NBC is ditching its iconic Sunday Night Football theme that has opened the game for the last decade. The network will replace with with a new song performed again by Carrie Underwood, who sang the last theme song.
Technically, Sunday Night Football will open on Thursday, September 8 with a rematch between Super Bowl 50 teams Carolina Panthers visiting the defending champion Denver Broncos. NBC will unveil the new theme called “Oh, Sunday Night” before the game.
“Oh, Sunday Night” is inspired by Underwood’s duet with Miranda Lambert, “Somthin’ Bad,” according to the Associated Press. The song will feature more football appropriate lyrics and also tweak the arrangement.
The original theme song was a take on the Joan Jett song, “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” and was previously performed for SNF by Pink and Faith Hill. Underwood took over the singing responsibilities in 2013, but heading into its second decade run, Fred Gaudelli, NBC’s executive producer of Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football, was looking for a new sound to open the game.
“The song had lasted 10 years, but I didn’t know how much more we could stay with the song without it feeling routine,” Gaudelli told the AP.
NBC welcomed Underwood’s creative input and she started playing with Somthin’ Bad and submitted a demo to Gaudelli. She then worked with the song’s original writers (Chris DeStefano, Brett James and Priscilla Renea) to start the song softer and build to a peak to “heighten the excitement as well as adding a bridge to fit together with a new video introduction,” according to the AP.
“It has such a great stomp-clap, a ‘We Will Rock You’ kind of feel to it,” Underwood said. “This is such a high energy song.”