The television equivalent of the illustration on a book cover. This is a sequence at the beginning of the show (but generally after The Teaser
) It serves to let the viewers know what show they are watching. The title sequence is also called the "Opening Credits" or "Opening Sequence", though, strictly speaking, they do not have to include any actual credits. They do, however, always display the title of the program, usually in the form of a series logo (except in rare cases such as Batman: The Animated Series
which never displays the title). For most shows, a Theme Tune
is played during the sequence.
In syndication, the title sequence is often abbreviated to leave more time for commercials. This is increasingly the case for first-run shows as well.
Although most shows modify the Title Sequence to reflect the current cast lineup, anime is especially known for doing it at least once and sometimes more within a 26-episode run, complete with a new theme song
It may be of interest to note that title sequences are usually made by a separate, specialist, production company from the one that's actually making the show. Babylon 5
is a rare exception whose production crew created the show's five Title Sequences entirely in-house.
Major types and tropes of the Title Sequence include: