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Awesome Music: Live-Action TV
Examples of Awesome Music in live action shows.

If any of these shows have an OST out, do yourself a favor and buy it.

Please don't introduce new examples by complaining that they're missing from the list.

    open/close all folders 

    Mike Post 

    Power Rangers 

    Super Sentai 

    Kamen Rider 

    Star Trek 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series is a treasure trove of wonderfully over-the-top music, starting with the main theme.
    • The tense music in the closing moments of the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Doomsday Machine" is kickass, as is the swirling arrangement of the main theme used at the beginning of the teaser.
    • Vina's Dance. The original anthem for the Green-Skinned Space Babe.
    • Gerald Fried's brooding cello theme first heard in "Amok Time" (also played on electric guitar) does as much as anything else in defining the character of Spock. The iconic "Kirk Fight Music" was composed for the same episode and is probably the second most famous music cue for the series, after the main theme itself, having popped up in numerous other media.
    • Any episode scored by George Duning (e.g. "The Empath"). In fact, it can be argued that what salvages the generally weak third season is the lush, mystical music contributed both by Duning and primary composer Fred Steiner (whose eerie score for "Spock's Brain" is so much better than the episode itself it's almost tragic).
    • Likewise, the two contributions by Sol Kaplan (the sinister "The Enemy Within" and the thrilling "The Doomsday Machine") stands as some of the finest music ever composed for Star Trek. Both scores were constantly reused in later episodes, such was their potency and effectiveness.
  • La-La Land issuing all of the original series's scores in one box set is a Moment Of Awesome in itself.
  • The Klingon Battle Theme heard throughout the movies and, on occasion, in the series as well.
  • All the fan hate aside, "Faith of the Heart" (the Star Trek: Enterprise theme song) is a brilliant song.
  • Ron Jones's score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation epic "The Best of Both Worlds" is some of the best Trek music ever composed.
    • The Star Trek: The Next Generation main theme. Which is originally the theme to Star Trek The Motion Picture.
    • The moment when Picard says "magnify" cues the creepiest, most-spine-chilling music ever heard in a Star Trek production. Gene Roddenberry's dream, say hello to George Orwell's nightmare. And it will never be topped...ever: they even made Wesley just another character who you'd pity if he was Assimilated Into The Hive Mind.
    • Ron Jones.
    • "Mister Worf. Fire." Add in the fan rumors that Patrick Stewart was looking to leave the show at the time, and you had one of the biggest "Oh, shit is ON!" moments of all time. (They completely torpedoed it at the start of the second half, but... there's a reason it's called the best cliffhanger of the series.)
    • One of the most touching episodes of TNG, "The Inner Light", has a beautiful flute score composed by Jay Chattaway. The music by itself is almost enough to make you cry on its own, but when combined with the story, it's overwhelming. A fan-created 40th anniversary tribute video used the "Inner Light" music very effectively.
    • "Picard Song".
  • The (first) DS9 (here) and Voyager (here) themes are contemplative yet memorable. As a matter of fact, they won the 1993 and 1995 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music, respectively, and Voyager's has been called the most beautiful opening theme of the whole franchise.

    News and Weather Programs 
  • Even for a news show, Meet The Press has some pretty awesome opening music. It was composed by John muthaflippin' Williams. Yes, the same guy responsible for the music for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman, and a bazillion other awesome soundtracks. And the preposterously awesome theme for the NBC Nightly News.
  • Speaking of news themes, the old Wall Street Week theme was pretty badass for a show about money.
  • Philadelphia-based WPVI's theme song for Action News, called "Move Closer to Your World", has been used since the 1970s, with some updates here and there, and is still used to this day.
  • BBC News's kickass 1999 music, by David Lowe, who has done newer themes for them, still with the "countdown" motif. Yes.
    • Before BBC News 24 (as it was known back then) had the countdown music, there was this, composer unknown. Even better is the full version used at the top of the hour.
    • For those of us who find the later BBC News themes too frivolous and/or ravey, the 90s versions are reminders of a simpler time, when news was serious shit.
