Monday, March 23, 2015

How important are TV titles?

Here's the short answer:  Very.   Especially now when there are so many choices… and so many titles. A good title might not lure viewers but a bad one will surely drive them away.

In addition to whatever other problems it had, SELFIE was a truly terrible title. It just sounded so faux hip and trendy, and frankly “so five minutes ago.” Shows with negative connotations fight a real uphill battle. COUGAR TOWN just screamed “creepy.” Good luck getting women over 40 to watch a show called TROPHY WIFE.

TERRIERS was a good show with a bad title.  No one knew what it meant.  

My current favorite show is THE GOOD WIFE but honestly, that title kept me from watching the show when it debuted. I thought it was going to be a soap opera disguised as a lawyer show. Happily, it’s a classic disguised as a network show.

Some titles can confuse audiences. HAPPY ENDINGS. If you’re a pervert like me that suggests massage parlors and handjobs. Imagine my disappointment when that wasn’t what the show was about. Other more innocent people might have thought HAPPY ENDINGS was another fairy tale show like ONCE UPON A TIME. And since they never did a story where Little Red Riding Hood met urban hipsters those expectations were not met. When you see that a show is named MANHATTAN don’t you sort of think it’s about New York? The Manhattan Project is not your first association. A more appropriate title might be KABOOM. Just a suggestion.

We even had a little trouble with CHEERS at first. Before the show caught on there were those who assumed by the title the series was about high school cheerleaders. Seeing Norm must’ve really befuddled them then.

One of the worst titles in recent years is HALT AND CATCH FIRE. What the fuck does that mean? It just sounds like a random command. FREEZE AND MAKE BLINTZES.

And then there was EXTANT. That was always my fear on becoming a contestant on PASSWORD. The word I would get is “extant” and everyone in America would know I had no idea what that word meant. If your show title could be mistaken for one of those eye-chart sounding arthritis drugs then it’s a bad title.

Or just using initials when they mean nothing to us. GCB. The real title was Good Christian Bitches but ABC was skittish. So they went to initials which told the audience nothing.

Producers sometime go the opposite way though, and make their titles too generic. THE JOB, GO ON, TURN, MOMS AND DADS, and GIRLS are examples. Or just stringing words together to create phrases like FRIENDS WITH BETTER LIVES. They sound generic even if they’re not.

And then there are titles that sound alike. BAD TEACHER and BAD JUDGE. I guess by putting “Bad” in the title networks think they’re edgy. Along the same lines, another trend I feel has backfired is putting profanity in the title but not saying the words. DON’T TRUST THE B**** IN APT 23 or $#@& MY DAD SAYS. It’s bad enough networks can’t say those words. Why promote that you can’t by using this B**$@% tactic?

Other similar titled shows tend to have city names. CHICAGO P.D., CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO HOPE, CHICAGO CODE. And then there are the R shows. RESURRECTION, REDEMPTION, REVOLUTION, REVENGE, RECKLESS. Really?

A couple of years ago there was a sitcom called PARTNERS that not only had the same title as an earlier series named PARTNERS but also stole the premise. Classy.

Another danger is making your title too long. Yes, you want to stand out but HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS (FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE) is a mouthful. Who’s going to say, “Hey, did you see HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS (FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE) last night?” You’ll never have a water cooler show if it takes the length of the office break just to say the title of the show. And good luck getting that on the back of a show jacket. 

I tend to prefer short titles; one word preferably. SCANDAL is a great title. Simple, eye catching, and intriguing. HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER? also gets your attention although it's a big long. But Shonda Rhimes knows what she’s doing. THE BLACKLIST is another personal favorite. What’s yours?

Titles make a difference. Make yours short, snappy, and to play it safe tack on STAR WARS to the front of it.

78 comments:

ScottyB said...

I've run into the show-titling thing with friends when a discussion involved Bob Newhart.

"The Bob one where he's a psychologist?"
"No, the Bob one where he runs an inn".

croquemore said...

I think titles that work today are Black-ish and Modern Family. They both succinctly explain the shows. I thought Raising Hope was a good title as well. I don't understand The Middle (the show or the title,) The Good Wife title turned me off immediately, but has since become my favorite show (Thanks Ken, for recommending it)

I think a title that works, only when you do some research is Penny Dreadful. I didn't know what to expect and had to look it up. Now that I know, it's an intriguing concept, yet sometimes a plodding show.

croquemore said...

ScottyB - You forgot the Bob Newhart show where he was a comic book author. This one, appropriately titled "Bob." was created by former Cheers alums Bill Steinkellner, Cheri Steinkellner, and Phoef Sutton.

ScottyB said...

Good post by Ken today. Always a relevant topic, and why car companies spend the boatloads they do on names for their new car models.

For me, 'The Fugitive' was one of the best TV-show titles. (Short, sweet, to the point -- and who wouldn't be intrigued with life on the lam? Works way better than 'Looking For The One-Armed Man'.) 'How I Met Your Mother' was a perfect title for that show.

In a stroke of genius,'M*A*S*H' served as an educational title. Before the TV show, most of us didn't know what a mobile army surgical hospital (or heck, even the Korean War) was.

That said, wild horses couldn't drag me to watch 'Selfie' for no reason other than I despise that word with every atom of my being and wish it would just fucking die already.

Oat Willie said...

If I wanted to peddle a rip-off of "Absolutely Fabulous" I'd call it "Broad City".

ScottyB said...

@croquemore: I totally forgot about that one since it was such a blip in the TV schedule back then. At least one account had Newhart saying something like "the only thing left was to just name it Bob."

But your comment about comic book artist reminded me of a one-season-wonder show from the '70s: 'My World And Welcome To It' with William Windom and Lisa Gerrisen, who was undeniably one of the most ubiquitous kid TV stars of the day. I seem to remember liking it.

Stu West said...

The one that annoys me is titles that have to be said with a specific inflection. I quite liked '90s sitcom It's Like, You Know..., but try using that title in a sentence.

Anonymous said...

At least now if the cops come knocking, I'll have a defence for googling "how to get away with murder"

A title isn't that important for me. It's the little blurbs that get me into things.

Jason said...

Without looking up the actual show, I believe "Halt and catch fire" is a (joke) low-level computer instruction.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

"The Sopranos" with the font/title was very good.
"The X-Files" is another. "Ray Donovan" takes minimal to another level. No show music, no cast credits at the beginning- just black & white lettering- "Ray Donovan" I kind of like actually.
Plenty of comedies titles work- "Three's Company" "Married with Children" "Seinfeld"- you know what you're getting, --LL

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Jason: you are correct. So while that title is impenetrable to a lot of people it has meaning for the specific audience they were trying to attract.

As titles, I quite like THE BIG BANG THEORY, THE GOOD WIFE (with its implied irony), THE AMERICANS, and BETTER CALL SAUL (nice rhyming, as well as a call-back to its precursor). But titles are rarely what influence me to watch or not watch a show. Music I dislike can turn me right off...

wg

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

My favourite titles are:

24 (Simple)
Everybody Loves Raymond (explains the premise brilliantly)
That 70s Show (Took the idea that that's what people would end up calling it anyway)
And of course,
Frasier. Nice and succinct.

The ones I hated were ones like "The Cosby Show" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show", where they were named after the actor but the character wasn't even named that! And it pains me to say it, because The Dick Van Dyke show is one of my favourite shows of all time.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Speaking of THE GOOD WIFE, Ken, a Friday question: much is being made in terms of Internet speculation of the fact that Alicia and Kalinda have not been seen on-screen together for nearly two years now. I don't have the data to hand, but their last physical meeting (as opposed to the occasional phone call) was sometime mid-season 4. No one is saying they have to be friends, but even when Will died their only interaction was a few sentences on the phone (which was quite possibly recorded without the actors being present at the same time). Internet commentators tend to blame Margulies, on the basis that she is the show's star and a producer on the series.

I don't imagine you know anything about what's going on behind the scenes, but have you ever worked on a show where two leads were kept apart for so long? Does it seem odd to you?

wg

Anonymous said...

BREAKING BAD. Best show title. Best show. Of all time.

Rashad Khan said...

Unless it's a series with the star's name in the title, I think you need to keep it under four words (although there are exceptions, of course). As you say, Ken, you don't want to waste half the conversation just on getting the name out.

SER said...

Shows named after the series star are effective if in the case of COSBY and DICK VAN DYKE, it's technically misleading. However, if those shows had been called THE HUXTABLES or ROB PETRIE, we'd probably still refer to them as "Cosby" and "Dick Van Dyke."

VALERIE is a popular counter example to naming your series after the star. When Valerie Harper left, it became VALERIE'S FAMILY and eventually THE HOGAN FAMILY. (And since this was before Prince changed his name, there were no "Series Formerly Known as VALERIE" jokes).

