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Remote Patrol

Giving credits where they’re due — we rate the best and worst opening-title sequences

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First, the bad news: Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS, Mondays, 9-9:30 p.m.) doesn’t have a new opening title sequence. After featuring some of TV’s most creative credits over the past three years, the sitcom chose to stick with last season’s breathless action-movie spoof. Plenty of other series, both old and new, are making fresh starts this fall, however. Herewith, an opinionated guide:

Snoops (ABC, Sundays, 9-10 p.m.) One of the season’s worst shows, David E. Kelley’s distaff spy dramedy boasts one of the best openers. The style feels both retro and futuristic: A female eye skirts across the screen a la James Bond, and the stars’ mugs are framed by high-tech viewfinders. Bonus points for the cool accompanying cover of Blondie’s ”One Way or Another.” A

Now and Again (CBS, Fridays, 9-10 p.m.) Witty riffs on Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches of the male form illustrate the premise of a perfect human specimen designed to work as a government agent. Nice touch: A brain hovers over the ”Created by Glenn Gordon Caron” credit. If only Narada Michael Walden and Sunny Hilden’s lite-soul tune weren’t so trite (”We never know how good it is until it goes”). B

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, Mondays, 9-10 p.m.) The opening voice-over begins and ends with the same words (”In the criminal justice system… These are their stories”) as the original L&O. The cast members’ photos have the same pixilated-newspaper look. The theme sounds like the same old song played in a different key. We get it — it’s a spin-off! C

Martial Law (CBS, Saturdays, 9-10 p.m.) The kitschy faux-Oriental music has been ditched in favor of a more conventional action motif, and latecomer Arsenio Hall now shares top billing with Sammo Hung. Ah, but thankfully, some things never change: They kept the shot of comely Kelly Hu in a blue bikini. B

Freaks and Geeks (NBC, Saturdays, 8-9 p.m.) Joan Jett’s punky ”Bad Reputation” perfectly complements footage of the titular misfits’ yearbook photo session (the geeks dress up, the freaks dress down). Only Fox’s Hollywood-dealmaker satire, Action, features a more apt cut — Warren Zevon’s ”Even a Dog Can Shake Hands.” One beef: Why no picture of SCTV vet/beleaguered dad Joe Flaherty? A-

Chicago Hope (CBS, Thursdays, 9-10 p.m.) The aging hospital drama reflects its new look by introducing incoming docs Barbara Hershey, Lauren Holly, and Carla Gugino in strobing shades of red and blue. The ambulance-like visual effects are hypnotic, but Mark Isham’s old-fashioned music reassures viewers the terminally square Hope hasn’t become too hip. B-

Veronica’s Closet (NBC, Mondays, 8:30-9 p.m.) At least they got rid of that horrendous ”She’s Got Everything” song. It’s been replaced by a Moby track as lingerie magnate Kirstie Alley and Co. cavort with underwear-sporting models. The whole thing looks like an early-’90s MTV video — no wonder Dan Cortese seems right at home. C-

Norm (ABC, Wednesdays, 8:30-9 p.m.) An amusing idea: SNL vet Norm Macdonald intros each episode by explaining its alphabet-soup rating (e.g., TV-PG-VD — huh-huh, he said VD). Yet it doesn’t yield many laughs, just like this sitcom. The theme’s words prove all too true: ”Too bad that you’re not as smart/ As you thought you were in the first place…” D+