20 Brilliant TV Show Title Sequences

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Since the advent (and in turn, massive success) of “TV on DVD”, television programming has really upped the ante in production value. Now-a-days it seems every show is presented in glorious high definition with big name actors and well-structured story telling. But there is another significant improvement in television over the last few years that could use some recognition: the title sequence.

Long gone are the days of cheesy video montages involving “memorable” moments from seasons past, coupled with tacky music you can’t get out of your head… yes I’m looking at you, Golden Girls.

Today, the credit sequences on television are so visually pleasing that even though we possess the technology to skip past them, we don’t. They’re that captivating. It is in recognition of these amazing television title sequences that we’ve compiled our favorite 20 Brilliant TV Show Title Sequences.

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20 Brilliant TV Show Title Sequences Link

Mad Men5
This is probably my favorite title sequence on television at the moment. Every time I watch it, it leaves me wanting more. It was also hilariously parodied on the Simpsons6.

The United States of Tara7
A new show with a beautifully animated title sequence. The pop-up book effect is really well done.

The IT Crowd8
Such a fantastic title sequence! The 8-bit style animation no doubt speaks to the shows demographic.

Fringe9
It’s amazing how captivating a 20 second title sequence can be. This one really draws you in.

House MD10
The title sequence for “House M.D.” is simply beautiful. The imagery and music work so well together.

Dexter11
A dark and clever title sequence that sums up the tone of the show beautifully.

True Blood12
A masterfully made title sequence that really throws you into the creepy world the show has created.

Nip/Tuck13
Love this title sequence! The symbolism used is both brilliant and creepy at the same time.

Clone High14
Clone High’s title sequence is so well made, it rivals any live action show out there.

Desperate Housewives15
Say what you will about the show itself, there’s no denying it has a pretty cool title sequence. The animation is great.

Flight of the Conchords16
If you’ve ever seen this show, it’s only appropriate for the title sequence to feel like a music video.

Carnivàle17
A brilliantly animated title sequence that brings tarot cards to life.

The Sopranos18
Though a fairly simple title sequence, this remains one of my all time favorites.

Samurai Champloo19
The colors, imagery and typography all work together beautifully in this title sequence.

Six Feet Under20
The title sequence for “Six Feet Under” is beautifully shot and at the same time sets up the tone and premise of the show perfectly.

Lost21
For a show like Lost that is so reliant on instant gratification, this minimalist title sequence works perfectly to keep up the momentum.

Deadwood22
The title sequence for Deadwood will bring you back to the old west faster than you can say “sarsaparilla”.

Rome23
A wonderfully animated title sequence. The effect of the wall paintings coming to life is perfectly executed.

John Adams24
Though bending the rules a little to include a mini-series, we would be remiss to include John Adams’ powerful title sequence in this list.

Big Love25
For a show about polygamy, a title sequence that is littered with metaphors and symbolism is an absolute must.

Dead Like Me26
The title sequence for the “late” Dead Like Me perfectly captured the dark humour of the show.

The Simpsons27
After 20 years, the Simpsons have fully revamped their famous animated title sequence for their transition into high definition.

Honorable Mentions Link

There were so many titles we wanted to include in this list but didn’t quite make the cut for one reason or another.

You may want to take a look at the following related articles:

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/31/50-incredible-stop-motion-videos/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/19/30-unforgettable-movie-title-sequences/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/16/60-beautiful-music-videos/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/21/monday-inspiration-brilliant-music-videos/
  5. 5 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0804503/
  6. 6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcmM7Jh2Y3k
  7. 7 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1001482/
  8. 8 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1001482/
  9. 9 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1119644/
  10. 10 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412142/
  11. 11 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0773262/
  12. 12 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0844441/
  13. 13 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361217/
  14. 14 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0305011/
  15. 15 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0410975/
  16. 16 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0863046/
  17. 17 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319969/
  18. 18 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0141842/
  19. 19 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0423731/
  20. 20 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248654/
  21. 21 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411008/
  22. 22 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0348914/
  23. 23 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0814164/
  24. 24 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472027/
  25. 25 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0421030/
  26. 26 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0348913/
  27. 27 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096697/
  28. 28 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0934814/
  29. 29 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0193676/
  30. 30 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0904208/
  31. 31 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0814164/
  32. 32 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0149460/
  33. 33 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478942/
  34. 34 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0213338/
  35. 35 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/31/50-incredible-stop-motion-videos/
  36. 36 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/19/30-unforgettable-movie-title-sequences/
  37. 37 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/16/60-beautiful-music-videos/
  38. 38 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/21/monday-inspiration-brilliant-music-videos/

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Andrew Lindstrom is a freelance web designer, blogger and inspiration junkie. Say hi to him on Twitter or read his ramblings on his design inspiration blog at WellMedicated.com.

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  1. 1

    Thanks guys, looks good!

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  2. 2

    Good inspirational topic. :)

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  3. 3

    Nice post. Missing Pushing Daisies in the list though. Weird though as it seems to look different in different countries. I really like the one here in the UK.

    Nice to see Fringe up there. Great props to Andrew of Videocopilot.net for that one. The guy’s a genius!! :-)

    Best wishes,

    Mark

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  4. 4

    Thanks. An often overlooked facet of design, with some very talented artist working in this field. Cheers

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  5. 5

    don’t forget “cacht me if you can” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVEgK3nCkao

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  6. 6

    @Mark Bowen, totally agree with the Fringe credits, the titles are awesome throughout the show :)

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  7. 7

    Weird, New York Times had a piece about movie title sequences this morning too: http://bit.ly/1aFgZq

    Perhaps title sequences are on the verge of getting some serious mass recognition. Regardless, great list!

