Why is The Good Fight title sequence so late?

The Good Fight’s opening title sequence is always an arresting watch, with exploding luxury items and office equipment boldly set to Renaissance music.

But why does it sometimes fall well into the episode? Sometimes it’s up front…  other times it can be 17 minutes before the credits roll. I haven’t been able to track down any explanation for this, but I feel it’s not the only show to follow this idea.

Is it nervousness around viewers changing channels once the credit sequence rolls? Playing it late, the viewer is presumably already invested in the storyline.

Perhaps it is used as a circuit breaker from the drama, or maybe it’s just to stop the viewers Skipping Intro, which is heavily encouraged by streaming services.

What other shows hold off on their titles until the viewer is hooked?

17 Comments:

  1. I don’t know this show, but I’ve seen the opening credits or credit titling style used many times. It seems to be the flow (as mentioned in another comment) and the emotion of the credit placement for impact and presentation. I suppose wherever the director or producer thinks or feels the crediting should appear naturally for the best effect.

  2. Everything about The Good Fight is reflecting the state of America today. The confusion, the puzzlement and the lies. So it stands to reason that the credits could be anywhere in the episodes as well.

  3. The Good Fight isn’t made for TV, it airs on All Access/Paramount+. Premium streaming channels don’t have to worry ad breaks, or even run times — some shows have episodes with variable lengths. They just have to keep people engaged and subscribing.

    So it depends whether they think the story is suited by credits then act one, or a teaser, credits then act one, or dive straight into a a high impact act one then credits when there is a natural break in the action (though I think if it’s half way through, they may as well put them at the end).

    • … actually that’s not entirely true … there are two tiers to CBS All Access, one has ads, the other doesn’t … in the US you can watch The Good Fight on either …

  4. … a quote from co-creator Robert King “We’re trying to drag people in. Also, I think people are in it before they realize, ‘Oh, this is a TV show’. Our first acts are always the longest — like 19 to 22 pages long. It’s always trying to get people to forget they’re in a TV show for a little while and then there’s that percussive element to having that title there.” …

  5. I don’t get it either, but I have seen it happen in shows where the opening titles don’t play at the very beginning of an episode (or after any recaps). I seem to recall an episode of Veronica Mars where the opening titles didn’t play until a fair way into the episode.

    Similar has happened with Monty Python’s Flying Circus. I recall an episode where the closing credits played at around the start of the episode, and another where the opening title sequence didn’t play until very late into the episode.

  6. The Good Wife liked late opening titles as well. Which maybe made sense given it was on CBS and viewers were more likely to channel change during the opener on FTA than they are on streaming.
    The Good Fight opener is magnificent though, so I’ll take it whenever in the episode it’s served up.

  7. Alias also had the opening sequence later in the episode than most other U.S. TV shows. Alias’ Wikipedia page has the following somewhat explanation for it: “ Alias is unusual for an American drama series in that the opening credits do not run until the end of the first long act, sometimes as late as 19 minutes into the episode. In some respects, this mimics the James Bond films, which likewise feature sometimes-lengthy pre-credits sequences. Depending on the demands of a particular episode, the credit sequence is occasionally dropped as the actor credits play over a scene; on those occasions, the series title does not appear on screen until the final fade out.” So it basically has to do with flow from act to act in any particular episode. I suspect the same applies to The Good Fight and I kind of remember The Good Wife also had their opening sequence sometimes after act I or act II in…

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