  • For many British TV viewers, the classic theme to ITN's "News at Ten", driving strings and brass punctuated by the striking of Big Ben, is synonymous with TV news.
  • ABC's World News Tonight theme:
  • Another local news example: the theme used by KUSA in Denver from 1995-2009, at which time they unfortunately replaced it with another theme (mandated by owner Gannett; they have since replaced that horrible theme with another, better theme from Gari Media Group).
  • Yet another local news example: "The Spirit of Virginia", a song WSLS-10 in Roanoke, VA used officially from about 1990 to 1995, and continued to use in bumpers and station ID's up to its purchase by Media General and its revamp around April 1997. By the way, WSLS is an NBC station, AKA "The John Williams Channel" (as was previously mentioned).
  • Now, everyone might have heard Lalo Schifrin's "The Tar Sequence" under the Film section from Cool Hand Luke and how it became the theme song for the Eyewitness News format used in ABC stations nationwide. At first they used it wholesale from 1968 to 1982. And then in 1983 Frank Gari remixed it (including a Texas custom version). The News Series 2000 package by Gari became widespread until Lalo Schifrin raised the royalties, forcing Gari and company to make a Suspiciously Similar Song of the new theme into the Eyewitness News package. This theme was used until around 2008 when it updated to the New Generation theme.
    • Frank Gari's son, Chris, did an update of the package in 2005 for KABC in Los Angeles. The closing theme of Eyewitness News New Generation 1 is truly awesome.
  • The Weather Channel has some awesome "local forecast" music. For instance, there's nothing better than hearing the first minute and a half of the Home Alone theme while watching snow head towards your hometown on Doppler radar.
    • One of their forecasts was accompanied by the theme from Charlie Brown.
    • The Jurassic Park theme once played on TWC. Made a high of 43 with a light breeze sound incredibly epic, and slightly scary.
    • A local weather forecast (tracking thunderstorms, among other things) was once set to the "Solar Sailer" track of TRON: Legacy.
    • Back in the 1980s, the local forecast bits on the Weather Channel (the "Local on the 8s" bits) featured really awesome and addictive bits of smooth jazz — and the haunting instrumental opener to The Eurythmics's "Here Comes the Rain Again". AWESOME.
  • The Nightly Business Report theme, composed by Edd Kalehoff, who also did the themes to the aforementioned ABC, The Price Is Right, and Double Dare. Especially the second and third versions.
  • Channel Four News has had the same theme music for most of its existence. And it is pretty damn awesome.
  • In 1979, Philadelphia's KYW took the great risk of launching an entire promo campaign themed "The Direct Connection" that featured EPIC disco songs and KILLER editing. Sadly there doesn't appear to be a YouTube link anymore to the full five-minute video Klein & Klein (the ad agency in charge of said campaign) made for this campaign.
  • TVE's Telediario is not only the oldest news show in Spain, it also tends to have the best headline themes in the country. The 2012 versions are specially awesome.
  • A lot of the opens used by WAVY-TV 10 (NBC) in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia have used an ocean motif, tying in with the call letters and logo, often featuring the logo amongst and/or forming from ocean waves. This is one from 1991, and the package "Wall-to-Wall News". By 1996, they had switched to the "Newswire" package, with this intro as an example. From 2008 to 2013, they used a new, HD graphics pack from Giant Octopus, with this intro. Since 2013, the music and graphics have gotten even more nice, although the intro seen here does look like a toilet flushing (whoever designed the intro must not have thought it out). All of the intros since late 1989 have the deep, rumbling bass voice of Charlie Van Dyke, announcer for many of the ABC O&Os and for KPNX-12 in Phoenix (where he appeared in a parody of those Geico ads with Don LaFontaine, narrating/re-describing people's liking of KPNX's news).
    • This trope as an example for WAVY dates back to at least the mid-1980s, as this link illustrates.note 

    Reality, Game and Talk Shows 

    Other Awesome Music 
  • For starters, George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone" as a theme song for Al Bundy's awesome moments, the ones where a bone is thrown to him.
  • Chrissie Hynde's version of "Angel of the Morning" in season 2 of Friends.
