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Opening Narration / Live-Action TV

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  • Desperate Housewives: Most episodes start with the late Mary Alice Young talking about a general human trait or aspects of human life and it being illustrated with one or several inhabitants of Wisteria Lane going through it. In most cases it is related to the episode's plot.
  • The Outer Limits (1963):
    • The first version was only used in the first three episodes.
      "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We can reduce the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to...the Outer Limits."
    • The shorter second version was used for the remainder of the series.
      "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture... You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... the Outer Limits."
  • The Outer Limits (1995): The revival featured a variation of that of the original.
    "There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal and the vertical. We can deluge you with a thousand channels, or expand one single image to crystal clarity... and beyond..."
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): Over the course of the series, five different opening narrations were used in the title sequence:
    • The first was used from "Where is Everybody?" to "A Passage for Trumpet".
      "There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to Man. It is a dimension as vast as space, and as timeless as infinity. It is the middleground between light and shadow, between science and superstition; and it lies between the pit of Man's fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call... the Twilight Zone."
    • The second was used from "Mr. Bevis to "A World of His Own", the final four episodes of Season One.
      "You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!"
    • The third was used in Season Two.
      "You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone!"
    • The fourth was used in Season Three.
      "You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!"
    • The fifth was used in Seasons Four and Five. This version is also repeated in the Disney attraction The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, when the ride vehicle arrives at the 5th Dimension scene.
      "You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension - a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone."
  • The Twilight Zone (2002): The second revival used a slight variation of that used in Season Two of the original.
    "You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. You are entering the Twilight Zone."
  • The Twilight Zone (2019): The third revival uses a combination of the original's first and last opening narrations.
    "You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of one's fears and the summit of one's knowledge. You're now traveling to the dimension of imagination. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone."
  • Being the Japanese counterpart of The Twilight Zone, Ultra Q uses a very similar narration:
    "(expository information on what is about to occur) For the next 30 minutes, your eyes will leave your body and enter inside this fantasy time..."
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Animated Series have an iconic one, spoken by Captain Kirk:
      Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation has a minor variation of the Original Series narration, spoken by Captain Picard: it replaces "Its five-year mission" with "Its continuing mission", and "where no man has gone before" with "where no one has gone before".
    • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has another variation, spoken by Captain Pike, which brings back "Its five-year mission" from TOS but keeps "where no one has gone before" from TNG.
  • Once Upon a Time: "There is a town, in Maine..."
  • "It began... in the future..." . Time Trax
  • Alias Smith and Jones: "Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry. The two most successful outlaws in the history of the West..."
  • The Andromeda opening narration changed with each season as the show's format and production team changed radically. The first-season narration by Kevin Sorbo spelled out the original scenario: "The Long Night has come," galactic civilization has fallen, and the Andromeda and her crew have vowed to restore it. "Hope lives again." This was replaced in the second season by a generic narrator explaining the same basic premise but playing up Sorbo's character Dylan Hunt as the primary hero. Subsequent seasons abandoned this story arc and replaced the narration with a more generic one again narrated by Sorbo: "The universe is a dangerous place" and Dylan Hunt and his crew "fight to make it safe."
  • "Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. It's Arrested Development."
  • The DVD version of the Veronica Mars pilot opens with the words: "I’m never getting married. You want an absolute? Well, there it is." The narrator (Veronica) then moves on to explain numerous things about the story and setting, essentially telling you what has already happened while showing what's about to happen at the same time. The narration generally shifts to snarky commentary later on when the viewers don't require as much explanation.
  • GARO: "Where there is light, shadows lurk and fear reigns. Yet by the blade of Knights, mankind was given hope."
  • "In 1972 note , a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade into the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if nobody else can help, and if you can find them, then maybe you can hire... The A-Team." This was dropped entirely for the final season.
  • The American broadcasts of the Emma Peel episodes of The Avengers (1960s) began with a specially shot narration: "Extraordinary crimes against the people and the state have to be avenged by agents extraordinary. Two such people are John Steed, top professional, and his partner Emma Peel, talented amateur - otherwise known as... The Avengers."
  • The original Battlestar Galactica used bookending narrations. The 2000s version has a title crawl that is not spoken aloud, although a DVD Easter Egg on one of the 2000s seasons had the original opening narration spoken by Edward James Olmos.
    "There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens."
    "Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica, leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest — a shining planet, known as Earth."
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: "The year is 1987. And NASA launches the last of America's deep space probes. In a freak mishap, Ranger 3 and its pilot, Captain William "Buck" Rogers, are blown out of their trajectory into an orbit which freezes his life-support systems and returns Buck Rogers to Earth 500 years later."
  • The first and second seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, first by a generic narrator and later by Anthony Stewart Head:
    "Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer."
  • Burn Notice mixes its opening narration with scenes from the show.
    Michael: My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy, until...
    Boss: We've got a burn notice on you. You're blacklisted.
    Michael: When you're burned, you've got nothing. No cash, no credit, no job history. They drop you in whatever city you happen to land in.
    Michael (scene): Where am I?
    Fiona: Miami.
    Michael: You do whatever work comes your way. You rely on anyone still talking to you: a trigger-happy ex-girlfriend...
    Fiona: Should we shoot them?
    Michael: An old friend who used to inform on you to the FBI...
    Sam: You know spies. Bunch of bitchy little girls.
    Michael: Family too...
    Sam: Hey, is that your mom again?
    Michael: ...if you're desperate.
    Madeline: Someone needs your help, Michael.
    Michael: Bottom line is as long as you're burned, you're not going anywhere.
  • "Hi. I'm Chuck Bartowski. And here are a few things you should know...".
  • "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives..."
  • Firefly used two versions, one narrated by lead character Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), the other by Shepherd Book (Ron Glass). It was abandoned for the DVD release, since it had been added at network insistence rather than by creator Joss Whedon's choice. The Opening Narration was shown during a montage before The Teaser and Title Sequence.
  • Sapphire and Steel, disregarding the abuse of the term "elements" in the cause of sounding mysterious:
    "All irregularities will be handled by the forces controlling each dimension. Transuranic heavy elements may not be used where there is life. Medium atomic weights are available: Gold, Lead, Copper, Jet, Diamond, Radium, Sapphire, Silver and Steel. Sapphire and Steel have been assigned."
  • Law & Order: "In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories." (CHUNG CHUNG) The narration is modified for most of the spin-off shows, except Law & Order: LA, which reuses the original. Interestingly, they make it seem that the Police are Law and the Prosecutors are Order, when the reverse is really more accurate.
    • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: "In the criminal justice system, sexually-based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories."
    • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: "In New York City's war on crime, the worst criminal offenders are pursued by the detectives of the Major Case Squad. These are their stories."
    • Law & Order: Trial by Jury: "In the criminal justice system, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty, either by confession, plea bargain, or trial by jury. This is one of those trials."
