12 Of Your favourite TV Shows Were Originally Titled Something Else

Television Shows

From “GCB” to “S#*! My Dad Says” network shows have been undergoing multiple name changes, pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable to say on TV. 

Show names changes used to happen quite often in the past—if a show didn’t do well, it was common practice for networks to reboot the show with another title in hopes of a longer shelf life.

Whether it be profanity in the title, plot changes or too long of a name, popular series didn’t always start out the way we have all grown to love them.

From “Saturday Night Live” to “Seinfeld,” check out some of the shows that have undergone name changes over the years. 

The pilot episode of Seinfeld that aired in July of 1989 wasn't actually Seinfeld. Although, it looked like Seinfeld, and felt like Seinfeld (including the current characters), it was a pilot called 'The Seinfeld Chronicles.'

A pilot that almost didn't make it.

NBC originally passed on the quirky sitcom after focus groups found the pilot 'weak,' as EW reported. However, senior VP of specials prime time and late night, Rick Ludwin, felt so positively about the show that he decided to budget four more episodes himself. So, thank Ludwin for Seinfeld. (Makes you wonder how many other potential shows we've missed out on.)

Interestingly enough, the first episode of Seinfeld is often credited as premiering May 31, 1980, not 1989, in books and IMDB. TV Guide acknowledges the show's presence in 1989.

Also, the show shortened its title to 'Seinfeld' due to similarly titled 'The Marshall Chronicles,' which only lasted one season.

Note: On the pilot, Kramer was originally Kessler (addressed in Season 9, 'The Betrayal'). The episode also had a different theme song.

Watch parts of the pilot here and here.

(via Entertainment Weekly / 'The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows')

This ABC show that premiered last week has already gone through three name changes.

The TV series is based on the novel, 'Good Christian Bitches' by Kim Gatlin but the current 'GCB' sounds like the show is trying way to hard to reach the younger text-savvy 'LOL' generation.

NBC's popular comedy sketch show wasn't always titled 'SNL.'

Before there was 'Saturday Night Live' there was 'Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell,' which premiered September 20, 1975. Because of the similarities that would have been caused, NBC went with a slight variation in their title until Howard Cossell's show was canceled in January 1976.

So, from October 11 1975 to July 1976 the show was known as 'NBC's Saturday Night.' From September 1976 to March 19 of the following year, the show dropped the network name so it was just 'Saturday Night.'

After 41 episodes of the show, on March 26, 1977, the late-night variety finally made one final name change to its current incarnation.

(via TV.com/TV Guide/'The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows')

When CBS decided to produce the first show based off of a Twitter feed, they were in over their heads. The show, inspired by the rantings on Twitter handle @ShitMyDadSays, and starring the miscast William Shatner, was probably one of the most ill-conceived ideas by CBS. How would you entitle that show? How would you refer to it?

For obvious reasons, the title of the show had to be changed. And so, '$#*! My Dad Says' was born.

The more ridiculous thing was figuring out how to run commercials for a show with a bleeped out title. Easy, say bleep. Wait. What? Watch the ensuing awkward promo for the show below.

The show only lasted one season before being canceled.

The series was originally supposed to be titled 'Oil,' after the big money-maker of the show; however, the show's title was changed to 'Dynasty' to compete with already successful, prime-time soap, 'Dallas.'

Noteable mention: The Colbys was originally 'Dynasty II: The Colbys.'

('The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows')

ABC sure likes the 'B' word.

When ABC announced they were releasing a mid-season premiere called, 'The Bitch in Apartment 23' we knew that title wouldn't last long. We were right.

The show, about a roommate from Hell, quickly changed its name to 'Apartment 23.'

In October, the network reverted back to its original, sans the profanity ('Don't Trust The B---- in Apartment 23') after it was decided the former name was too vague. ABC opted for the catchier and rhyme-tastic, 'Don't Trust The B in Apartment 23.'

If the title doesn't get you, perhaps you're interested in James Van Der Beek starring…as himself. We think it's weird, too.

(via ABC)

Technically, this is more of a spinoff, but we still this considering if it weren't for 'Bliss' we would have never heard 'The Bell.'

Before Zack Morris, Lisa and Screech were roaming the halls of Bayside high school, they were the three mousketeers. three were part of the house of mouse.

According to E! True Hollywood Story, 'Good Morning, Miss Bliss' originally aired on The Disney Channel in 1987 after NBC rejected the show. 'Bliss' followed the trials and tribulations of the titular character.

Turned out her students were pretty memorable though.

Only after Disney cancelled the show after one season, did NBC decide to pick up the show as a spinoff called 'Saved by the Bell' with Mr. Belding, Zack, Screech and Lisa making the cut.

The rest is history.

You can sometimes see the 'Bliss' episodes aired on television as they were part of the syndication package for 'Saved by the Bell.' Zack Morris does an intro appearance to these episodes.

Note that the junior high was located in Indianapolis, Indiana while the high school was set in California. How convenient that four of the original cast members all up and moved together.

Check out the pilot for 'Good Morning Miss Bliss' below.

In 1986, Valerie Harper was the lead character of her own sitcom, 'Valerie,' following the life of a career savvy part-time mum and her family.

After the title character left the show in the fall of 1987 after pretty public disputes with producers, the show carried on without her as 'Valerie's Family.' However, people began to inquire about Valerie's whereabouts and identity, so in June 1988 the show became 'The Hogan Family.' As for Valerie, the show wrote her off for dead.

'The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows'

The pilot for 'NCIS' aired as a two-part episode of 'JAG' in 2003 entitled, 'Navy NCIS: The Beginning.' The show's repetitive title was quashed because it really made no sense for NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Services) to have the word Navy in front of an abbreviated substitution of the same affiliation.


The title literally says it all, so why watch the show?

The 1998 ABC series was about three 20-somethings adventures living together and working at a pizza place.

When the title characters stopped working at the pizza place in season 3--because you can't work at a pizza place forever, right?--the show went for a title change. This may have been a bad move since the show was canceled shortly afterward, and in the middle of a cliffhanger nonetheless.


After the title annoyed reporters (who couldn't be bothered to learn how to make a simple upside-down exclamation point--or take the two seconds to Google search one like us), CBS decided to take the last bit of excitement out of Rob. We couldn't agree more. The only thing we get excited about when this show comes on, is to tune out.

(via EW)

When Ellen DeGeneres' 'Ellen' premiered in March of 1994, the show went by the name 'These Friends of Mine.' The title remained for the entirety of season one.

Since the show was mainly about Ellen's character and less about everyone else, it seemed silly to have a show titled as such. When the show started its second season, it returned adopting the titular character's name.

(via 'The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV')

Now take a closer look at one of the shows that just underwent a name change...

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