  • The theme song from the "1975 T.V Show S.W.A.T.".
  • Music from the original miniseries V, and V: The Final Battle. Especially the opening themes for both.
  • The second opening credit theme for White Collar—it's halfway through rock and funk and fits the tone of the series perfectly.
  • The soundtrack to 24
    • "Alexis' Theme".
    • "Palmer's Theme" takes on greater significance especially since a certain Senator from Illinois became Commander-In-Chief. There's greater significance in it when its main motif was reprised over Palmer's wake near the end of Season 5—at the same time that Jack Bauer and CTU were collecting evidence against then-current President Logan. It was the greatest combination of very sad and almost sadistic irony that he's ever seen.
  • In Farscape, when Talyn sacrifices himself to destroy Scorpius's command carrier, the music for the ship's destruction is truly awesome.
    • Further, the music when John and Aeryn's baby is born in "The Peacekeeper Wars" is so over-the-top you'd think it was the third coming of Christ. (The second? Jim Belushi.) Then again, the odds of that kid getting conceived, let alone surviving to birth, were pretty astronomical. He earned that overture.
    • Really, Farscape's opening themes are among the best idea of what the show is about. Somehow they combine cheesy sci-fi with weird-as-hell crazy awesome.
    • When the music swelled during the explosion of the Gammac Base in the Season one finale.
  • The theme tune to Airwolf, by Sylvester Levay. Hell yeah.
  • The haunting opening theme to Forever Knight. Heck, a lot of the other music too.
  • The Brunnen-G's song from Lexx, sung when going into battle expecting to die. You can see on Joost - There are whole episodes to watch! here
    • The fact that a soundtrack for the episode "Brigadoom" (the musical ep) has not been released is criminal.
  • The intro song to Jack of All Trades. For obvious reasons, whenever Bruce Campbell gets a theme song it ends up awesome.
  • It's only fitting that a miniseries that is made of pure win should have an awesome title theme. Sleazy yet spine-chilling, The opening to I, Claudius fits the bill rather nicely... and that snake!
  • Ultraman Nexus opens every episode with DOA's Eiyuu, which is even more epic at full-length.
  • Katie Morag has a lovely opening and closing theme. If you like Celtic music, it's a nice one to check out.
  • The Wire barely ever had a score at all, so each season's opening credit sequence and each season finale's closing montage had to make up for this. Be warned, each montage contains massive spoilers for the season.
  • The Band of Brothers intro. Just goes to show that you can have AMAZING war music without breaking out the heavy drums.
    • But you still got to have the Horns of Heroism, though.
    • The use of "Blood on the Risers" in "Why We Fight" was pretty awesome. Also, so much of an earworm.
  • Jan Hammer's KickAss theme to Miami Vice.
    • Miami Vice did it so often it could've been a trope namer. But some standouts are:
      • Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight" from the pilot episode.
      • Russ Ballard's "Voices".
      • Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It?".
      • Laura Brannigan's "Self Control".
      • Dire Straits' "Brothers In Arms".
  • "Woke Up This Morning" by Alabama 3, as seen in The Sopranos.
  • The Heroes theme.
    • The rest of the show's soundtrack is low-key, but very nice though.
    • The climax of the episode "Company Man" when Claire is trying to get closer to an uncontrollable Ted Sprague, and we see parts of the house burn down. Chilling and gorgeous music plays in the background, which eventually silences all the destruction and mayhem happening. A true CMOA if there ever was one.
    • Anything involving Sylar's theme, usually played on church bells. Towards the end of "Trust and Blood", Peter explains to other heroes they are fugitives now, and an omnious rock tune starts playing in the background. In the next scene, Sylar and Luke are driving a car, the music continues and segues into the Sylar theme. This rock version of Sylar theme, even if it lasted only a few seconds, was a true CMOA.
    • The music playing during "Nathan's" suicide in The Fifth Stage. And the music playing during his funeral in Upon This Rock. ... In fact, a lot of fans of the character were annoyed that he didn't get his own theme when even Maya got one.
  • Babylon 5 started off with pretty cheesy music. But they kept the same composer, and he grew the beard along with the rest of the crew. The third season opening was damned good... and then there's the series finale, one of the most heartbreaking pieces of music ever.