    • Law & Order: UK: "In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The police who investigate crime, and the Crown Prosecutors who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories."
    • Law & Order: Organized Crime: "In the nation's largest city, the vicious and violent members of the underworld are hunted by the detectives of the Organized Crime Control Bureau. These are their stories."
  • "I am the Lexx. I am the most powerful weapon of destruction in the two universes," Lexx, dropped for the final season, because after Mantrid was through, there weren't two universes anymore.
  • Tales from the Darkside has one of the creepiest openings ever:
    "Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality. But - there is, unseen by most, an underworld. A place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit... a Darkside."
  • "Knight Rider: a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist..." Knight Rider also featured a corresponding closing narration for its first season.
  • Hardcastle and McCormick had one in the early episodes: "Milton C. Hardcastle is a retired judge of the California Superior Court..."
  • War of the Worlds (1988) used a straightforward description of the show's premise in the first season. The second season replaced this with a vague and frightened news report intentionally reminiscent of the style of the Radio Drama of the same title (and, by proxy, the famous radio report on the Hindenburg disaster).
    • Orson Welles' radio adaptation opened with a variation on the book's unforgettable "No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that this world was Being Watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's", as did the Dark Horse Comics adaptation, the Jeff Wayne musical, and the big-budget 2005 film adaptation.
    • After a short introduction and a disclaimer, the radio WOTW goes into a musical Big Band Ballroom show which was very popular at the time. Many people who tuned in late were unaware this was a drama, so when the announcer starts breaking in with news of the invasion, it sounds completely plausible.
  • Highlander: The Series: "He is immortal, born in the Highlands of Scotland four hundred years ago..."
    • Season one's opener was first person, done by Adrian Paul himself, then there was a generic narrator, then Jim Byrnes took over as Joe Dawson.
  • Stargate Universe: "Destiny. The design is clearly ancient. Launched hundreds of thousands of years ago." - features lines of different characters, but still makes sense as a single expository monologue. The second half of the first season changed this montage and it doesn't resemble coherent narration anymore.
  • Seven Days (in its later seasons)
  • Sliders, with minor changes until a permanent version was settled upon in season three. The final season had Rembrandt saying it instead of Quinn, who'd been Put on a Bus.
  • "The story you are about to hear is true. Names have been changed to protect the innocent." Dragnet.
    • Parodied in Mathnet on Square One TV: "The story you are about to see is a fib, but it's short. The names are made up, but the problems are real."
    • Also parodied more humorously in the 1987 Dragnet film: "Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. For example, George Baker is now called... Sylvia Wiss."
  • The Prisoner (1967) has a particularly lengthy dialogue during its Title Sequence. While the lines remain the same, in each episode, the current Number Two delivers that half of the exchange.
    • Except in episodes where the identity of Number Two is hidden (or on at least one occasion where the actor playing Number Two didn't record the lines), in which case a generic voice is used for Number Two.
  • NUMB3RS. For the second season, the narration remained more or less the same, but the narration changed from a monologue to isolated lines within the Theme Tune.
  • "Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Samuel Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator — and vanished."
  • In Season 1 of Remington Steele, Laura explained how her fake detective came to be played by a real person.
  • Heroes begins and ends with a voiceover of Mohinder attempting to sound profound (and not always succeeding). Also, every single Previously on… starts with "Ordinary people around the world discover extraordinary abilities..."
  • Ik Mik Loreland has one in the first episode doing some basic worldbuilding, introducing the main characters
  • Doctor Who
    • The American airings of Series 6 had an opening narration explaining how Amy met the Doctor and that she travels with him.
    When I was a little girl, I had an imaginary friend. And when I grew up, he came back. He’s called the Doctor. He comes from somewhere else. He’s got a box called the TARDIS that’s Bigger on the Inside and can travel anywhere in time and space. I ran away with him, and we’ve been running ever since.
    • The Japanese broadcast of the Fourth Doctor stories featured an opening narration by Tom Baker's dub actor, delivered in character.
  • Torchwood used an opening narration for most of its run.
    "Torchwood. Outside the government, beyond the police..."
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures started using this in series 3, narrated by Clyde Langer.
    "13 Bannerman Road is where Sarah Jane Smith lives, and it's home to things way beyond your imagination..."
  • 24: "The following takes place between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM..."
    • The first season included, "...I'm Federal Agent Jack Bauer. And this... is the longest day of my life."
  • The Pretender: "There are Pretenders among us..."
  • Subsequent episodes of Brimstone started with a truncated version of Zeke's confession from the pilot.
  • Red Dwarf began every episode of the first two seasons, except for the pilot, this way, with Holly broadcasting a distress call. The wording of his message was always the same, except for a verbal Couch Gag at the end.
  • The Odd Couple (1970): "On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence. That request came from his wife..."
  • Life on Mars (2006): "My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident and woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time?..." To answer, Sam, yes, yes, and not really.
    • Ashes to Ashes (2008): "My name is Alex Drake. I've been shot and that bullet's taken me back in time..."
  • "In a middle school full of bullies, insane teachers and gross school lunches, Ned Bigby -that's me- and my two best friends try to do the impossible- create a guide to help YOU survive school...(theme tune) Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide (* Your Results May Vary)"
  • "The evil Kilokhan lives inside computer circuits! With the help of Malcolm Frink, he creates Megavirus Monsters to attack electronic systems! Meanwhile, a freak accident turns Sam Collins into Servo! His friends join forces in their samurized attack vehicles! Together, they transform into... the Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad!"
  • Charlie's Angels ('Once upon a time, there were three little girls went to the police academy...')
  • "Who are the MythBusters ?..."
  • "The Invaders (1967) - "...alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination: the Earth. Their purpose: to make it their world...."
  • Many reality TV shows have narration over their title sequences, which makes sense, because the people being featured therein are telling their own story, anyway.
  • Dirty Jobs: "Hi, I'm Mike Rowe, and this is my job..."
  • "The Fugitive! A QM Production. Starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble, an innocent victim of blind justice...."
    • Or, in the first season: "The name - Dr. Richard Kimble. The destination - Death row, state prison. The irony - Richard Kimble is innocent..."
  • A few of the recent Super Sentai series have some opening narration, dating back to Choushinsei Flashman. Examples:
    • Choushinsei Flashman: "One day, five children from Earth were taken to the far reaches of space. And twenty years later..."
    • Hikari Sentai Maskman: "Inside a human body, a mysterious power is hidden. With training and discipline, this infinite power can be obtained."
    • Choujuu Sentai Liveman: "My friends! Why have you sold your souls to the devil?"
    • Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger: "From hundreds of millions of years ago, in the age of the dinosaurs, 5 warriors revive in the present time!"
    • Chouriki Sentai Ohranger: "Only those who have learned the power of the Super-Civilization will be able to save humanity from its greatest crisis: Baranoia, the Machine Empire, which plans to invade the Earth!" (Though it was retired after Episode 6 and replaced by a preview of the forthcoming Episode.)
