Local Vibes

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 26: Zara Larsson attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for MTV)

It was officially announced that the MTV Video Music Awards are heading back to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The show will air live on MTV on Tuesday, September 12th.

The MTV VMAs were previously held here in New Jersey in 2019 hosted by Sebastian Maniscalco and in 2022 hosted by Jack Harlow, LL Cool J, and Nicki Minaj.

The fan-fill spectacle will take over New Jersey once again for 2023 while honoring the best music videos of the past year during the live ceremony.

“The return of the VMAs to the Prudential Center testifies to New Jersey’s enduring standing as a premier venue for large-scale entertainment events,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy in a press release. “As the home of some of the most internationally renowned names in the music industry, New Jersey is proud to once again partner with Paramount to showcase an array of exciting performances to a global audience. By hosting this highly anticipated spectacle, our state and local economies will also benefit from the thousands of visitors who will shop, dine, and stay in our local communities.”

The 2023 VMAs will air live on MTV on September 12th in more than 150 countries. The VMAs will be filled with performances, tributes, and appearances from music’s biggest stars.

Additional show details and announcements to come at a later date.


25 TV Show Theme Songs Written by Popular Musicians

  • The Wire

    Home Box Office (HBO)

    – IMDb user rating: 9.3
    – Years on the air: 2002–2008

    Tom Waits’ “Way Down in the Hole,” the theme song for the show, is actually from the 1987 album, “Franks Wild Years.” The album is told from the perspective of the titular Frank, and the song is gospel and, according to Waits, is the story of a “berserk evangelist” attempting to convert Frank. Each season of “The Wire” used a version of the song performed by a different artist and the show’s second season featured Waits’ version.

  • South Park

    Comedy Central

    – IMDb user rating: 8.7
    – Years on the air: 1997–present

    American metal band Primus wrote and performed the theme song from the raunchy animated series. According to its origin story, the song came about because Primus heard and enjoyed Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s animated short, “Spirit of Christmas.” Primus recorded the song but there were additional issues along the way, prompting them to speed up the melody and do some rerecording with the help of Primus frontman Les Claypool.

  • Orange Is the New Black

    Tilted Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 8.0
    – Years on the air: 2013–2019

    Russian-born musician Regina Spektor wrote the theme song “You’ve Got Time” specifically for the show. Spektor and the show’s creator, Jenji Kohan, had previously worked together when the singer was tapped to cover the theme song “Little Boxes” for Kohan’s show “Weeds” for the episode titled, “Mile Deep and a Foot Wide.”

  • The Proud Family

    Disney Enterprises

    – IMDb user rating: 6.4
    – Years on the air: 2001–2005

    Solange Knowles and Destiny’s Child sang the theme song for Disney Channel’s “The Proud Family.” Solange sang lead and wrote the song specifically for the show when she was just a teenager getting her start as an artist and just before releasing her first studio album, “Solo Star,” in 2003.

  • BoJack Horseman

    Tornante Company

    – IMDb user rating: 8.7
    – Years on the air: 2014–2020

    While the show’s theme song wasn’t specifically written for “BoJack Horseman,” when executive producer Noel Bright—a noted Black Keys fan—reached out to the band’s drummer, Patrick Carney, the rocker happened to have something in mind for the series. Carney and his uncle, Ralph Carney, began working on a track together, which Bright loved and was approved by Netflix to be the show’s opening theme.

  • Gilmore Girls

    Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 8.1
    – Years on the air: 2000–2007

    Carole King’s “Where You Lead,” which became the theme song for the popular show about mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, was originally recorded in 1971 for her album, “Tapestry.” King had grown weary of the song and wasn’t performing it as much anymore because she felt it wasn’t empowering. “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino called King when the show was nothing more than a pilot, and the singer called her daughter, Louise Goffin, and they got together to rework the lyrics and rerecord the song.