    • Season 5's theme qualifies as well... that tune combined with the quotes outlining the past 4 seasons in 20 seconds. Fantastic.
    • "I went to the rock to hide my face, and the rock cried out 'No Hiding Place'. There's no hiding place down here..."
    • One of the scenes frequently mentioned as an Awesome Moment in Babylon 5 is when Londo is watching, utterly repelled, as the Centauri fleet uses Mass Drivers to pound the Narn homeworld into the stone age. One of the reasons this scene is so poignant is because of the music — an almost-unrecognizable variation on Franke's Battle of the Line theme.
    • Londo seems to attract a lot of Crowning Music; in the In the Beginning prequel telemovie, when he narrates about the Earth-Minbari War, he is accompanied by some of the most tragically heroic bagpipe music you've ever, ever heard.
  • Stargate Atlantis, "Beyond the Night", as sung by Teyla.
  • Stargate SG-1 brings us Camelot, from the episode of the same name, played over the Battle of the Supergate.
    • Stargate Atlantis also brings us this awesome battle theme.
  • Stargate Universe has a funny, and touching use of 'The Worst Day Since Yesterday'.
  • This bit from the Japanese talent show Kasou Taishou.
  • Jeff Beal's magnificent music for Rome, which manages to sound plausibly ancient and yet seductive at the same time. Highlights include the percussive title theme, the Egyptian remix of same, and the deviously catchy "Janus Breaks".
  • Jeff Beal's brilliant work on Carnivŕle. The opening credits are the most gorgeous blend of art and music ever, and nearly every episode has Beal's beautiful original music in it.
    • "The Battle Is Not Over", which plays over the very end of the season 2 finale.
    • The opening music for Carnivale is actually by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman (Tim Kring's composers of choice). It is, however, indeed wonderful.
  • Part of The O.C. 's popularity stemmed from its brilliant soundtrack choices. For some, it ended up being a Gateway Series into indie music. A very considerate person on Youtube has thoughtfully culled the most memorable CMOAs from The O.C. onto one channel. The song "Dice", used in the New Year's Eve episode, is particularly sublime.
  • Life is uniformly kick-ass with its musical choices, but the best remains the scene in the first season finale, after Charlie's car gets T-boned and he shoots the two fake cops, when he climbs out of the wreckage to "Down Boy" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, while the sun sets and the traffic light changes in the distance. Fabulous song, beautifully shot, emotional gut-punch. Also, the use of The Frames' "Finally" in the near-to-last scene of that episode, when he, Reese, and Stark bring Kyle Hollis into the precinct— a nice full-circle with the use of their song "Dream Awake" at the end of the pilot.
    • What was the other song in the 'climbing out of the wrecked car/shooting the fake cops' scene?'
      • The alternate song, used in the DVD set and the streaming video on NBC's website, is "No Time Left" by Gush. All of the music from Life, both original and alternate, is listed on on this site.
    • There's a really nice use of Priscilla Ahn's Dream when Charlie finally finds Rachel and carries her out into the sunlight.
  • The opening theme for the HBO miniseries John Adams, by Rob Lane, is pure Patriotic Fervornote , minus the Eagleland, in a fiddle solo. While mentioning John Adams, there is also the cue called "Declaration of Independence", which manages to go from triumphant to intimate to epic.
  • The theme song to The Office (US).
  • Parallax. They made the Australian national anthem into one of the most stirring pieces of music ever. Although...
  • "My Lovely Horse" from Father Ted and, to a lesser extent, Dick Byrne's "losing" Eurosong entry from the same episode.
  • IT'S... Monty Python's Flying Circus. It sounds like it was written for the show, and is nearly impossible to find a copy without the trademark raspberry at the end. It is actually the Liberty Bell March, written by John Philip Sousa, used both for its bright, energetic sound, and because they didn't have to pay royalties on it.
  • "Turn the World Around" on The Muppet Show. Could be considered one of the CMoAs of the show as well.