    • Seijuu Sentai Gingaman: "The Starbeasts: They are mysterious animals who fight for the sake of defending harmony in the Milky Way!"
    • Mirai Sentai Timeranger: "People from the future in the year 3000 AD and one man have met by chance, for the sake of marking a new passage of time."
    • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger (after the Title Scream): "S.P.D.: Special Police Dekaranger. Five detectives who fight with cool, yet burning, hearts. Their mission: To combat space criminals who have invaded Earth. They will protect the peace and safety of all humanity!"
    • Mahou Sentai Magiranger: "Magic, it's a sacred power! Magic, it's an adventure to the unknown! Magic, it's the proof of courage!"
    • GoGo Sentai Boukenger: "Even today, there are those who risk their lives to adventure. They overcome all troubles to secretly protect dangerous treasures. Adventurers!"
    • Juken Sentai Gekiranger: "A martial art which grants the power of beasts through sensing one's own feral spirit; Juken. Juken is split into two opposing styles. One, Juken of justice: Geki Juken Beast Arts! The other, Juken of evil: Rin Juken Akugata! As martial artists destined to fight, Every day they aim for the top, Learning, and changing."
    • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: "On a search for adventure and excitement, these youths went on a journey through the universe. They faced the Space Empire Zangyack and took the title of 'pirates'."
      • In some episodes: "The thirty-four Super Sentai who have defended the Earth and the happiness of its people! In the face of invasion by the Zangyack Space Empire, an uncanny group has inherited that power!"
    • Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters: "In the year 2012 Anno Novi, urban life is supported by the powerful energy source known as Enetron. Vagras is a group determined to steal and use Enetron to attack humanity. The Go-Busters are young men and women who undertake special missions to defend humanity."
    • Naturally, Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger lampshades this in its first episode:
    "It's still the first episode so the premise isn't really established yet, but this is probably the story of Akihabara's three-man Sentai team!"
    • Series proper (except ep. 11): "A tiny paradise amidst a sea of skyscrapers: Akihabara. There we find three warriors who believe that "pain is power", who fight battles that exist entirely within their heads. They are..." (cue Title Scream)
    The Lupin Collection, a set of mysterious treasures gathered by the legendary phantom thief Arsène Lupin, have been stolen by the Ganglers!
    "The phantom thieves who fight to recover what they've lost."
    "The police force who fight to protect world peace."
    Whose side are you on?!
    • After nearly a whole decade of having this trope, Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger averts it, with just a "QUE BOM!" at the beginning, until...
    • Mashin Sentai Kiramager: "When people shine, a miracle is born. That shine, is the symbol of the warriors that can change the future! KIRAMEI GO!"
  • From the Sentai inspired Kanpai Senshi After V: "The police and Self-Defense Force were powerless against evildoers hellbent on ruling the world. A new organization was created to defeat these villains... The Golden Warriors Treasure V: A team of five combat specialists. However, their drinking parties after battles became better known than the battles themselves, and they became known as the Cheers Soldiers, After V!"
  • The first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had it. Well, it isn't quite narration, but serves the same purpose, especially as it's not actual dialog from the show but was made especially for the credits.
    Rita Repulsa: Aaah! After ten thousand years, I'm free! It's time to conquer - Earth!
    Zordon: Alpha! Rita's escaped! Recruit a team of teenagers with attitude!
    • From Power Rangers Ninja Storm: "Deep in the mountains, secret ninja academies train our future protectors. Ancient scrolls told of three who would be chosen above the others. Three who would become..." (cue theme song)
    • Power Rangers RPM also uses one: "A computer virus has built armies of robotic soldiers and taken control of our world. But there is still one place we can be safe: the domed city of Corinth. And the only hope we have left is..."
    • Not joined to the opening credits, but a narration nonetheless: "Three hundred years ago in Japan, the evil Nighlok monsters invaded. Only five had the power to stand against them. They are the Power Rangers Samurai."
      • It occasionally uses a longer version for Super Samurai: "Centuries ago in Japan, Nighlok monsters invaded our world. But samurai warriors defeated them with Power Symbols, passed down from parent to child. Today, the evil Nighlok have risen once again and plan to flood the Earth. Luckily, a new generation of heroes stand in their way. They are the Power Rangers Samurai."
    • "Millions of years ago, the evil Sledge tried to steal the greatest power in the universe. But an alien named Keeper entrusted them to dinosaurs. As for Sledge... He was blasted deep into space. Now the Energems have been found, and Sledge returns to battle a new team of heroes; they are... Power Rangers Dino Charge!"
      • "Long ago, an alien named Keeper entrusted the greatest power in the universe to dinosaurs. Millions of years later, the Energems were found, and the evil Sledge fought ruthlessly to steal them, until the rangers finally defeated him. But, from the ashes a new threat arose... Only one team of heroes can stop him; Power Rangers Dino Super Charge!" There's also different variations of the opening narration in the final episode and its Christmas episode.
    • "When Galvanax, cruel champion of Galaxy Warriors, claimed the mighty Power Stars, Earth's greatest ninja sacrificed himself to keep the universe safe. 10 years later, a new generation of warriors rises up, to protect the ninja Power Stars. They are Power Rangers Ninja Steel!"
      • "Long ago, earth’s greatest ninja sacrificed himself to keep the universe safe from the monster Galvanax, 10 years later, the Rangers fought many battles to protect the legendary Ninja Power Stars. Finally, Galvanax was defeated but the ruthless Madame Odius survived and rose to power, determined to take the stars for herself, only one team can stop her, they are Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel!"
  • The original Kamen Rider: "Kamen Rider, Takeshi Hongo, is an modified human. He was altered by Shocker, an evil secret society with aspirations for world domination. Kamen Rider fights against Shocker for the sake of human freedom!" Some other Showa Kamen Riders such as X had similar opening narrations.
    • Kamen Rider V3: "Kamen Rider V3, Shiro Kazami, is an altered human. Mortally wounded by Destron, he is rebuilt by Kamen Riders 1 and 2, reborn as Kamen Rider V3."
    • Kamen Rider Den-O: "The train of time, DenLiner. Will its next stop be the past or the future?"
    • Kamen Rider Fourze: "Space... a wondrous world, filled with infinite cosmic energy. Using the Astro Switches, these young people will open the door to the future of space. Space on your hand! Reach out and seize the universe!"
    • Kamen Rider Wizard: "The rings of magic, the Wizard Rings. They shine on the hands of the modern mage, as he changes despair into hope."
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O:
    The Heisei Kamen Riders have endured for decades.
    And now they pass their legacy on to the next generation!
    Rejoice! For the birth of a new king!
    "I am Takeru Tenkuji. On my 18th birthday, I was killed by rampaging Gamma. In order to come back to life, I became Kamen Rider Ghost and began gathering the Eyecons." (cue the "previously on" segment)
    • Kamen Rider Zero-One: "Humagears, androids equipped with artificial intelligence, offer direct job support in our day and age. A young president of a technology company specializing in A.I. technology fights to protect the dreams of others!"