What's interesting to me is that VALERIE said nothing as a series title. I love Valerie Harper but she's a great comic actress not a comic brand. Bill Cosby was this (sadly very past tense). So was Dick Van Dyke. In those cases, it makes all the sense in the world to name the series after the "brand." Same with SEINFELD, as he was a popular stand-up comic and the series was an extension of his stand-up routine.

SER said...

Regarding titles in general, I've noticed when working with writers how some of the most talented people can't come up with memorable titles. I think there is a "PR/marketing" aspect to it. A common mistake I notice is what's called "genre confusion" -- for example, a romantic comedy is called SLASHER! (because the female lead writes horror novels under a pen name -- that's a great "angle" for a character but making it the title can prove problematic).

Justin Russo said...

Aside from the greatness that was the show, "The Golden Girls" takes my vote as one of the best sitcom titles: short, memorable, and explanatory.

Touch-and-go Bullethead said...

It should be noted that the pilot for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" had a different title, "Head of the Family." Of course, in that case, calling the pilot "The Dick Van Dyke Show" was not really an option, as he was not in it (Carl Reiner played Rob Petrie).

One of my favorite examples of a show with a confusing title is "The Lazarus Syndrome," a short-lived medical drama starring Louis Gossett, Jr. as the reform-minded head of a hospital. The title referred to something Gossett had to fight, the tendency of doctors to regard themselves as superior beings, above the laws of man and nature--but you had to watch the show to get that. Based solely on the title, you might reasonably have expected something like "The Walking Dead."

Gary Benz said...

One of the all time best: St. Elsewhere. It perfectly captured the premise and the tone. Hill Street Blues was a close second. Selfie, for the reasons Ken notes, may be the worst of all time. By the time a show makes it to broadcast, the trend it connotes has long since expired.

McAlvie said...

When I see a lengthy, convoluted title, I immediately have doubts about the show. If the title is that badly written, what hope is there for the actual scripts?


Tim Dunleavy said...

Leonard Stern, executive producer of GET SMART, said at the show's Paley Center panel (included on the DVD box set) that the only problem they ever had with the show's title was that "When people heard the title, they assumed it was a game show. But once they saw the show, they got it immediately."

My worst title of recent years was 3 LBS. What, pray tell, was that one about? Well, it was a medical show where the lead character was a brain surgeon, and three pounds is the average weight of the human brain. Of course. Doesn't everyone know what the average weight of the human brain is?

I'm not going to guess what SCORPION is about. Good luck getting Steve Irwin fans to watch that one.

McAlvie said...

Also, so many of these shows seem to revolve around a central character who is generally not likeable. Why would an audience want to spend any time with this person, let alone come back for more next week?

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Great names:
Father Knows Best, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, I Love Lucy, Big Bang Theory, Everybody Loves Raymond, My Three Sons, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
King of Queens,
You can have a great title without a great show
2 Broke Girls
According to Jim
Two and a Half Men
Grace Under Fire

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

a few other great names that are catchy and let us know what the show could be about:
I Dream of Jeanie
Law & Order
Mad About You
Malcolm in the Middle


I love the show but hate the title:
Arrested Development
The New Adventures of Old Christine



Anonymous said...

I've often thought Veronica Mars was the worst show title of all-time. I feel like it undercut the show's maturity and made it seem like something that should be on ABC Family. It did the show a terrible disservice.

tavm said...

On the subject of titles: Think how awkward "Beverly Hills, 90210" would have been if it had gone with the original title-"Class of Beverly Hills" and it had still continued past college graduation...it certainly seemed to be the cast when Jake grew up and the show was still called "Two and a Half Men"...

tavm said...

On the subject of good titles: "Gilligan's Island" was suitable since it told us who the leading character was, not that that was obvious enough to Tina Louise when she accepted thinking it was about her character...

peterj said...

Regarding titles with profanity: Here in Canada our national broadcaster recently started running a Eugene Levy series called Schitt's Creek. No obfuscation or other "we're not really swearing" cleverness; the national radio ads, which I've heard in the morning, aren't bleeped either. (The f-word is censored in the broadcast, but that's about it.)

Anonymous said...

Justin,
Golden Girls, one of the best title, I agree.

Just wondering if you could comment on why so many think of moving to LA is a piece of cake? Making movies has nothing to do with contests, readers or script gurus. Is this true. In LA it's about making movies. Why are readers so lost in their advice? Why do readers think they know everything? When they know zero.

MikeN said...

Halt and Catch Fire was a good name. Really, they did not have much hope of going into a bigger audience. My guess is almost every one who watched the show knew what it meant.

It is the name of a command for a computer, possibly apocryphal, or perhaps merely a joke name for command HCF.

Bill O said...

Gilligan's Island. From what I've read, the show was to have starred Jayne Mansfield as a Marilyn Monroe-like movie star, the double- initialed Ginger Grant. When Mansfield passed, Tina Louise took it, but the focus was probably still on her character. No Gilligan in the title.

Mike Schryver said...

ALL IN THE FAMILY had the working title JUSTICE FOR ALL. I think ALL IN THE FAMILY was a better title, and also better than the later title for the series, ARCHIE BUNKER'S PLACE. The retitling to ARCHIE BUNKER'S PLACE was understandable, since the Stivics had left and Jean Stapleton had been appearing less.

The working title of TUCKER'S WITCH was THE GOOD WITCH OF LAUREL CANYON which, although longer, I think is a better title.

Diane D. said...

I have always thought titles were so important, and have been stunned by how bad so many of them are. So interesting to know that Ken Levine thinks they are very important.

Last week when VP….. mentioned his script being read, I commented that I loved his title, "FUGITIVE SWEETHEART". It's short, descriptive and graceful. I think it is a movie, however, rather than a tv series, for which it would be inappropriate.

I agree with most of the commenter's selections for the best and the worst so I won't repeat them. What wasn't mentioned was CHEERS, which I thought was, interestingly, the perfect title for the only (almost) perfect TV Comedy show ever.

One other very old TV Show whose title I loved was "HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL." Also, THE KING OF QUEENS is a charming title.

Stephen Robinson said...

VERONICA MARS tells you nothing about the show. Contrast it with BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, which gives you genre, premise, and best of all tone (it's not HERCULES THE VAMPIRE SLAYER). XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS was too long a title because XENA is sufficient to describe the series. I don't think someone named Xena is a teenage cheerleader.

PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE announced in a way that it was becoming normal when it dropped "can't lose."

SMALLVILLE not only outgrew its title but went more than half its run when Smallville was not the main setting and focal point of all the action.

Anonymous said...

Schitt's Creek airs in America on POP (formerly TVGN) too. I thought it was clever and odd how they get away with saying it too.

Michael B said...

My favorite titles:

Glee
Mad Men
Breaking Bad
Modern Family
Friends
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
30 Rock

MikeK.Pa. said...

SHAMELESS says it all about the premise and the characters.

jcs said...

Growing up in the 80s I have to nominate:
THE FALL GUY (in German: EIN COLT FUER ALLE FAELLE which roughly translates to A COLT FOR ALL OCCASIONS)
MIAMI VICE
LA LAW

I also like the previously mentioned ST. ELSEWHERE and HILL STREET BLUES.

Newer titles that I like:
THE IT CROWD
THE WIRE
The BIG BANG THEORY

Anonymous said...

Wow, good thing I found this blog. I just came from reading this idiot called BITTER SCRIPT READER at http://thebitterscriptreader.blogspot.ca/2015/03/questions-that-will-not-die-yes-you.html#comment-form

Who the hell is this idiot. He got zero zero idea how Hollywood works. Just as the previous writer said. Readers are a big zero in LA. I agree now. Don't listen to this reader. He is so bitter, he could smell his own shit.

Mark P. said...

I think puns and double entendres work best in small, ephemeral chunks, like the Frasier title cards, or section titles in magazine pieces. I can't imagine spending several years reading or saying "State of Affairs" dozens of times a day.

Stu West said...

In the words of the late Harry Cohn, "MOGAMBO is a terrible title. MOGAMBO, starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner, is a great f...ing title."

Hamid said...

Anonymous

If every single reader you've encountered has said your scripts are no good, maybe there's a reason. My early specs were terrible. It took lots of practise to get better and I gradually got good feedback from readers. Your bitterness at readers won't help you, especially if, as you said the other week, you want to write for the "modern day violent genre".

Jackie Thomas said...

MURDER, SHE WROTE-- "off" enough to draw attention, establishes main character

GUNSMOKE-- Made-up word that is immediately graspable.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL-- It certainly was.

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE-- Gentle title for a gentle show.

THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES-- Explains the show in two words.

HEE HAW-- Conveys genre, content and style in six letters.

