Sunday, November 20, 2016

Working Titles

When you watch a TV show you don't think too much about what the show is called. However, it is a very big problem if the show has a bad name. It's the first thing that the audience knows about the show. So most shows have working titles if they can't come up with a good one for awhile. Most fans of the Dick Van Dyke Show know that before Dick Van Dyke was cast, it was called Head of the Family. Carl Reiner was the creator of the show and in the pilot was cast as the star. The producers convinced him to step behind the camera more because they said, while he wrote it about his life, that he wasn't right for the part. Eventually they got Dick Van Dyke who was just off of a hit Broadway play called Bye, Bye Birdie. While they produced it the show had more working titles before it aired. One of them was Full House. That title would find a home on a hit show decades later. Others were, All in a Day's Work and Double Trouble. Another show they produced was Make Room for Daddy with Danny Thomas. It was starting to be called by the public as the Danny Thomas Show. They knew if the show was a hit that the public would start calling it the Dick Van Dyke Show. They decided to beat them to the punch by actually naming it that. Barney Miller seems like a simple enough title. Name the show after the central character. But it had a working title as well. It was called the Life and Times of Captain Barney Miller. The show was suppose to show what life was like for Barney Miller at home as well as at work. At home he was not in charge but at work he was. They found out they got more laughs from where he worked and eventually that took over the whole show. The name of the show was Barney Miller in most of the world but in Spain it was Vida y milagros del Capitán Miller. That loosely translates into the Life and Miracles of Captain Miller. I don't know much about the origin of the name for the show Spin City. I do know it's working title was just "Spin." What I find interesting is that in Germany it was called Chaos City. One show that I never understood the title to was Just Shoot Me. It didn't make much sense to me. I did some research but it still didn't enlighten me on how they came up with this title. I did find that in Germany it was called Shooting Stars. In Norway it was called Blush. Norway's title made more sense. They named it after the fictional magazine that they all worked for.

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