Top 20 TV Theme Songs from Genre Series, part 2 of 2

Music is often an integral part of a TV show, especially the opening theme. Last week, I shared ten of my favorite, most memorable themes from sci-fi/fantasy and action/adventure series of the past few decades. As promised, this week we continue by easing our way into the 1980s and up to the present. I hope you enjoy them, especially if you’re old enough to remember watching some of these yourself.

Are we ready? Continuing in chronological order…

11) The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982)

The “Lonely Man” ending theme was particularly poignant and memorable, too.


12) Magnum, P.I. (1980-1988)


13) The Greatest American Hero (1981-1983)


14) Knight Rider (1982-1986)


15) The A-Team (1983-1987)


16) Miami Vice (1984-1990)


17) Star Trek: TNG (1987-1994)


18) Quantum Leap (1989-1993)


19) The X-Files (1993-)


20) Game of Thrones (2011-)


There you have ’em! Wow, that brought back a lot of good memories, going through all of those plus several I left out! And, since I couldn’t even bring myself to stop at twenty, here are five more honorable mentions:  Return of the Saint (1978-1979), The Fall Guy (1981-1986), Airwolf (1984-1986), Babylon 5 (1994-1998), Alias (2001-2006)

Now, when am I gonna find the time to track down and binge-watch these shows again…?


Jack Bauer and the X-Men

No, no, not together. But, that would be pretty cool. I can just imagine Bauer arriving at a warehouse or factory of some sort, ready for action. As he scopes out the situation, Wolverine and a couple other X-folks emerge from the shadows nearby.

Wolverine: “‘Bout time ya got here, bub. Ya almost missed the fun. Where ya been?”

Jack: “Sorry. It’s been one of those days….”

Alas, such a scene is probably never gonna happen. But, there were a couple announcements from FOX back in January that should excite fans of both properties, and I wanted to make sure you were aware….

Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer

Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer

Apparently, there have been talks about bringing “24” back in some form — but not until 2016. Unfortunately, it might not include Jack Bauer. Or, would it? Things are a bit murky on that point, what with Kiefer Sutherland saying that “24: Live Another Day” served as closure for his character and he doesn’t see himself returning to the franchise. On the other hand, FOX Chairman and CEO Dana Walden insists,

“First of all, we’re not talking about continuing the show without him. We’re talking about whether there’s one installment that he’s not in.”

Also, based on the flexibility of the story being pitched and depending on what Sutherland ultimately decides,

“Jack Bauer could come in very organically in the story, or [producers are] prepared to do something that would be the one installment without him.”

These comments are a little unclear to me. First, “installment” needs to be defined, but I think it could mean anything from a regular season to a mini-series or even another movie. Second, it sounds like, if Sutherland chooses not to be involved, they would only do one Bauer-free “installment”, then quit. But, if the interest is there, why not leave the possibility open for more?

Obviously, all of the fans would prefer Jack Bauer to be part of — preferably central to — any new story arcs. Personally, I think Jack deserves a happier ending, possibly retiring to Canada, where he manages a bar frequented by a short, hairy guy with claws. But, if Sutherland decides not to be involved, or maybe just exec produce, then I can see “24” continuing with other characters — some new, some familiar (e.g., Chloe O’Brian, Kate Morgan). As long as the writing is top-notch and they stick to the unique format and whatever other elements made the best seasons so good, it could work.

A few days after the above announcement, we learned that FOX Entertainment co-chair Gary Newman confirmed the rumor that they are developing a live-action, X-Men-related TV series. Last we heard, though, the contract was still in negotiations with Marvel (owned by Disney), with no specific concept settled on, let alone a creative team. Given everything that has to happen yet, Newman said this likely means a 2016-2017 TV season debut.

So, who/what do you think the series should be about? Jamie Lovett over at suggests five possibilities:

1) X-Factor (the mutant detective agency version of the team)
2) New Mutants (presumably not the originals)
3) District X
4) Weapon X
5) Ultimate X-Men

Since we don’t know how much, if any, connection there will be to the X-Men movies or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I suppose anything’s possible. I’m guessing it will be connected, since that seems to be Marvel’s modus operandi, and 20th Century Fox owns the X-movies. If I’m right, the “Ultimate X-Men” is the least likely concept to adapt.

X-Factor Investigations“X-Factor” is a much more probable candidate and seems to be the odds-on favorite, at least based on the online rumor mill. It’s my favorite, too, and the “X-Factor Investigations” incarnation seems “made for TV”, as they say. (I wonder if they would do a CGI Strong Guy….) “New Mutants” might work as an angsty teen drama, and it would be great if it all took place at the X-Mansion / Xavier’s School; but, as Lovett points out, it’s unlikely we’d see any of the big names doing the teaching and mentoring. In case you missed the 14-issue comic series, “District X” featured Bishop as a cop in the “Mutant Town” ghetto in Manhattan. It could work as a police procedural but would probably have to leave out a lot of the surrounding storylines from the comics. (Also, would Omar Sy reprise his role of Bishop from the movies?) A show based on the U.S. government’s shady “Weapon X” program could be pretty cool, especially with the dark & sinister tone it deserves. Wolverine would probably not be in it (except maybe a cameo?), but other mutants (e.g. Maverick, Wraith, Kane) could be. Might be best if it took place in the past (e.g., 1980s or ’90s).

Whatever they decide on, I’m all for it. Just pleeeeeaaasse don’t let it turn into another “Generation X” (1996)….

As if this weren’t exciting news enough, FOX is also looking to bring back “The X-Files” for a limited run — with original series creator Chris Carter and stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson returning as Agents(?) Fox Mulder & Dana Scully. It would be difficult, given Duchovny and Anderson’s busy schedules, but everybody wants it to happen. FOX also has a pilot order for a new “Minority Report” TV series based on the 2002 Cruise/Spielberg movie (based on the Philip K. Dick short story), and they’re talking about maybe bringing back “Prison Break”, too! It all sounds good to me!