      • On episodes 31 to 41, it starts with "Humagears, androids equipped with artificial intelligence. Will they bring hope or despair to humanity? A young president of a new company specializing in A.I. technology fights to bring his dreams to life!"
  • Even the Metal Heroes have a handful of these, albeit from Kidou Keiji Jiban to Tokusou Robo Janperson:
    • Kidou Keiji Jiban: "This is the drama of a girl's and a young man's hearts which love people and protect justice."
    • Tokkei Winspector: "Special Rescue Police Winspector: with a love of peace and faith in friendship, they face down crime to protect the lives of innocent people. This is the Metropolitan Police Special Emergency Unit!"
    • Two examples from Tokusou Exceedraft: “In the world of the near future, citizens seek love, hope and kindness. And those citizens have chosen three brilliant young souls. Together, they make a stand against the ever-evolving crime of the future. A special emergency investigation team is born.”, later replaced with “To protect innocents from ever-evolving crime, three souls burn brightly! This is the story of the Special Investigation Unit striving for love and kindness in the world of tomorrow” after episode 3.
    • Tokusou Robo Janperson only has the simple "Janperson Fights for Justice!" in Surprisingly Good English.
  • Black Hole High: "There is nothing wrong at Blake Holsey High! What, at all? That must be a good school."
  • "This is the story of a time long ago, a time of myth and legend. When the ancient gods were petty and cruel, and they plagued mankind with suffering. Only one man dared to challenge their power: Hercules!"
  • "In a time of ancient gods, warlords, and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle...."
  • Forever Knight: "He was brought across in 1228; preyed on humans for their blood. Now he wants to be mortal again..."
  • La Femme Nikita: " night I was taken from my cell to a place called Section One, the most covert antiterrorist group on the planet. Their ends are just, but their means are ruthless. If I don't play by their rules, I die."
  • The Invisible Man: "There once was a story about a man that could turn invisible. I thought it was only a story—until it happened to me."
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977): "Doctor David Banner, physician, scientist, searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have..."
  • "Their creed: to protect all life. Their promise: to end Lord Dread's rule. Their name: Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future!"
  • Soap. "This is the story of two sisters..."
    • This was preceded by a recap of the previous episode, followed by, "Confused? Well, you won't be after this week's episode of Soap."
  • "In the jungles of Peru, the fight for survival heightened his senses. Now, Detective James Ellison is a Sentinel in the fight for justice..."
  • Farscape had an opening narration from John Crichton, which remained the same throughout the first two seasons, but was updated in the third and fourth to reflect changes to the status quo. This is the final version:
    "My name is John Crichton... an astronaut. Three years ago I got shot through a wormhole. I'm in a distant part of the universe aboard this living ship of escaped prisoners, my friends. I've made enemies. Powerful. Dangerous. Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth. Look upward, and share... the wonders I have seen. "
  • SeaQuest DSV. "...for beneath the surface, lies the future."
  • The 4400 featured an opening explanation on title cards intercut with very brief, usually wordless, clips from previous episodes.
  • Porridge: "Norman Stanley Fletcher, you have pleaded guilty to the charges brought by this court, and it is now my duty to pass sentence. You are an habitual criminal, who accepts arrest as an occupational hazard, and presumably accepts imprisonment in the same casual manner. We therefore feel constrained to commit you to the maximum term allowed for these offences—you will go to prison for five years", played over stark shots of prison doors being closed and locked.
    • Ironically, the Judge's narration is performed by Ronnie Barker - who also played Norman Stanley Fletcher.
  • "He was a cop, and good at his job, but he committed the ultimate sin and testified against other cops gone bad. Cops that tried to kill him but got the woman he loved instead. Framed for murder, now he prowls the badlands, an outlaw hunting outlaws, a bounty hunter, a Renegade."
  • Robot Wars used this to give a preview of the upcoming episode during the 6th and 7th seasons (the 6th would often give out major spoilers).
  • Kung Fu (1972): "Your tread must be light and sure, as though your path were upon rice paper. It is said a Shaolin priest can walk through walls. Looked for, he can not be seen. Listened for, he can not be heard. Touched, he can not be felt. This rice paper is the test. Fragile as the wings of the dragon fly, clinging as the cocoon of the silk worm. When you can walk its length and leave no trace, you will have learned."
    • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues: "The grandson of Kwai Chang Caine walks out of the past..."
  • Nightmare Cafe: "Now that I've got your attention, here's the deal: See those two people? That's Frank, and that's Faye. Strangers when they met, turns out they've got a lot in common..."
  • Rhoda: "My name is Rhoda Morgenstern. I was born in the Bronx, New York, in December 1941. I've always felt responsible for World War II..."
  • "What you are witnessing is real. The participants are not actors. They are actual litigants with a case pending in a California municipal court. Both parties have agreed to dismiss their court cases and have their disputes settled here, in our forum: The People's Court."
    • The current version is set "in a New York metropolitan area court".
  • JAG featured one read by Don LaFontaine for its second and third seasons explaining main character Harmon Rabb's backstory for viewers who may have missed the first year on NBC. It was dropped after the fourth season.
  • "Now, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, starring Pete, Pete's brother Pete, and me, Ellen. Today's adventure...[insert episode title here]."
  • Monkey (the English-language dub of the late-70s Japanese adaption of Journey to the West) features extended introductory narration explaining Monkey's origins in what is probably intentionally tongue-in-cheek fauxlosophic style that might or might not be present in the Japanese original.
  • Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport
    The thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat
    The human drama of athletic competition
    This is ABC's Wide World of Sports!
  • The Six Million Dollar Man: "Gentlemen.....we can rebuild him..."
  • Iron Chef: "Five years ago, a man's fantasy became reality... in a form never seen before: 'Kitchen Stadium,' A giant cooking arena."
    • Plus the Chairman's voice-over musings pertinent to that episode, which always began with the signature phrase, "If memory serves me right..."
  • Castle: "There are two kinds of folk who sit around and think about how to kill people - psychopaths and mystery writers. I'm the kind that pays better."
  • Later seasons of Mutant X had Adam explaining the basic premise of the show, replacing the first season's "random words superimposed over the credits" approach.
  • The first season of Alias. "My name is Sydney Bristow. Seven years ago I was recruited by a secret branch of the CIA called SD-6..."
    • Except the episode "Q&A" as the episode itself contained Sydney explaining everything usually in the opening narration to a character played by Terry O'Quinn.
  • Hart to Hart opened with the title characters being introduced by their butler, Max.
    MAX: By the way, my name is Max. I take care of both of 'em. Which ain't easy. 'Cause when they met, it was murder.note 
  • Space: Above and Beyond added one about halfway through its only season, narrated by Colonel T. C. McQueen.