VP81955 said...

As a fan of "Mom," I wonder whether early in the series' run, Chuck Lorre may have felt he may have made a mistake with the title, that it may have been too generic. (Remember, like most new sitcoms, it started slowly out of the gate.) The title is accurate in that it's about several generations of moms in a family (Bonnie, Christy and to a lesser extent Violet), but it doesn't convey the first two characters' battle to recover from substance abuse. Then again, how does one fit that into a title while making audiences understand it's a sitcom?

Thankfully, fine writing (not to mention the splendid comic chemistry of Allison Janney and Anna Faris) turned "Mom" into a hit, with it just renewed for a third season.

Oh, and Diane D., thanks again for the plug for my "Fugitive Sweetheart." I now only hope I can make the script as good as the title. (And I wish I could tell you the title of my other script, but it would give the game away.)

Diane D. said...

VP81955,

You are wise to protect the title of your other work, but I would love to know what it is. Please post a report of the reading on Thursday.

iconoclast59 said...

@Wendy, re: the lack of Alicia/Kalinda scenes in THE GOOD WIFE, the gossip I've read says it's one of the following:

1) ALLEGEDLY, Julianna Margulies is jealous of the Kalinda character's popularity, and has ordered that the Alicia/Kalinda scenes together be cut back considerably.

2) ALLEGEDLY, Julianna Margulies likes to film as few takes as possible, so she can wrap early and get home to her husband and kid. (She also saves time by wearing a wig.) Archie Panjabi, on the other hand, is a perfectionist who asks for multiple takes, which drives Margulies nuts and prompted her to demand that the characters have less screen time together.

The latter hypothesis leads to my own Friday question: How much leeway does an actor have in asking for retakes? At some point, doesn't the showrunner step in and say, "Forget it; we're going with the footage we already have."

Gordon said...

Bill O said...

Gilligan's Island. From what I've read, the show was to have starred Jayne Mansfield as a Marilyn Monroe-like movie star, the double- initialed Ginger Grant. When Mansfield passed, Tina Louise took it, but the focus was probably still on her character. No Gilligan in the title.


Mansfield died in 1967, three years after Gilligan's Island premiered. It's widely reported on the internet (so it has to be true, right?) that Mansfield was offered the role of Ginger after the part was changed from that of a secretary (in the pilot) to that of a movie star, which required recasting. (Kit Smythe played Ginger in the pilot.) It's worth noting that Sherwood Schwartz, who created and produced the series, never mentioned, in anything he wrote about the series, the part being offered to Jayne Mansfield. Even at that point in her career, I can't imagine anyone offering Mansfield what was clearly a supporting role. In any event, the show was Gilligan's Island, and was built around Gilligan well before the character of Ginger was reconceived as a movie star instead of a secretary.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Before "ER" the NBC drama, there was "ER" the ABC sitcom. The latter lasted one season. Both had George Clooney. A great title isn't enough; you also need a great show.

For me, the clumsiest title of all time is "The This Old House Hour." On PBS, no less.

Rashad Khan said...

Ironically, I think MY MOTHER, THE CAR might be the best sitcom title ever.

Stoney said...

Anyone remember "No Soap, Radio" or "It's Like, You Know..."?

I forget which title came first; "These Friends Of Mine" or "Ellen".

Remember when "Valerie" had to change to "Valerie's Family" because Valerie (Harper) left?

A while back, surfing my cable program guide, I came upon the title "Get A Life". Turned out to be a reality show and not the early 90's Chris Elliot comedy.

How about the "Hill Street Blues" spinoff "Beverly Hills Buntz". (Did they think the closeness to "Beverly Hills Cop" would help it?)

There was "The Bill Cosby Show", "The Cosby Show", "Cosby" and...what was the name of the variety show he had mid 70s?

Oh, and what was the name of that show with Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr and William Christopher that took place after "M*A*S*H"?

tavm said...

There were two Bill Cosby variety shows in the '70s: "The New Bill Cosby Show" around 1972 on CBS and "Cos" on ABC in '76 which I remember as the first one to have The Spinners perform "Rubber Band Man" on TV (The other one being "Van Dyke and Company" on NBC).

Pseudonym said...

I have to agree on HALT AND CATCH FIRE being a brilliant title. If you're in the target demographic, you know precisely what it refers to already.

The typography could have been more appropriate, though.

scott O. said...

Any show title with "New" in it is a guaranteed loser.

Mike Barer said...