  • In the episode "Judas On A Pole" of Bones, Max Keenan's big damn Papa Wolf moment is backed by Placebo's cover of Running Up That Hill.
    • "A Pain That I'm Used To", by Depeche Mode in the Bones episode "Two Bodies in the Lab" fits. Besides being a great song, the way it was set was perfect.
    • "Bring on the Wonder" by Susan Enan, used in the episode "The Boy in the Shroud". It can be found here.
  • The theme to The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. So awesome, they just HAVE to use it for the Olympic Games coverage on NBC!
  • The Knight Rider theme. It was so awesome that people felt they needed to sample it.
  • The theme to CHiPs must have Took a Level in Badass, it's so mind-blowingly awesome. (Oh, wait - it did.)
  • The Simon & Simon theme. Rocks your socks off.
  • The title theme for Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) is delicious.
  • Theme song from Malcolm in the Middle by They Might Be Giants. Also Dewey's Opera.
  • "The History Of Everything" by the Barenaked Ladies. Better known as the theme song from The Big Bang Theory.
    • The full version that the band played to open the show's panel at Comic Con turned the epicness up to 11. As if the fact that they showed up period wasn't epic enough! There's a clip somewhere where Simon Helberg said the accordian solo made him cry with joy.
    • "You Can Be My Yoko Ono" being used in the episode where Sheldon had a lady friend (for lack of a better word) who wouldn't let him out the apartment for anything except work. So fitting for the montage and so awesome!
    • Amy's short rendition of "The Girl from Ipanema".
    • Howard's romantic song to Bernadette, "From the Moment That I Met You".
  • The theme song from Rawhide.
  • Wiseguy: "Nights in White Satin" playing on the jukebox at the conclusion of the Sonny Steelgrave arc. The Dead Dog Records arc had some good music too, for obvious reasons.
  • Both ALF themes, especially the 1988 saxophone version: This.
  • The National Geographic Specials won't be complete without its theme composed by the great Elmer Bernstein.
  • Bryan Tyler's soundtracks to the Sci-Fi... sorry, SyFy... Channel's Dune and Children of Dune are Made of Win, but Summon The Worms is surely one of the best tracks EVER. See if you can count how many other movie trailers have used the first minute or so for their music.
  • The Different Strokes main theme. "'Cause what's right for you / May not be right for some...".
  • Finland's entry to the 2006 Eurovision song contest, none other than Lordi's "Hard Rock Hallelujah". This won by the biggest margin to date; the record has since been surpassed by Norway, but it took a change in voting procedure to bring about that result.
  • "They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky. They're all together ooky, The Addams Family." (SNAP SNAP)
  • The miniseries From the Earth to the Moon had more than its fair share of awesome music, including the intro music and when Neil Armstrong steps onto the Moon.
  • The theme music from Seven Days. Just listen to it! It got a slight upgrade in Season 3 if you ignore Parker's naff narration.
  • {Ideal}: has plenty of good examples, but the musical segments Jenny hallucinates, the karaoke at the end of the Christmas episode, and Psycho Paul's theme are among the best.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles is another (excellent) Bear McCreary project, but the few instances where licensed music is used are epic, particularly Johnny Cash's "When The Man Comes Around" and Shirley Manson's version of "Samson and Delilah," both over slow motion action scenes.
  • The Pushing Daisies Instrumental Theme Tune, along with the "danger music" that shows up in some episodes (the one that sounds like Ominous Latin Chanting). And the several Leitmotifs and any time Aunt Vivian and/or Olive sings.
  • The grandiose, ominous, occult-sounding music whenever something grandiose, ominous and occult happens in Bortko's television series of The Master and Margarita.
  • The Kids in the Hall's groovy, surf-rock theme tune Having an Average Weekend
  • Though the show itself is simply stupid-yet-fun in retrospect (with the ratio of stupid to fun varying by episode), the original music composed for The Sentinel kind of rocks in its own right; check out the "Red Dust Suite" and the '97/'98 end theme in particular. Steve Porcaro, John Keane (episode composers) and James Newton Howard (theme), take a bow.
