The show starts here: viewers’ interactions with recent television serials’ main title sequences


  • Annette Davison



Recent title sequences for high production value television serials are generally one of two kinds: either extremely minimal, appearing part way through the episode with credits dispersed through the show, or as an extended format of c. ninety seconds’ duration, at or near the start of the show. In a previous book chapter I presented analyses of examples of the latter, arguing that the sequences form an efficient part of the brand image for both the show and commissioning channel. In order to explore the extent to which such sequences are watched or skipped by viewers, and how such decisions are made I organised a series of preliminary focus groups in February 2012 with participants who identified themselves as regular viewers of television serials, the findings of which are presented here. Two forms of stimuli were used: a main title sequence and an end credit sequence from a serial where different music is selected for this sequence for each episode. Analysis of the discussions indicates that the decision to view these sequences is dependent on a variety of factors. While for some the titles are required viewing, the participants in the groups are more likely to persistently view an end credit sequence where the music changes with the episode than an unchanging main title sequence. Perhaps most surprising, given the increase in opportunities for mobile viewing, is that for the participants of these groups television serials continue to be associated with social viewing in a domestic setting.




How to Cite

Davison, A. (2013). The show starts here: viewers’ interactions with recent television serials’ main title sequences. SoundEffects - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Sound and Sound Experience, 3(1-2), 6–22.