  • A Different World

    Bill Cosby

    – IMDb user rating: 6.9
    – Years on the air: 1987–1993

    Jaleesa Vinson-Taylor, who played Denise Huxtable’s roommate on “A Different World,” was originally set to compose and sing the theme song for the popular “The Cosby Show” spinoff. However, singer Phoebe Snow would step in to perform the song for its first season. In its second season, Glynn Turman, the ex-husband of Aretha Franklin, joined the cast as Colonel Bradford Taylor, but it was actually the show’s executive producer, Debbie Allen, who reached out to Franklin to lead the theme. She agreed, albeit with a few interesting conditions due to her fear of flying.

  • The Big Bang Theory

    Chuck Lorre Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 8.1
    – Years on the air: 2007–2019

    The Canadian alternative band Barenaked Ladies sings the theme song for this well-loved comedy. Co-creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady went to a BNL concert and were taken with a song on cosmological theory. Lead singer Ed Robertson was reluctant at first because he wasn’t sure if other singers and bands had been approached to also write a theme song for the show and he didn’t want to waste his time. Luckily, he was the only one. And thus, “The History of Everything” was born.

  • One Day at a Time

    Act III Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 8.2
    – Years on the air: 2017–2020

    Singer Gloria Estefan sang an updated version of “This Is It” for the 2017 reboot of the popular Norman Lear sitcom that originally ran from 1975–1984. Her version featured Latin rhythms to represent the Cuban American family taking over apartment 402. When Netflix decided not to keep the show for a fourth season, Pop TV picked up where the network left off, but it had to leave the theme song behind.

  • That '70s Show

    20th Century Fox Television

    – IMDb user rating: 8.0
    – Years on the air: 1998–2006

    “In the Street,” the theme song for the long-running comedy, was originally performed by ‘70s band Big Star and was released on the band’s 1972 debut album “#1 Record.” For the show’s first season, a reworked version of the track by Todd Griffin from ‘90s band Graveyard Train hit the air. For season two, however, the band Cheap Trick had been brought in to work the theme over with their own flavor, and it stuck until the show ended in 2006.

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  • Smallville


    – IMDb user rating: 7.5
    – Years on the air: 2001–2011

    Alabama alternative rock band Remy Zero sang the “Smallville” theme song “Save Me.” The song came from their album “The Golden Hum.” As an added fun fact: “Save Me” had to be shortened to just over 50 seconds to be included in the superhero series. The original song is over four minutes long.

  • All That

    Tollin/Robbins Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 7.5
    – Years on the air: 1994–2005

    TLC sang the theme song for this classic Nickelodeon show. They were also musical guests in its first season and performed in several skits. Known as the “Saturday Night Live” for kids, “All That” was revived and returned to television in 2019 with a new cast as well as the original theme song.

  • Freaks and Geeks

    Apatow Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 8.8
    – Years on the air: 1999–2000

    Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” ran during the opening credits of the series that has since become a cult classic, despite having a one-season run. Originally released on Jett’s self-released, self-titled solo album in 1980, Boardwalk Records reissued the album the following year and chose to name the album after the now-iconic rebel record. As the story goes, Jett got some help from the legendary band The Who, who let the rocker record her album at their recording facilities.

  • One Tree Hill

    Warner Bros. Television

    – IMDb user rating: 7.7
    – Years on the air: 2003–2012

    Singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” is the theme song for the soapy teen drama “One Tree Hill.” It came from the artist’s 2003 debut album, “Chariot.” For a few seasons, the show did not use the theme song but brought it back with various artists like Aimee Mann and Matthew Ryan covering the song throughout the show’s eighth season.

  • Dog the Bounty Hunter

    A+E Networks

    – IMDb user rating: 5.0
    – Years on the air: 2003–2012

    Ozzy Osbourne created and performed the theme song for “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” Duane Lee “Dog” Chapman made a brief appearance on the reality series, “The Osbournes,” and even had a lu’au with the rocker and his family.