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  8. 8

    big bang theory?? hellooo??? :)

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  9. 9

    Dexter is hands down the best title sequence on TV today :]

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  10. 10

    The opener to Australian mockumentary Summer Heights High is excellent too, good use of invisible edits.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4kJAbrtHxU

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  11. 11

    I really do love the double entendre featured in Dexter’s opening sequence!

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  12. 12

    Take a look at the opening for “PARKING WARS”

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  13. 13

    Great post! I’m missing Criminal Minds (great show) and especially Standoff, can’t find it on Youtube though.

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  14. 14

    What about the opening sequence for ReGenesis? I also think that Murdoch Mysteries has a great opening sequence, but I can’t find it online to share.

    Although a little older, the opening for Gunsmith Cats has a similar vibe to the Cowboy Bebop opening. Fitting, considering the shows both revolve around bounty hunters.

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  15. 15

    Here’s a whole archive of movie title sequences:

    http://www.artofthetitle.com/

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  16. 16

    I think the Dexter opening is the best :)

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  17. 17

    I love the True Blood titles and wont let my housemate skip through it when we watch!! Awesome bit of video work!

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  18. 18

    Good list, I really like the Entourage & Huff titles too.

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  19. 19

    My choices are the 1974 Doctor Who intro and the minimally delightful 24 intro.

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  20. 20

    This is really making me want to watch some tv shows..

    right now I want to watch, lost, prison break and nip/tuck…

    no problem.. of to surfthechannel i go!

    Nice post! :)

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  21. 21

    Glad some good anime was mentioned in there. I’m surprised Bleach wasn’t included though. I found it to be really good.

    0
  22. 22

    The IMDB link for The IT Crowd links to the wrong page (the show above it).

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  23. 23

    For the love of god, don’t publish a bunch of flash videos on the same page, the browsers become completely unresponsive. Link to them instead.

    0
  24. 24

    From the first time I saw it, I thought the Grey’s Anatomy original opening sequence (seasons 1) is beautiful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrM1nb1U3f8

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  25. 25

    im kind of insulted at Futurama just being an honorable mention…especially since the sequence began airing in 1999.

    the Simpsons HD intro is great, no question; but I say Noir (anime) should get honorable mention for style

    otherwise kudos

    0
  26. 26

    You might take a look at the trailer from “Van vlees en bloed”. It’s a Flemish tv show about a butchery. And for those who might wonder; Dexter was first.
    Van vlees en bloed

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  27. 27

    Love Clone High!

    0
  28. 28

    @Andy – Same thing happened to me on my netbook :(

    0
  29. 29

    house md – love it! The new Simpsons suprised me the first time i saw it – but it was a little bit to long .. ^^ for the first time.

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  30. 30

    Am missing pushing daisies on this list, for the rest I agree, although in the past there were some beauties too, or is this nostalgia speaking (mcgyver ? ;) )

    grtz,
    T.

    0
  31. 31

    I really think Scrubs should be here. Nice list, though.

    0
  32. 32

    your missed the firefly title sequence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjRDcOW7Xp8

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  33. 33

    Carnivàle and Six Feet Under are defenalty mine favorite.

    Dead like me also, looks awesome!

    0
  34. 34

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQFTzkwGFH8 Latvian movie Soviet Story has the same great titles!!!

    0
  35. 35

    I’m so disappointed you forgot others which are better than some of those.
    I think at the ever changing Weeds or The Wire with a good song.
    Remember also Oz…

    0
  36. 36

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    February 23, 2009 2:21 am

    I am in love with the opening of True Blood. I always play the music loud and enjoy watching it.

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  37. 37

    Dexter Season three!

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  38. 38

    Aww no prison break :S

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  39. 39

    One tip: The Kingdom by Lars Von Trier. After yoers it’s stil scary.

    0
  40. 40

    The title sequences for all 5 series of Hustle are amazing. Here is Season 5, although I think I prefer some of the earlier ones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOxYmEtrYaI

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  41. 41

    The page is loading slowly. I think you should consider creating a youtube playlist next time.

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  42. 42

    Hmmmm, you forgot Bleach! But I love the opening of True Blood and Dead Like Me

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  43. 43

    Six Feet Under is the best thing I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never seen it, get watching it now!

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  44. 44

    These guys (Digital Kitchen) http://www.d-kitchen.com/, did, as I recall since I couldn’t find it on their webpage, both House, Dexter and Six Feed Under. Can’t remember if they did more on the list, but they also made Ghost Whisperer intro, which is also really nice.

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  45. 45

    O right like The Wire doesn’t belong on the list psshffftt voted 1

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  46. 46

    Dexter has to be one of the best implied theme credits I have ever seen.

    It’s a shame you left out United States of tara.

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  47. 47

    Masters of horror !!

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  48. 48

    Okay, not a bad list. But honestly, how does the Scrubs intro not make this list? Not even honorable mention?

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  49. 49

    What about the RocknRolla intro, I love it! Great animation, great voice, great music..

    Link (www.youtube.com)

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  50. 50

    The Dexter title sequence is the best I’ve ever seen. Truely on great show…

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