  • "And who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell. You know you love me. XOXO, Gossip Girl."
    • At The Teaser: "Gossip Girl here. Your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite."
  • You really can't have a Game Show without one of these. Here are just a few:
    • "Today, these three players are after hiiiigh stakes/biiiig bucks, but they'll have to avoid the Whammy, as they play the most exciting game of their lives! From Television City in Hollywood, it's time to Press Your Luck! And now, here's your host, the STAR of Press Your Luck, Peter Tomarken!" In a Double Whammy (no pun intended) of tropes, most episodes started with a "Previously on" montage of past contestants before announcer Rod Roddy went into the phrase.
    • "This... is... Jeopardy!! Now entering the studio are today's contestants..."
    • In its first format, Hot Potato introduced Bill Cullen as "The man who's here to toss the hot potato." This was dropped after the format was changed to just introducing him.
    • It isn't used any more, but Wheel of Fortune used to open thusly: "Look at this studio, filled with glamorous prizes! Fabulous and exciting merchandise! Including: (insert the descriptions of three prizes) Over $— thousand dollars, just waiting to be won on..."
      • During the show's first 11 months on the air – January to the last program before the experimental "hour-long" programs in December 1975, a different introdcution was used. The camera showed four or five prizes, with announcer Charlie O'Donnell reading them off (e.g., "A brass bed! An TV/stereo console! A trip to Japan! A brand new convertible! Or a luxurious mink coat!") followed by the obligatory, "Just some of the many prizes available today. Over (dollar amount) just waiting to be won on Wheeeeeeel of Fortune!"
      • The introduction was again changed starting in December 1975, and went until sometime later (likely, 1977): "Just look at this studio, filled with beautiful and imaginative gifts" – with close ups of several of the bigger-ticket prizes – "which can be purchased today on Wheel of Fortune! Total retail value of all these prizes: more than (amount)! Now, let's meet the host of Wheel of Fortune: Chuck Woolery!"
    • Pyramid: During the 1980s daytime run, a "Previously on…"-type montage was played prior to the announcer exclaiming, "From Television City in Hollywood, this is The (New) $25,000 Pyramid. Today's special guests are (insert celebrities here). And now, here's your host, Dick Clark!" Differences in other versions:
      • $10,000 (1973): During the first few months of the "$10,000 Pyramid," the opening line was much different. Starting with a camera shot on the Winner's Circle, the announcer began, "Keep your eye on this spot. You are about to see one celebrity and one contestant step into this circle for the chance to win $10,000 in less than a minute. Ladies and gentlemen... this is The $10,000 Pyramid!" Following that would be introduction of celebrities and Dick Clark.
      • $10,000/$20,000 (1973-1980) and $25,000 (1974-1979): Starting in the mid-summer of 1973, and continuing through the rest of the run, the familiar "previously on" clips were played, followed by the announcer saying, "This is The ($10,000/$20,000/$25,000) Pyramid!"
      • $50,000 (1981): No opening clips; the open simply went into "This is The $50,000 Pyramid!"
      • $100,000 (1985-1988): No opening clips were played; the announcer simply said, "From Television City in Hollywood..."
      • New $100,000 (1991): An opening shot of the Winner's Circle, followed by the announcer saying, "This is the Winner's Circle. This is where someone is guaranteed to win $100,000. From Television City in Hollywood, this is The $100,000 Pyramid!"
      • Pyramid (2002-2004): (Guest) and (Other Guest), today on Pyramid. And now, here's the host of Pyramid, Donny Osmond!
      • The Pyramid (2012): Similar to 1985-88 syndicated intro, but begins with "From Studio City, California, this is The Pyramid!"
    • "From (Television City in) Hollywood, it's America's/everybody's game of strategy, knowledge and fun, it's Tic-Tac-Dough!"
      • Or, in the critically derided 1990 version: "In a moment, the game that intrigued a nation. In a moment, the game of strategy, knowledge & fun. In a moment, Tic Tac Dough! And now, our host, who will guide us through the next 30 minutes of Tic Tac Dough, Patrick Wayne!"
    • Family Feud has gone through several.
      • 1976-1985, 1994-1995: "It's time for the Family Feud! Introducing the (family #1) family! (Player), (player), (player), (player), and (player)! Ready for action! And the (family #2) family! (Player), (player), (player), (player), and (player)! On your marks... let's start... the Family Feud! With the star of Family Feud, Richard Dawson!" Late in the run the individual family members were no longer introduced. The 1994-95 season cut the number of family members to four and replaced "With the star of..." with "Here's the star of...". The show used a similar intro from 2002-2010, truncated in later years.
      • 1988-1994: Similar intro to the above, though the first sentence was stricken, "Introducing" became "Let's meet", "Playing against" was used to introduce the #2 family, and Ray Combs' name replaced Dawson's. Again, late in the run the individual family members were no longer introduced. Also, beginning in 1992, the following spiels were added before the regular intro:
      • Family Feud Challenge (1992-1993): "Welcome to the Family Feud Challenge! What is the top answer to this question: (survey question posed of 100 people)! The survey said the #3 answer is... [clang] (answer)! The #2 answer is... [clang] (answer)! What is the #1... [clang] Bullseye answer? You'll find that answer as we play Bullseye on the Family Feud Challenge!"
      • New Family Feud (1992-1994): "What is the top answer to this Family Feud question: (survey question posed of 100 people)! If you said the #1 answer is... (answer), you hit the Bullseye!"
      • 1999-2002: "Today on Family Feud... all the way from (location), it's the (family #1) family! And all the way from (location), it's the (family #1) family! You're about to see these two teams/families battle it out, for $10,000/$20,000 in cash! 'Cause it's time to plaaaaaay... the Family FEUUUUUUD! And now, here's the star of our show, Louieeeeee AAAAAAAN-dersoooooooon!"
      • 2010-present: "It's time to play Family Feud! This is Joey Fatone from Universal Orlando Resort in sunny Florida! And now, here's the star of our show, give it up for STEVE HARVEY!!!" The references to Universal Orlando Resort were removed in 2011.
    • "These people, dressed as they are, come from all over the United States to make deals, here in the marketplace of America — Let's! Make! A Deal! And now, here's America's top trader, TV's biiiig dealer, Monty Hall!"
    • Hello, I'm Ben Stein, and today, I'm going to make history. I'm putting up $5,000 that says I know more than you. So, if you're fast enough, smart enough, and you've got the guts, you can Win Ben Stein's Money!"
    • "Here it comes! From the Bob Barker Studio at CBS in Hollywood! Television's most exciting hour of fantastic prizes! The fabulous 60 minute Price Is Right! (Four contestants are introduced followed by "Come on down!") You are the first four contestants on The Price Is Right. And now, here is the star of The Price is Right, Bob........Barker!" (Today, it's now Drew Carey.)
