 More TV Shows That Changed Their Theme Songs | Lee Goldberg

    November 17, 2013, am30 8:24 AM

    [...] had such a great response to my post 12 TV Shows That Changed Their Themes that I’ve collected fourteen more examples of shows that scrapped one theme tune for an [...]

  • PaulDBrazill

    November 18, 2013, am30 12:19 AM

    Ha! I barely remember that 2nd Bonanza theme!

  • Stephen

    March 19, 2014, pm31 8:29 PM

    What about Starsky and Hutch? The first theme song was hard-nosed, reflective of the series’ early going as a tough cop show. But when the vibe of the show changed into more goofy plots, them new techno theme song reflected that change.

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