Shows that have cold openings.

A cold opening is usually described as some of the show before the actual credits/main title rolls.

This seems to have become pretty popular as of late (“as of late” here meaning the last decade or so).
I can think of a number of hour long shows that use/used one: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, House, Supernatural (sometimes).

A few sitcoms have been known to use them too, Roseanne, That 70s Show, and Scrubs are a few to come to mind immediately.

And then we have the main show widely known for them of course: Saturday Night Live.
What other shows use them?
I’m not counting “Previously on”'s as a cold opening.

Malcolm in the Middle

Cold Case:D

Breaking Bad.

I didn’t know there was a name for it. I like it. Credits by themselves are sometimes interesting (Deadwood, Carnivale, Rome, True Blood( but are usually a waste of time). There’s only 42 minutes of program – get on with it already!

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Sometimes with elaborate musical numbers, sometimes with puppets, usually just Craig goofing around.

Pretty sure Bones does this.

Each time House comes on, I make the same “massive attack” joke. It’s a wonder my wife stays with me :smiley:

The Office
It’s Always Sunny

Six Feet Under (IIRC). We always saw the demise of that episode’s corpse prior to the opening.

Two and a Half Men, but there is a tiny bit of music at the beginning. Seinfeld too. Do those count?

The Big Bang Theory, which also shows the credits during the cold opening, before giving the best theme song withthe extremely cool graphics.

Don’t most shows do cold opens?

It was known in the old days as a “pre-credit sequence” and most dramatic shows in the 1960s used them: **Bonanza; The Wild, Wild West; Burke’s Law; The Addams Family; Star Trek;
The Twilight Zone **, etc. It was also used in Hill Street Blues and currently in **House, ** and Castle.

Castle. Covert Affairs.

Unless you are counting the “clung-clung” Law and Order does it too.

One advantage shows that do this have is when they are re-edited for reruns, they can chop off the preliminaries without much grief and without affecting the story line much. Reruns are usually shortened to allow for more commercials, and something has to be trimmed to do so.

A bumper at the end (tag sequence) may be sacrificed, too.

Dragnet (multiple versions)

All the Jack Webb produced shows used them. They’re a great way to build tension and draw in the audience.

A cold opening, eh?

I guess they needed something
:: puts on sunglasses ::
to break the ice.


Flashpoint, which often runs the title sequence so far into the show that it usually elicits a “Oh yeah, they didn’t run the titles yet, did they?”.

Yup, I was going to say that many of the old Westerns I watch on Encore do it.

It’s not exactly popular with folks around here, but Leverage does this. In its first season, Leverage had no main title at all, just a very understated set of titles/credits that ran through the cold open (and I would love to see them go back to that format).

I don’t know if that counts, because there is the little speech about two separate yet equally important groups.