• Thu, Mar 27 - 4:01 pm ET

8 Great TV Shows That Were Ruined By Bad Titles

Princess Bride you keep using that word

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Sometimes a great show comes along that has a very, very bad title. Either it’s too long or it’s too vague or it totally misrepresents what the show is about. And because of that, some people might decide not to watch that show. When people don’t watch a show, the odds of it getting canceled increase. And that’s no fun for people who know how great the show is and have been begging people to look past the title.

I’m not saying that the titles are the only reason these eight shows faced cancellation — or in a few cases just the danger of cancellation — but they probably didn’t help. It would be ideal if shows were judged solely on their content, but unfortunately with a million new series premiering every season, every detail of a show’s promotion is important. Whoever came up with the names of these shows should probably have gone back to the drawing board.

1. Don’t Trust the B In Apartment 23

I’m still mourning the death of this show, and I’ll admit that even I was wary about it when it first premiered. Whenever you put a curse word into a title, even if you just say the first letter, things get complicated. People become uncertain about how to write out the title or say it out loud, which in theory shouldn’t stop them from watching it. But I really wonder how it would have fared if it had a simpler name.

2. Trophy Wife

You might hear that title and think this is about an unlikable, shallow group of characters. I thought so too before I gave it a shot. Don’t underestimate it! This show is seriously hilarious and heartfelt and clever, but it’s still uncertain whether we’ll get a sophomore season. SAVE TROPHY WIFE!

3. Bunheads

Unless you’re aware that “bunhead” is a nickname for a ballet dancer, you’d probably have no idea what this show was about from the title. Is it about girls with cinnamon roll heads? People with butt faces? Hairdressers? Once I finally understood what it referred to, I thought it was actually a pretty cute title for an equally cute show. But nevermore. #RIP

4. Cougar Town

To be fair, Cougar Town is still on the air, but it had to move from ABC to TBS. It’s not actually about a bunch of older women cruising for men, and it’s also not about a village of wildcats. The show itself has made fun of its title by mentioning how much it sucks in promos.

5. I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Am I the only one in existence who watched this quite charming show about two single moms raising their teenage daughters? Maybe the harsh title turned people off, but Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran were a hilarious duo. And I typically HATE multi-camera comedies. Unfortunately it only got 13 episodes.

6. GCB

Were you wondering what the hell GCB stood for when this show premiered? You weren’t alone. FYI (that’s for your information), it stood for “Good Christian Bitches” or “Good Christian Belles.” But of course, as we learned with the whole Don’t Trust the B thing, cursing in titles can be troubling. So it was abbreviated. But unfortunately then people didn’t know what the show was about at all. It was canceled in its first season. That’s unfortunate, because it was kind of awesome.

7. Dirty Sexy Money

I obviously wasn’t the only one turned off by this show’s title when it first started. I figured it was probably just a trashy trashfest that wasn’t worth my time. But it actually got good reviews and was good enough to last two seasons, but no more.

8. Better Off Ted

I love a good pun, so this title was fine by me. But it doesn’t really tell you anything about this show, which was really clever and featured another hilarious role from Portia de Rossi. But as we’ve learned, a show being hilarious and smart doesn’t always lead to success. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. I weep for the future of television.

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  • http://maitribathbody.com/ Maitri

    I think “The Good Wife” is a terrible title for an excellent show.

    • Jon

      A lot of excellent shows have pretty simple/terrible titles. “The Wire” “Lost” “True Detective” “The Shield”

      Only ones that seem to have somewhat creative titles are already established properties (I.E. “Game of Thrones”; “The Walking Dead”)

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Oh I love the name ‘The Wire’!

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      The producers actually agree with you!

  • The Redhead

    Don’t Trust the B was hilarious, but a lot of people didn’t get it…. I judge them!

  • simoneutecht

    I loved Better Off Ted and was incredibly sad when it was cancelled especially because I can’t find any episodes online

  • boywithbluehanger

    *Adds Prison Break* Might as well have called it Pigeonholed.

  • Elizabeth Aspen

    This reminds me of the movie ‘Good Dick’. A great little move and if it didn’t have that awful title, it might have actually been an Oscar contender.

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