I think that every show with Beverly Hills, has been successful.

Stoney said...

And, does anyone here think David Lynch came up with the name "Twin Peaks" solely to reference a pair of identical mountains?

Touch-and-go Bullethead said...

Mike Barer: "Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills" ran for only six episodes.

scott O: "The New Doctors," with E.G. Marshall and John Saxon, ran for four years.

Touch-and-go Bullethead said...

Oh, in case any one is wondering what was new about "The New Doctors": This was part of an NBC "wheel" show, "The Bold Ones." The components of that show had straightforward, plainly descriptive titles--the other parts were "The Lawyers" and "The Senator." However, NBC was already running a soap opera called "The Doctors" (now remembered mainly as the place where Alec Baldwin and Kathleen Turner got their start), so "new" was added to avoid confusion.

sumerlad said...

In the early sixties I avoided the Dick Van Dyke show for some time because I assumed it was a variety show.

Anonymous said...

How about the best name that wasn't? Bilko. Nobody I knew called it the Phil Silvers Show.

Bill O said...

It wasn't The Phil Silvers Show originally either. You'll Never Get Rich.

JasonH said...

One title I haven't seen mentioned that I like is Psych. I think it works well with the premise and tone of the show.

Steve Mc said...

'Cybill' was a great title. It let me know immediately that I didn't want to watch.

tim said...

Why did you change the spelling of "$#@&t" the second time you used it?

Mike Barer said...

If the Mary Tyler Moore show had a different name, would it have succeeded? Mary and Rhoda?

Wink Martindale said...

As a side note, don't you think THE HONEYMOONERS is a pretty strange title considering the primary players were sort of dumpy, settled-into-routine, pushing-middle-agers?

Or is it irony that I'm missing...

Wink Martindale said...

And THE TONIGHT SHOW was called "Carson" by virtually everybody (including the network in its promos) during the 70s and 80s. "Leno" kinda sorta caught on, but it seemed...rather forced.

Greg Ehrbar said...

When I was really little, I thought "The Andy Griffith Show" was called that because it was just for people named Andy Griffith.

Remember "The Brian Benben Show?" I have to wonder whether its lack of success affected his career because his name was in the title. Maybe he's just fine.

The show title that was a bit of a double-edged sword was "The Flying Nun." Yes, it described the premise, but it also made the show a target for comedians because it sounded so outrageous (and living through the joking was not a happy thing for Sally Field).

In fact, the show was one of Screen Gems' better comedy/fantasies. it was developed by Bernard Slade, had a seasoned cast and eventually the gimmick of flying was always the show's focus. It was also one of the few fantasy sitcoms where the characters always tried to keep everything secret, only occasionally.

Greg Ehrbar said...

Sorry - "eventually the gimmick of flying was NOT always the show's focus"

Mike Barer said...

Let me rephrase on Beverly Hills. Many shows with BH in the title have been successful.

EmilyFL said...

Some show titles I liked:
Thirtysomething
Eight Is Enough
Gilmore Girls
The Rockford Files
Golden Girls
The Odd Couple

VP81955 said...

The bad news: The "Fugitive Sweetheart" table reading has been canceled for lack of entrants. Oh, well.

The good news: I'm attending the TCM Classic Film Festival with a Palace Pass (Friday-Sunday). But events kick off Thursday, and I probably can attend a few things on standby -- including, I hope, the 10 p.m. showing of "My Man Godfrey" starring the lady in my avatar. Sure, I've seen it a number of times, but there's nothing quite like watching a classic movie (especially one starring my all-time favorite actress and actor) on a big screen and savoring the audience reaction.

Breadbaker said...

"You're the Worst" tells you exactly what you're going to get on one of the best shows going right now.

Anonymous said...

What about the Waltons? What was that show about? Glad it wasn't named Walmart

Tracy said...

Soap
St. Elsewhere - one of the best
Taxi
Three's Company -- worked well for the premise of the show
Lost
Hawai'i 5-O
The Middle -- it's a middle class family that is average in many ways, in the middle of the country (Indiana) and within Indiana it's in the middle of nowhere.

chuckcd said...

Halt and catch fire is a computer programming term.
As the show was about the early days of the PC, it wasn't that bad.

James Lamb said...

A little late with my reply but "It's Like, You Know..." actually is a complete sentence. I really liked that show, new to the (gasp) valley right before it aired. Of course, doubt that anyone north of Sylmar or west of Duarte would really appreciate it.