  • Entourage

    Home Box Office (HBO)

    – IMDb user rating: 8.4
    – Years on the air: 2004–2011

    “Superhero,” the show’s theme song, was performed by alternative band Jane’s Addiction. The song came from the band’s 2003 album “Strays.” It included a particularly long opening sequence at one minute and 17 seconds.

  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

    DNA Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 6.7
    – Years on the air: 2002–2006

    Brian Causey wrote the theme for “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius,” and a shorter version of the song was used and performed by Causey’s surf rock band, Man or Astro-man? The band Bowling for Soup would later perform an extended version of the theme song, which would be used for the 2001 film “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius,” both on the soundtrack and in the end credits.

  • Malcolm in the Middle

    Satin City Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 8.0
    – Years on the air: 2000–2006

    The theme song, “Boss of Me,” was performed by the band They Might Be Giants, specifically for the sitcom after the show’s creator Linwood Boomer called the group’s songwriter, John Flansburgh, with a very set vision for the song. The theme song won a Grammy in 2001 for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media. An extended version of the song was also featured on the soundtrack for “Malcolm in the Middle.”

  • The Drew Carey Show

    Mohawk Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 6.8
    – Years on the air: 1995–2004

    Robert “Bob” “Mad Dog” McGuire wrote “Moon Over Parma,” the theme song for “The Drew Carey Show,” as a jokey homage to the Cleveland area. Comedian Drew Carey had discovered the song when he stopped by a local spot in Cleveland called the House of Swing. McGuire wrote it back in 1983 for a comedy show on Cleveland television, never knowing that over a decade later it would be his big break.

  • Phenom

    Columbia Pictures Television

    – IMDb user rating: 6.8
    – Years on the air: 1993–1994

    Carly Simon composed and sang “The Promise and the Prize,” the theme song from “Phenom.” Sadly, even the songwriter’s distinguished contribution to the show couldn’t save the comedy before it was axed after its first season.

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  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Mutant Enemy

    – IMDb user rating: 8.2
    – Years on the air: 1997–2003

    One of the first career-making events for rock band Nerf Herder was landing the theme song for the ‘90s cult classic TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Speaking to Time Magazine about making the song, frontman Parry Gripp recalled: “We got the gig because they were running out of money and needed something cheap. They asked all of the small-time bands they knew to come up with ideas.”

  • The Affair


    – IMDb user rating: 7.9
    – Years on the air: 2014–2019

    Grammy-winning recording artist Fiona Apple retooled a previously unreleased song for the Showtime series’ theme song “Container,” which came about after “The Affair” creator Sarah Treem approached the musician to take on the theme. Apple agreed, and as a result, the eerie and haunting tune was born.

  • Sanford and Son

    Tandem Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 7.9
    – Years on the air: 1972–1977

    Music legend Quincy Jones is responsible for composing the memorable and catchy theme song for Norman Lear’s 1972 sitcom starring funnyman Redd Foxx. According to Jones, “The Streetbeater” was based on Foxx. Jones was approached to work on the theme by Lear’s business partner, Bud Yorkin, who had just purchased the rights to the British sitcom, “Steptoe and Son,” on which “Sanford and Son” is based.

  • Mixed-ish

    Khalabo Ink Society

    – IMDb user rating: 6.3
    – Years on the air: 2019–2021

    Mariah Carey sings the theme song for this show, which is a prequel spinoff of the sitcom “black-ish.” The Grammy-winning songstress, who has voiced her love for both “black-ish” and “grown-ish,” penned the song “In the Mix” to serve as the theme song for the 2019 spinoff.

  • King of the Hill

    Deedle-Dee Productions

    – IMDb user rating: 7.3
    – Years on the air: 1997–2010

    “Yahoos and Triangles,” the theme song for the animated sitcom created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, was composed and performed by the alt-rock band The Refreshments. Lead guitarist Brian Blush said getting the gig was a bit of a fluke, saying, “Fox Television put out kind of a casting call to pretty much all the record labels.”