With March Madness in full swing, we decided to do a TV-themed bracket of our own: a no-holds-barred tournament to determine the best TV theme song of all time. After lots of heated debate, we've selected and ranked 32 of the most memorable TV theme songs ever, pitting them against each other in a winner-takes-all bracket. Over the next few weeks, we're asking you to vote for your favorite theme songs until we get a winner -- and a few songs stuck in your heads.
(1) "Friends" ("I'll Be There For You")
"Your job's a joke, you're broke, your love life's DOA…" It's nearly impossible to think of the Central Perk gang without hearing the jangling guitars and infectious handclaps of The Rembrandts's "I'll Be There For You," which leapt off the TV screen to top the pop charts throughout the summer of 1995. And much like the "Cheers" theme, this song's peppy portrait of lifelong friendship strikes a chord that goes beyond TV, that lets us know that whatever else goes wrong in our lives, Ross and Rachel and Chandler and Monica and Joey and Phoebe will always be there for us… through syndication and beyond. And this song should be there for us for a few more rounds, at least.
(16) "The Dukes of Hazzard" ("Good Ol' Boys")
Yee-haw! Thirty years later, the "Dukes of Hazzard" theme song -- "Good Ol' Boys," by country-music legend Waylon Jennings -- is still a Southern-fried toe-tapper, conjuring up images of those never-meanin'-no-harm rascals Bo and Luke Duke leaving sputtering sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in their dust. (Sure, the Duke boys were driving a car with a huge Confederate flag on the top, but let's not dwell on that.) We realize their chances of beating "Friends" here are about as tiny as the inseam on Daisy Duke's infamous short shorts… but we couldn't resist taking out the General Lee for one more spin.
Which theme song deserves to move onto the next round? Vote in the poll above, click here to see the full bracket and vote on other pairings (Round 1 voting ends Wednesday at 6 PM PT), tweet out your choices using the hashtag #TVThemeSong, and hit the comments to tell us about all the great theme songs we forgot to include.