Dawson’s Creek Comes to Netflix in November Sans Theme Song

Remember to secure the digital rights to your songs, kids. Netflix has acquired the original run of Dawson’s Creek save for one big missing piece.

Dawson's Creek Netflix
Photo: Sony Pictures Television

Beloved ‘90s teen drama Dawson’s Creek is coming to Netflix in November and all is right with the world. Except for…well, this one thing. Netflix announced Dawson’s Creek’s arrival via its Twitter account and tried to get ahead of some bad news.

Yes, unfortunately none of the 128 episodes of Dawson’s Creek coming to Netflix will be accompanied by the show’s absolutely iconic theme song: Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Wanna Wait.” To the properly ‘90sified brain, even the mention of the words “Dawson’s” and/or “Creek” will trigger the opening bars of that song as a Pavlovian response. “I don’t wanna wait. For our liiiiivesss to be ova!”

Dawson’s Creek without that theme song is unthinkable. It’s also been the sad state of affairs for awhile now. Netflix isn’t unique in not securing the rights to Cole’s song for the use of Dawson’s Creek distribution. The theme song hasn’t accompanied Dawson’s Creek on DVD and Blu-Ray releases for the past decade. 

The show’s executive producer Paul Stupin revealed to Huffington Post in 2012 that Sony didn’t see the need to spring for the rights to the song for the show’s second life in the home video realm, given how low the initial DVD sales were. And that decision has carried over to its digital afterlife. In fact, the series has already resided on Netflix once before, arriving on May 20, 2012 without the original theme song. We just didn’t make as big a deal about it then because no one realized how lucrative complaining about changes from our childhood was online yet. 

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In any case, episodes of the series on Netflix will now be preceded by  Jann Arden’s “Run Like Mad,” as has been the case for previously video and digital releases. The song was actually recorded as the original theme song for the show and Sony has retained the rights to it through all these years. 

If that won’t get the job done, you can always just put the intro on mute and try to sync up your own theme song for the show. Why not Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” for some atmosphere? 

Dawson’s Creek first premiered in 1998 on The WB (which would later rebrand as The CW). The show was an enormous hit for the network, and helped to establish its teen-centric programming for decades to come. It also made big stars of its main cast: James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, and Michelle Williams.