      • The "Bob Barker Studio" reference was only added after the 5,000th episode in 1998. Also, in 2009, the two sentences that followed that reference were changed to simply "It's The Price is Right!", and Drew's intro was changed to "Here's your host..."
    • Prior to the mid-1970s on the daytime show, and throughout the 1972 and 1985 syndicated runs, the introduction was different: "A fortune in fabulous/fantastic/luxurious prizes could go to these people today/tonight if they know when The Price is Right!"
      • The openings of the original Price (with Bill Cullen) were shorter but were drawn out with the inclusion of who the show's sponsors were.
    • The long-running Portuguese version of The Price is Right has a new opening narration every episode.
    • "Get ready to match the stars..."
    • "Who will be... The Weakest Link?"
    • The classic British example is the localized Sale of the Century: "And now, from Norwich, it's the quiz of the week!". Always amusing since Norwich was never anybody's idea of a glittering showbiz town, which was kind of the point: Anglia TV, based in Norwich, was punching way above its weight with this show, and was keen to make sure everyone knew it.
      • On the American version of Sale, the opening spiel usually began with the announcer introducing the returning champion and his winnings. During the series' "Shopping Era," the announcer advised the viewer to stay tuned as the contestant was playing for the next big-ticket item ("Stay tuned, as (name) plays for a cash jackpot worth $83,000!"). After the champion was introduced, the announcer would name off several of the big-ticket items available. Originally, it was: "Today, on America's biggest bargain sale, we're offering (insert names of prizes and values), on sale today for (amount) ... . Two of the incredible bargains today on 'Sale of the Century'!" During the Winners Board and Winners Big Money Game eras, the introduction was shortened to introduce the champion and his accumulated winnings, followed by the announcer announcing (usually) four prizes available, followed by the car and the $50,000 cash jackpot.
    • "Tonight, we're playing the games you love to play with your family in a whole new way! [games for that week's episode are announced] The games are bigger, the stakes are higher, and moments are priceless, right now on Family Game Night! And now, here's your host, Todd.............NEWTON!"
    • "From the Chuck Barris stages in Hollywood, California... here come the newlyweds!"
    • "From Universal Studios in Hollywood...the Samuel Goldwyn company presents... American Gladiators."
    • The original 1978 intro of Card Sharks went as follows: "Ace is high/Deuce is low/Call it right/And win the dough! Onnnnn... Card Sharks! And here's the host of Card Sharks, Jim Perry!" This quickly gave way to different four-line poems on every episode, and eventually to poems submitted by viewers.
      • The 1986-1989 revivals initially just opted for a generic "From Television City in Hollywood, it's Card Sharks!" This was later changed to include mentions of the Money Cards' top prize of $32,000, as well as the bonus car players could win.
  • "A _ letter word; the clue is [punny clue]!" "[word]!" "It's the crossword game you've played all your life, but never quite like this!" SCRABBLE!
  • "You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks? Well, that was me. Every time something good happened to me, something bad was always waiting around the corner. Karma. That's when I realized I had to change. So, I made a list of everything bad I've ever done and one by one, I'm going to make up for all my mistakes. I'm just trying to be a better person. My name is Earl."
  • Shameless uses this to introduce the Gallagher family.
  • Police, Camera, Action!: "Cameras, a vital tool in the fight against crime, we bring you the best and worst of what they capture... Start moving now!", then mid-series it became "Cameras, a vital tool in the fight against crime, we bring you the best and worst of what they capture... Take him out please, take him out!". For the new 2010 series, it is unknown what this will be.
  • "COPS is filmed on location with the men and women of law enforcement. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law."
  • The first season of The Fall Guy had this opening narration from Lee Majors:
    "This is the story of one of America's great unsung heroes. I mean, you've seen him but you never knew who he was. You've cheered for him and cried for him and women have wanted to die for him. But did he ever get any credit, or the girl? No! He's what we call the "stuntman" and the reason I'm talking so fondly about him is, well, because it's me, Colt Seaver. Anyway, picture work isn't wall-to-wall employment, so maybe you wonder how a guy keeps his head together. Well, one way is to wait by the phone... and wait... and wait. The other is to take an occasional job with the court system of the United States of America, where a man is considered innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, sometimes a lot of these people get out of jail on what we call bail. Then they run like hell. And that's where I come in. I sometimes pick up rent money trying to find them and bring them back to justice... and that reminds me of a very interesting case..."
  • Cleopatra 2525 has one, just before it goes into the Real Song Theme Tune.
  • In the first season of The Amazing Race, host Phil Keoghan provided a detailed one throughout the opening theme music. This was dropped in future installments.
  • Voyagers!: We travel through time to help history along; give it a push where it's needed. (Jeff: Bogg!) When the Omni's red, it means history's wrong. Our job is to get everything back on track ("Ding"; Bogg: Green light, kid! We did it!).
  • The 1966-7 TV adaptation of The Green Hornet featured an Opening Narration voiced by series producer William Dozier. In addition to setting up the premise for modern viewers who may not have been familiar with the character, it also served as an homage to the original radio series, which also began with an opening narration.
    Another challenge for the Green Hornet, his aide Kato, and their rolling arsenal, the Black Beauty. On police records a wanted criminal, the Green Hornet is really Britt Reid, owner-publisher of the Daily Sentinel, his dual identity known only to his secretary and to the district attorney. And now, to protect the rights and lives of decent citizens, rides THE GREEN HORNET!
  • Beauty and the Beast has paired voiceovers from Vincent and Catherine describing their love for each other. Until Catherine is killed, after which Vincent gives a solo voiceover.
  • Bob Cumming Show/Love that Bob: "Hold it! I think you're going to like this picture."
  • "KELLOGGS, the greatest name in cereals presents: The Adventures of Superman!
    FASTER than a speeding bullet!
    More POWERFUL than a locomotive!
    Able to LEAP tall buildings in a single bound!
    LOOK! Up In The Sky!
    It's a BIRD!
    It's a PLANE!
    It's SUPERMAN!
    Yes, it's SUPERMAN, strange visitor from another planet who came to earth with powers and abilities FAR beyond those of mortal men!
    SUPERMAN! Who can CHANGE the course of might rivers, BEND steel in his bare hands; And who, disguised as Clark Kent, Mild-mannered reporter for a great Metropolitan Newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for TRUTH, JUSTICE and the AMERICAN WAY!
    And now another exciting episode in THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN!!!
  • The obscure Toku series Little Superman Ganbaron (Opening here) has a similar opening narration that almost copies the afformentioned Adventures of Superman one (Translated):
    Who's up there?
    Is it a shooting star?
    A UFO?
    No! It's Ganbaron!
    Faster than a Shinkansen!
    Stronger than any Kaiju!
    Can leap a tall building in one jump!
    Yes! He's the Little Superman! GANBARON!
    Yes! He's a friend! GANBARON!
