Updated 07:31 AM EDT, Sat, Oct 23, 2021

Thursday Night Football 2014 CBS Schedule & Theme Song: Jay Z & Rihanna to Perform 'Run This Town' in Opening

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Football has been much anticipated across the nation and, to make sure the wait was worth it, the National Football League is pulling out all the stops to make sure that it deserves its primetime slot beginning Sept. 11.

Each episode of "Thursday Night Football" will kick off with a bang as the football league and CBS Sports got Jay-Z and Rihanna--both undisputed pop icons of this generation--to perform the award-winning "Run This Town," which was chosen as the show's opening theme song, Fox Sports said.

Actor Don Cheadle from "House of Lies" will be an added bonus as he narrates each episode's preview, it added.

According to Variety, the opening--with the reel taken in an airplane hangar--will be customized each week to highlight the teams and rivalries in the divisions.

"This open combines one of music's biggest stars with one of the most dynamic actors in Hollywood," said CBS Sports creative director Pete Radovich, as quoted by the report. He produced and directed the opening sequence.

"The energy that both talents provide gives the opening to every Thursday night the big-game, primetime feel it deserves. It is a dream scenario for any director," he was also quoted as saying.

Precious resources were poured into the series so that it can rival the televised football action on Sunday and Monday nights, hosted by NBC and ESPN, respectively. Even ratings giants "The Big Bang Theory," "The Millers," "Two and a Half Men," and the new comedy series "The McCarthys" and "Elementary" were bumped down in the day's schedule to accommodate the show, Variety explained.

It's gonna be a Thursday night party, Hot New Hip Hop commented, with the nights chanelling hip-hop. In contrast, "Sunday Night Football" went with country, care of Carrie Underwood. Fansided said the Jay-Z and Rihanna choice was an upgrade from old intros featuring Cee Lo Green and Priyanka Chopra, which it said were not very effective.

The whole slate of the Thursday night games will be produced by CBS  with names like Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, said Variety. Tracy Wolfson will be reporting.

The 16-game schedule begins with a faceoff between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, and ends with a Saturday doubleheader on December 20, Hot New Hip Hop said. The NFL, as a whole, begins Thursday night, with Seattle Seahawks taking on the Green Bay Packers.

Variety added that the NFL Network will air pregame shows beginning 6 p.m. ET, with "NFL Thursday Night Kickoff" following at 7:30. The NFL action will be simulcasted on both the network and CBS from the second to the eighth week, and the NFL Network will air it exclusively from week 9 to 12 and week 14 to 16.

The season opener is on NBC, and CBS and the NFL Network will take over, the Washington Post explained. The NFL Network will take the helm on Oct. 30, except on a Thanksgiving Day game between the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, which will be on NBC.

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