Opening credits (TV series)

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The opening credits are shown at the beginning of a television series . In addition to the production and distribution company, it lists the main actors as well as regularly those responsible for the staff. TV series usually have a constant opening credits in each episode, to which a distinctive and memorable theme melody , a theme song or a jingle sounds.

While feature films the film leader is often a kind of introduction and is simply displayed in the current movie to prevent it to bypass the copyright can be easily omitted, it is in series mostly a compilation of individual scenes already broadcast episodes or extra-twisted material to introduce the main cast to the audience. In other cases, the opening credits of a series summarize basic content and processes that are intended to facilitate understanding - especially for new viewers. For example, the opening credits of the series Powerpuff Girls explain how the protagonists got their superpowers.

Since the 1960s, US and British series have also had the phenomenon of having the episode begin with a short sequence, the prologue, before the opening credits, in order to create a first little suspense. This is called " cold open " in the media language. Examples are With Umbrella, Charm and Melon , Spaceship Enterprise , Scrubs , Malcolm in the Middle , Navy CIS , Lost or Breaking Bad . The prologue can also be used to remind the viewer of the story content of past episodes if these are of importance for the story of the following episode.

The order in which the people are named in the opening credits can be different. On the one hand there is the possibility of naming in alphabetical order, on the other hand a staggering according to the popularity or the fee. The terms starring for the former as well as with and and for the last and penultimate person underline the different positions of the actors in a non-alphabetic arrangement.


  • Alexander Böhnke, Rembert Hüser, Georg Stanitzek (eds.): The book to the opening credits: "The title is a shot" . Vorwerk 8, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-930916-72-X .
  • Norbert Mengel: It starts with the overture. Developments in series opening and closing: from the “necessary evil” to creative freedom - and back. In: Irmela Schneider (ed.): Series worlds. Structures of American series from four decades. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1995, ISBN 3-531-12703-9 , pp. 19-41.
  • Éric Vérat: Génériques! Les séries américaines décryptées. Les moutons électriques, Lyon 2012, ISBN 978-2-36183-056-4 .

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