    Yes! He's the hero! GANBARON! (cue theme song)
  • The third and fourth seasons of The Adventures of Superboy featured narration during the opening sequence: "Rocketed from a distant planet to a bold new destiny on earth, found by a Kansas family and raised as Clark Kent, he learned he possessed the strength of steel, the speed of light, and the desire to help all mankind. He is... Superboy!"
  • Merlin: "In a land of myth, and a time of magic..."
    • In series 1-3 Merlin is described as a young boy. It's not until series 4 that he's finally called a young man, leaving the audience to ponder whether he was ever an old boy inbetween.
  • Street Hawk: "This is Jesse Mach, an ex-motorcycle cop, injured in the line of duty. Now a police troubleshooter, he's been recruited for a top secret government mission to ride Street Hawk—an all-terrain attack motorcycle designed to fight urban crime, capable of incredible speeds up to three hundred miles an hour... and immense firepower. Only one man, federal agent Norman Tuttle, knows Jesse Mach's true identity. The man... the machine... Street Hawk."
  • The eponymous main character of Nikita has a pretty badass one that changes throughout the first season as events change.
    "My name is Nikita. Six years ago I was taken out of prison and forced by a covert unit of the government to be an assassin. Three years ago I escaped, and have been hunted ever since. I was the first recruit to get out... I'm going to make certain I'm not the last."
  • "It's Saturday Night Live! Featuring/Starring [current cast], Lenny Pickett and the Saturday Night Live band! Musical guest, [name of musical guest], and your host [the guest host for that week]! Ladies and gentleman, [the aforementioned guest host]!"
    • Later versions has the same format, but omits "Lenny Pickett and the Saturday Night Live band!"
    • For a while it was "... G.E. Smith and the Saturday Night Live Band..."
  • "From New York, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. And now, here's.......................JOHNNY!
    • "From......Hollywood, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. This is Ed McMahon along with Doc Severinsen and the NBC orchestra inviting you to join Johnny and his guests: [names of guests] And now, (ladies and gentlemen,) here's.......................JOHNNY!"
  • Ghost Adventures: "My name is Zac Bagans. I never believed in ghosts until I came face-to-face with one..."
  • Beginning with the second season, Bosom Buddies had an opening narration prefixed to the opening credits proper. So the premise was explained (and somewhat defensively justified) twice each and every week, once in voiceover and once in flashback clips under the theme song.
    Henry: When we first moved to New York we found a great apartment that was dirt cheap.
    Kip: And we found out why it was so cheap. [wrecking ball gag]
    Henry: Our friend Amy said there was a great apartment in her building —
    Kip: — dirt cheap! But it was a hotel for women. Okay, we made one adjustment.
    Henry: Now these other ladies know us as Buffy and Hildegard.
    Kip: But they also know us a Kip and Henry, Buffy and Hildy's "brothers." I'm crazy about the blonde.
    Henry: This experience is going to make a great book.
    Kip: You see, it's all perfectly normal...
  • "Some people hustle pool, some people hustle cars, but have you ever heard about the man who hustles stars? Jack Horkheimer: Star Hustler, director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium."note 
    • (Horkheimer): "Our episode for this week, Monday [Month], [Date] through Sunday [Month], [Date]: (name of episode)"
    • (Announcer): "And now to tell you about the night sky and the biggest show of all, the universe: your Star Hustler, Jack Horkheimer."
  • In Grimm, the opening narration comes in the form of a quote from the fairy tale the villain of the week comes from. Season 2 included voiceover in the opening but it was dropped after three episodes because it wasn't well received by the fans.
  • K-tai Investigator 7: "Fighting cyber crimes, the walking cellphone Seven. This is the reality of tomorrow."
  • The first two-thirds of season one of Nikita used one, altering it when Alex was promoted to field agent. For the last four or five episodes, it was dropped in favor of Previously on….
  • Person of Interest: "You are being watched. The government has a secret system, a Machine that spies on you every hour of every day..."
  • "Gabriel Vaughn, one of our nation's most decorated soldiers. He's a hero, and now our country's most secret weapon ... He's the first of his kind; the next evolution of Intelligence."
  • Unforgettable: "My name is Carrie Wells. Only a few people in the world have the ability to remember everything. I'm one of them."
  • "The rich and powerful take what they want; we steal it back for you. We provide... Leverage."
  • 1000 Ways to Die: "Death is everywhere. Most people try to avoid it; others can't get out of its way..."
  • El Chavo del ochonote  had three slightly different ones, although all of them announce the cast for that episode.
    • "¡Más ágil que una tortuga! ¡Más fuerte que un ratón! ¡Más noble que una lechuga! ¡Su escudo es un corazón! Es, ¡El Chapulín Colorado!"note  (As with El Chavo, it would then announce the cast for the episode.)
  • Tracker, every ep after "The Miracle". "This is Cirron, my home. One of six planets in the Migar federation. There was a prison break. 216 of the most violent criminals have disappeared into the city of Chicago. Finding them won't be easy. They aren't human. Luckily for Earth, neither am I".
  • "This program is about Unsolved Mysteries. Whenever possible, actual family members and police officials have participated in recreating the events. What you are about to see is not a news broadcast".
  • Earth: Final Conflict had several different opening narrations because of the cast changing over time.
  • "Soul Train! (Television's longest running music program, and) the hippest trip in America. (Sid McCoy then goes on to announce the musical guests and/or any special events for that week), and the Soul Train dancers. And now, here's your host, Don Cornelius!"
  • "Join us now as Jesse James and his gang of maverick mechanics rip, grind, and burn transforming ordinary vehicles into monster machines in... the Monster Garage."
  • Bewitched gained one in the Japanese dub (renamed My Wife is a Witch): "The wife's name is Samantha. The husband's name is Darrin. The very ordinary pair, fell in a very ordinary love, and had a very ordinary wedding. Just one unusual thing was...the wife was a witch!"
  • "...The fate of the Earth depends on these Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills!"
  • ''Raumpatrouille had a longish one:
    "What still sounds like a fairy tale today could be reality tomorrow. Here's a fairy tale from beyond tomorrow: There are no more nation-states, there is just humanity and her colonies in space. Distant planets are being settled, the sea bottom has been won for habitation. With as yet unimaginable velocities spaceships speed through our galactic system. One of these spaceships is the Orion, a tiny part of a gigantic defence system that protects Earth from threats from outer space. Let us accompany the Orion and her crew on their patrol duties on the edge of infinity!"
  • The New Howdy Doody Show:
    "From the Sunshine State Florida, home of Doodyville, USA, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, here he is! Buffalo Bob Smith!"
  • Private Benjamin (TV series):
    "Daddy thought I was fine the way I was. Mother thought I just needed a husband. I decided I needed a change."