  • At the end of the 2008 series of Good News Week, Paul McDermott sang a touching, melancholy rendition of a certain popular song reflecting on the nature of the news of the year. That song? "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy Perry. See it here, with the joke spoiled. Around the chorus, it becomes awesome. Incidentally, this is also a funny moment.
    • Also, this cover of "Oops I Did It Again", where halfway through the song becomes a hard rock song. At the end, Paul's screaming is a thing of beauty.
    • At the end of 2009, Paul, Tim Ferguson, Joseph Tawadros and Tripod played an original song, "Oh, My Stars". It's a serious and beautiful song.
  • Dollhouse features Greg Laswell's "Sweet Dream" at the end of "Man Of The Street" (also, every bit of the sweet but depressing lyrics is a ridiculously perfect fit for the situation depicted in the scene), the song "Lonely Ghosts" by O+S in the episode "Needs", and Beck's "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" to finish off "Omega", with the bonus that it was also prominently used in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which has a premise similar to the one for Dollhouse. Finally, there's "Remains," written by show writers Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon, used at the end of "Epitaph One".
    • "What You Don't Know" by Jonatha Brooke is pretty brilliant, as well as being a Grade A Ear Worm.
    • The series finale "Epitaph Two: Return" concludes with Lissie's "Everywhere I Go."
  • Ken Burns is known for the meticulous selection of the soundtracks for his documentaries, but nothing quite matches "Ashokan Farewell" from The Civil War.
  • Skins and As If both have unbelievably awesome soundtracks. Skins's peak is probably Glasvegas' epic "It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry", from the ending of "Katie And Emily" in series 3.
    • Or possibly at the end of series 1, where Sid, Chris, Angie, a bus driver and the comatose Tony start singing Cat Steven's Wild World.
    • Dinosaur Jr.'s "Said The People" at the end of Series 4 episode "Emily" where Emily walks back into Naomi's house to, presumably, make up with her for cheating displays the angst of the moment perfectly.
    • MGMT's "Time to Pretend" during the very last shot of the Series 2 finale, where Effy smiles into the camera, essentially ascending to her throne as main character of the next generation. Epic.
  • The diabolically fun "Funeral March of the Marionettes", also known as the theme from Alfred Hitchcock Presents. "Goood eeeevning, ladies and gentlemen....", along with the shadowy visuals, one of the best openings ever.
  • The theme from Inspector Morse is just beautifully haunting. The Genius Bonus — the rythym of the violins spells out the Inspector's name in... wait for it... Morse code.
  • The Russian TV miniseries Seventeen Moments of Spring has two awesome songs: Moments and Somewhere Far Away.
  • Several songs from The Mighty Boosh could qualify as awesome songs, and categorizing them as either merely "awesome" and Crazy Awesome is a bit of a challenge. But the Tundra Rap and Mod Wolves dance are pretty ear-catching.
  • The Trouble With Mr. Bean began with Mr. Bean himself waking up late, realises that he's running late for his appointment with the dentist, and decides to get dressed and brush his teeth while driving to the appointment... all while an awesome remix of the show's theme song plays. Have a listen here.
  • The opening episode of the sixth season of Charmed, "Valhalley of the Dolls", included a wonderful mix: the leather-clad, biker-chick Valkyries riding their motorcycles to a kick-ass, rockified version of Ride of the Valkyries. Updating Wagner never sounded so good.
  • The HBO Mini Series adaptation of Angels In America has a score written by Thomas Newman. Had this music been nominated, the show's 11 Emmy wins would have been 12.
  • The Season 2 finale of Grey's Anatomy had the amazing song "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol playing at the end, with the chorus beginning as Izzie breaks down lying next to Denny... The song also became a huge hit after appearing in this episode.
  • The Tudors title theme is just amazingly beautiful.
    • As is the theme "Anne's Final Walk", which plays when Anne Boleyn is executed. This one is haunting as anything - appropriate, isn't it? They used the same song for the final fall of Cardinal Wolsey.
  • The Theme from the BBC Documentary Series Blue Planet, written by George Fenton, is just... ah, just Listen to it.
