The Stories (And Full Versions) Behind TV’s Best Theme Songs


Big Bang Theory cast

You know all the words to your favorite TV theme song.

Or do you?

Most people don’t realized the snippet they hear before THE FOSTERS or THE BIG BANG THEORY is just a quick sampling of a much longer song.

And with every great TV theme song, there is a great story of how it came to be.

Here’s a few of our favorites — in all their extended version glory.

THE BIG BANG THEORY
“The Big Bang Theory Theme”
The Barenaked Ladies

Fun Fact: During a performance in 2007, Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson performed a freestyle rap about the origins of the universe because he’d finished reading Simon Singh’s book about the same subject. Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, the shows co-creators, happened to be in the audience that night.

MIKE & MOLLY
“I See Love”
Keb’ Mo’

Fun Fact: “I See Love” is performed by Delta Blues artist Keb’ Mo’, but it was co-written with Josh Kelley, who also wrote songs for feature films A CINDERELLA STORY and 27 DRESSES among others. Once again, Lorre heard it performed live and was immediately hooked.

SHAMELESS
“The Luck You Got”
The High Strung

Fun Fact: Music Supervisor Anne Kline pushed to have the song (originally released in 2006) as the show’s theme because she felt it embodies the optimism William H. Macy brings to his character, while preparing the audience for the wacky events in the Gallagher family.

LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER
“Go”
Valley Lodge

Fun Fact: Valley Lodge front man Dave Hill also did the music for the HBO show REVERB. LAST WEEK TONIGHT producer Liz Stanton also worked on that show and decided to use Hill’s music again.  The song was originally released September 3, 2013.

TRUE DETECTIVE
“Far From Any Road”
The Handsome Family

Fun Fact: The Handsome Family’s Brett and Rennie Sparks said seeing their music with the opening credits of TRUE DETECTIVE for the first time was the highlight of their lives. Sparks said the song is about “psychedelic plants and dark love,” which he believes fits the show completely.

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Blake Stilwell

Blake Stilwell

Blake Stilwell is a writer and adventurer who loves television, film, and international relations. He is a former military combat photojournalist who has worked for ABC News, NBC Olympics, and HBO. Based in New York, often found elsewhere.
Blake Stilwell