Dawson's Creek is about to get a major fan-demanded upgrade on Netflix! After years of fan outcry, the show's original theme song, Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait," is set to be restored to the series on the streaming platform. Netflix previously opened the teen drama with Jann Arden's "Run Like Mad."
The streamer made the exciting announcement on Friday by sharing the opening credits of the show, rightly restored with "I Don't Want to Wait." During Dawson's Creek's original run from 1998 to 2003 on The WB, Cole's song was used as theme song. Arden's song replaced Cole's as the theme in the series' DVD and streaming releases due to rights issues. The move to restore "I Don't Want to Wait" comes after Cole, in a 2018 HuffPost essay, said she was open to working out a deal with Sony to restore her song as Dawson's Creek theme song across all streaming platforms.
Dawson's Creek fans, I'm thrilled to announce that — at long last — you will hear Paula Cole's iconic song I Don't Want to Wait when you watch the opening credits! pic.twitter.com/quRggJQvn4— Netflix (@netflix) September 3, 2021
"Everyone keeps asking me, 'Why won't you let them have the song?'" she wrote. "Of course I would consider it! I'm right here! Come talk to me, Sony. Let's negotiate! I'm an independent artist open for business! But I won't give my music for free and I don't think any artist should give their music for free unless it's helping out another independent artist ― and then you renegotiate once the project is successful. I think giving one's art for free to giant corporations hurts artists and musicians and society across the board."
Although Cole's song is the theme song fans most associate with Dawson's Creek, it actually was not the first choice. Initially, executive producers Kevin Williamson and Paul Stupin considered using Alanis Morrissette's "Hand in My Pocket" as the title song, though they never acquired the rights. After considering existing songs, including "Run Like Mad," The WB ran a commercial for the show with "I Don't Want to Wait," and WB executives suggested that could be the theme song. Although the song became the title song for the U.S. broadcast of Dawson's Creek, Sony Pictures Television did not get the rights to home video releases or streaming, and "Run Like Mad" was ultimately used on streaming services, including on Netflix.
However, less than a year after Dawson's Creek made its return to Netflix, The New York Times reported Cole and Sony reached a deal to restore "I Don't Want to Wait" as the theme song. As part of the deal, Cole was said to have re-recorded a new master for "I Don't Want to Wait" and then negotiated a contract for streaming usage of the new recording. At the time, Cole said, "it's wonderful to have waited this out. I feel like it's not just vindication for me, but for the fans, and for all artists." Dawson's Creek is available for streaming on Netflix.