  • Veronica Mars:
    • The use of The Pixies "Where Is My Mind?" at the end of episode 2, season 2, combining the Last Note Nightmare with the finding of the dead guy with Veronica's name on his hand.
    • Veronica singing "One Way or Another" and Aaron Echols beating the snot out of his daughter's abusive boyfriend to "That's Amore!" are also very much awesome.
    • The jaw-droppingly intense use of "Right Here, Right Now" in conclusion to season 3's serial rapist arc.
  • In 2009 the Swedish Eurovision Song Contest finally included a halftime show number called Tingaling. The song became incredibly popular, in fact so popular it was the most downloaded song from Swedish iTunes for weeks after the show aired. The comedy group behind the number also released a CD, "Absolute Tingaling", which consisted of nothing but different versions and remixes of the song. You'd think it would stop there, but the song actually managed to cause a political conflict between Sweden and Russia (the hosts of the Eurovision Song Contest that year). Try listening to it, it's quite catchy.
  • The theme for The Prisoner contains dangerous quantities of bongos, spy guitar, and badassery.
  • The Criminal Minds opening theme is appropriately creepy, but you've got to give it to Patterson Hood's Heavy and Hanging, which plays over the final scenes of season five's "Hopeless". Hotch, Rossi, and Prentiss's Power Walk to the opening chords just makes it even more awesome.
    • It's more terrifying than awesome, but the best musical choice is the family who burn to death to the sound of Enya's "Boadicea."
    • Gary Louris’ "We’ll Get By" at the end of "Damaged". The grown children of the murdered parents have closure after 20 years, and they know that the killer, a mentally-challenged carnival worker, didn’t mean to do what he did. The team arrives back in Virginia after a job well done, as Hotch signs his divorce papers in his office. The song is perfect for the ending — it’s melancholy but hopeful at the same time, more of a feeling of "Life is uncertain, bad things happen, but the fight continues."
    • TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me" at the beginning of "Doubt", with the campus killings and Gideon's slow downward spiral.
    • There's also Johnny Cash's "When the Man Comes Around" in "Elephant's Memory".
    • Kevin and Garcia's first face-to-face meeting in "Penelope", set to the excellently apropos "Heroes" by David Bowie.
    • The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" playing in the beginning of "Revelations" while Reid was getting kidnapped as the BAU team was looking for him and the UnSub and from the same episode, "The Funeral" by the Band of Horses playing at the end as the team saves Reid just in time and Reid falls into drug addiction.
  • The opening theme to Psych. Which was written and performed by the band of the creator.
  • Due South was particularly good at this. "Henry Martin", "Eia Mater", and any use of a Loreena McKennitt song. Also, "Victoria's Secret", composed for the episodes dealing with Fraser's (not lost enough) love Victoria, is a heartbreaking piano piece that sums up all the emotion in that relationship.
    • The fact that Paul Gross has a decent singing voice himself wasn't lost on the show's producers. In the two parter "Mountie on the Bounty", Fraser distracted the crew of a toxic-waste dumping ship by singing "Barrett's Privateers" so Ray could slip out to look for evidence against the crew. And the final ship battle. "THIRTY-TWO DOWN ON THE ROBERT MACKENZIE!"
    • opening theme: Fantastic, especially the organ(?), it's awesome!
  • The soundtrack of Green Wing. It is an appropriately odd soundtrack for an utterly bizarre show.
  • The '90s live-action Flash TV series came and went... really quickly... but Danny Elfman's theme tune is still some of the best superhero music ever composed for any medium. As are the episode scores (and that of the pilot) by the late great Shirley Walker.
  • The theme from Van Der Valk is almost absurdly OTT for a Police Procedural.
  • The theme from 1960s and 70s Australian Cop Show Division 4 is awesome, so much so that TISM sampled it for the song "Thunderbirds are Coming Out".
  • 1970s Sci-Fi series UFO, created by Gerry Anderson, had a theme of great awesomeness - John Barry would have been proud. It was writen by Barry Gray, whose themes for Fireball XL 5, Stingray (1964) and Thunderbirds were equally awesome if not more so. His theme for Space: 1999 is arguably the best theme tune ever to a bad series.