  • Riget: (translated from the Danish)
    "The Kingdom Hospital rests on ancient marshland where the bleaching ponds once lay. Here the bleachers moistened their great spans of cloth. The steam evaporating from the wet cloth shrouded the place in permanent fog. Centuries later the hospital was built here. The bleachers gave way to doctors and researchers, the best brains in the nation and the most perfect technology. To crown their work they called the hospital The Kingdom. Now life was to be charted, and ignorance and superstition never to shake the bastions of science again. Perhaps their arrogance became too pronounced, and their persistent denial of the spiritual. For it is as if the cold and damp have returned. Tiny signs of fatigue are appearing in the solid, modern edifice. No living person knows it yet, but the gateway to the Kingdom is opening once again."
  • The Filmation live-action shows Shazam! and The Secrets of Isis each had opening narrations.
    (Shazam) "Billy Batson and his mentor travel the highways and byways of the land on a never-ending mission, to right wrongs, to develop understandings, and to seek justice for all.
    (The Secrets of Isis) "You will soar as the falcon soars. Run with the speed of gazelles."
  • "There are eight million stories in The Naked City. This is one of them."
  • Top Gear would always begin with Jeremy (or Richard on occasion) saying "Tonight..." and list a brief detail on the segments of the episode. As the series went on, they would focus on three things that have less and less to do with the actual segments.
  • Burn Notice, In Plain Sight and Royal Pains all have opening narrations. In fact, including Law & Order: Criminal Intent, though it's not really a USA original show, a lot of USA Network's shows have opening narrations.
  • Babylon 5 has a different one every season for the first 3 seasons (and the Pilot Movie), usually ending with, "The year is 22XX...the name of the place is...". However seasons 4 and 5 started using multiple different characters contributing lines of dialog one at a time to create the effect of a monologue.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
    • "In the future my son will lead mankind in a war against Skynet..." The second season uses a narrator, and gives a very long summary of the backstory and introduction of the major characters.
    • The series in general is very fond of this. Every episode, except for the pilot, start with one by Sarah that frames what happens during the episode. Sometimes it's done well, others not so much.
  • Heroes, oh so very much. In the first season it was with Mohinder's incredibly bad biology regarding evolution; fortunately they moved to poetry later.
    • This was a good move; the use of "The Second Coming" in the first episode of the third season is probably the best part of the season.
  • In The Invisible Man, the main character, Darian Fawkes, starts and ends each episode with a famous quote, bringing forward the basic theme of the episode.
  • Cade Foster, the main character of First Wave, begins each episode (except for the pilot) with a quatrain from the "hidden chapters" of the prophecies of Nostradamus and spends the episode trying to interpret the archaic wording into the show's reality.
  • Panel Games often start with some sort of opening narration, usually the host running off a few gags to warm the crowd up.
  • It's Garry Shandling's Show usually started with an opening narration by Garry.
  • Dragnet: "This is the city. Los Angeles, California. My name's Friday. I carry a badge."
  • Mulder and Scully often had a voice-over narrative for The X-Files intros. Likelihood increased dramatically for season finales, season premieres, 2-part episodes, and mythology episodes in general.
  • Happy Days has one in the "Love, American Style" pilot, provided by Richie Cunningham himself:
    "It's pretty hard to be sixteen and growing up. Maybe it was easier when my parents were young, but... now it's the 1950s and the world's really getting complicated. Now don't get me wrong, I—I have a great family. My father's in the hardware business, my mom does volunteer work for the Red Cross, my brother goes to college... and my sister wants to go to an orthodontist. My sister does, however, go to piano lessons and... I always get stuck walking her home. But today I don't mind, because... today's a big day. We're gonna be the first family on the block to get a television set. Heh, my sister has to tell everybody, but... I only told my best friend Potsie."
  • In the 1975 television revival of Ellery Queen, Queen tells the viewing audience, "In a few minutes, this person is about to be murdered" (or words to that effect). He then goes through a list of possible suspects, ending his introductory monologues by urging the viewer to follow the clues along with him as he cracks the case.
  • "Lassie! Lassie!" "Starring Tommy Rettig as Jeff Miller, Jan Clayton as his mother Ellen, George Cleveland as Gramps, and of course, Lassie."
    • "La-ssie! La-ssie!" "Starring June Lockhart, Hugh Reilly, Jon Provost as Timmy, and of course, Lassie."
  • The Netflix original show Samurai Gourmet begins with this, mentioning Rōnin, or a "masterless samurai":
    After retiring, he lost his title as a corporate employee and the support of his company.
    Takeshi Kasumi, 60 years old.
    This story is about a normal 60-year-old man who is helped by a masterless samurai, eating freely without being held back.
    A gourmet fantasy.
  • "And now for the next 30 minutes, As the World Turns, brought to you today by [name of first sponsor with advertising plug], and by [name of second sponsor with advertising plug]."
    • "As the World Turns. This portion brought to you today by [name of first sponsor with advertising plug], and by [name of second sponsor with advertising plug]."
  • Each Arrowverse live-action show starts with the lead character narrating the key points, with occasional variations.
    • In Legends of Tomorrow, the opening narration is provided by Rip Hunter in Season 1. After the focus shifts away from Rip in Seasons 2 and 3, the Legends take turns providing the narration (Season 2) or just leave it to Sara (Season 3). Most Season 2 narrations are similar enough, but Mick's takes the cake:
    Mick Rory: Seriously, you idiots haven't figured this out by now? It all started when we blew up the time pigs — the Time Masters. Now history's all screwed up, and it's up to us to unscrew it up, but half the time we screw things up even worse. So don't call us heroes, we're something else. We're Legends. (Beat) Who writes this crap, anyway?
  • Future Cop: "My name is Joe Cleaver. For fourteen years I've been partnered with the man on my left here, Bill Bundy. We never had a secret from each other, until now. This good-looking kid on my right, a rookie cop called Haven, he's the secret. He looks human, talks and acts human, but he's not. He's an android. A robot. The perfect cop. The cop of the future. A future cop."
  • Now and Again added an premise-explaining narration ahead of the opening credits after a few episodes, with the emphasis on how much Michael loves his wife, whom he now can't see on account of been declared dead and turned into a secret experimental super-guy.
  • In a weird reversal, Jake 2.0 had narration from Jake in its opening titles... which it started losing line by line, until by the end of its only season there was no narration in the titles. This was a good move, since, though it started out okay, some of the lines were kind of narmy ("I have these powers...!"). Meanwhile, about a third of the way into the season they started preceding the titles with a premise-explainer that rotated through the three non-Jake regulars, talking up how Jake had become the "ultimate human upgrade." So for a while the two forms of opening narration were overlapping, until the remnants of the Jake version were finally completely cut out.
  • "...Who do we work for? We work for Odd Squad!"
  • "Many tales have been told of Africa. But this is our story — a drama set in the heart our world, experienced as we live and breathe it. This is the story of a year that changed all our lives forever. Mothers struggled to raise their young; jealous rivals tore families apart; youngsters battled to find their place in the world. Every day, we were all put to the test, by the elements, by the seasons, and by each other. This is the story of our lives in a place they call Serengeti."