    • Gray's music for Thunderbirds is pretty awesome to begin with, but there's a particular theme that usually kicks in just after International Rescue have saved the day (originally composed for the first appearance of the Fireflash airliner), which raises the score to a whole new level of awesomeness.
    • Specifically used in Spaced as music inspiring enough to launch Brian ("Are you a man or a mouse?" "Meep.") into action.
      • (Mike switches on his tape of the Thunderbirds main theme. Several seconds of it pass. A huge grin slowly spreads across Brian's face...) "...I'm a MAN!"
    • And "Dangerous Games" from "The Cham-Cham". Especially when Penny sings it.
  • Don't lie, Bill Nye the Science Guy had a kick-ass theme song.
  • The opening themes to CSI, CSI: Miami and CSI NY. Why? Because they pulled three of The Who's greatest hits ("Who Are You," "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Riley" respectively) and distilled their awesomeness.
    • Grissom's Overture is a great piece of instrumental music used in the show. Another really cool instrumental track is Investigation Suite.
    • The Who played all three songs at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show, see it here! Hugely appropriate since the Super Bowl was in Miami and shown on CBS.
  • "Kung Fu".
  • When Sean Hayes hosted Saturday Night Live back in February 2001, he started his monologue segment by playing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on the piano. Then outta nowhere, the SNL Band joined in, and it segued into a rocking cover of Walter Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven". (And just to show off, Hayes kept playing as he shaved, signed autographs, and took a cell phone call).
  • SNL's closing theme music. It's the sound of a party breaking up. Very effective.
  • Human Target has music by Bear McCreary. This is automatic awesome. The end theme is just as good.
  • The House of Cards Trilogy has some fantastic music by Jim Parker. The fact it has never been made widely available is just criminal.
  • The famous four-note riff from The Twilight Zone. The classic theme by Marius Constant started with it, just before Rod Serling's voiceover narration; the 1980s revival built up to it as the climax, by which time it was so famous that they didn't need narration any more.
  • The show Northern Exposure was regularly praised for having amazing incidental music, usually broadcast by the local DJ Chris Stevens' on the show's fictional radio station, KBHR. The show used everything from Miriam Makeba to Lynard Skynard to Enya to Cajun folk songs to Etta well-regarded scene featured the free-spiritish Stevens advising Ed, a local boy, about how to care for a wounded whooping crane he was nursing back to health; at some point they try to teach the crane to "dance" to the tune of Brian Eno and John Cale's "Lay My Love".
  • While as a whole the show Mysterious Ways was primo Snark Bait, Natalie Maines' rendition of Amazing Grace in the pilot is nothing short of incredible.
  • Rebel L.
    • That song is actually a parody of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell". Sesame Street has done a lot of these parodies. Measure, Yeah, Measure (based on Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never") isn't half bad either, although Elmo's unsuitably high-pitched voice is a bit of a Level Breaker.
  • One episode of Boston Legal featured an epic cover of "War (What Is It Good For?)" crossed with "Over There", representing anti-war and pro-war testimony, respectively. Yes, this was performed in a courtroom, why do you ask?
  • The 1980s TV show Misfits of Science had a memorable scene of the electrically charged Johnny B. giving a few hundred soldiers a concert starts at about 5.25.
  • The BBC's Top Gear has some awesome music sampled into the BGM for things like their regular challenges, super/hypercar laps and to generally live up the the general level of awesome. The one that stands out most is the use of Globus' "Preliator" during the "Race Across London" challenge in Series 10, Ep 5.
    • Top Gear is more or less a continuous CMOA, as evidenced in this short clip featuring a Lotus Elise, an Boeing Apache AH-64, Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" and finally Motörhead's "Ace of Spades"!
    • The series 13 finale, closing with the piece about the Aston Martin V12 Vantage possibly representing the end of an era and during a period where rumours abounded that the show - or at least Jeremy Clarkson's tenure on it - was finishing, was epic in scope and cinematography and writing all on its own. But mix in Brian Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)" and the result is breathtaking.

FilmSugarWiki/Awesome MusicMusic

alternative title(s): Crowning Music Of Awesome Live Action TV
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