When it comes to creating a hit television series, you might think that slapping a title on the show is the least of one's concern. Not exactly so. TV shows are a particularly challenging thing to title; not only do you need a name that embodies the themes of the pilot, but you also need something broad enough to last the show through its potential future seasons. These showrunners thought that they had found the perfect name for their television series — and then they scrapped it and went with something totally different. Click through to find out which shows could have been called something entirely different, and whether they made the right call.
'Friends' Was Almost Titled...
The iconic sitcom about Manhattanites navigating their way through their 20s also happens to have one of the simplest titles around.
'Six of One'
Would this clunky numerical title make us like Monica and the gang less? Of course not — but that doesn’t make it any less awkward.
'Everybody Loves Raymond' Was Almost Titled...
The family sitcom has an old school title, but it was almost called something completely different.
'That Raymond Guy'
According to creator Phil Rosenthal, Ray Ramano hated the official title because he assumed he’d never hear the end of being the person “everybody loves.” He was right, but the title stuck regardless.
'Hannah Montana' Was Almost Titled...
Miley Cyrus’ pop-star-in-disguise show could have had the last name of a totally different state.
Anyone else get serious stripper name vibes from this working title?
'The Good Wife' Was Almost Titled...
The drama about a politician’s wife almost had a very on-the-nose title.
'Leave the Bastard'
According to co-creator Robert King, the president of Scott Free Productions Danny Zucker really pushed for this cheeky title, but ultimately The Good Wife won out.
'Lizzie McGuire' Was Almost Titled...
The middle school drama took us into the mind of the crimping-iron-obsessed Lizzie…
Image: Disney Channel
'What's Lizzie Thinking?'
…and the working title made sure we knew exactly what the series was about.
Image: Disney Channel
'Two Guys and a Girl' Was Previously Titled...
This forgettable Ryan Reynolds sitcom dropped the last part of its name at the start of the third season.
'Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place'
The show decided to ditch the pizza place in favor of more ambitious career options for the leads, but the show didn’t last past Season 3.
'That '70s Show' Was Almost Titled...
The series outlines its setting pretty clearly in its title.
Not a bad title, but unfortunately they couldn’t score the rights to use the song title from The Who.
'8 Simple Rules' Was Previously Titled...
This family sitcom actually changed names midway through the second season for a tragic reason.
'8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter'
Actor John Ritter, who played the father of the family, died shortly after filming the third episode of the second season. The show continued, but dropped the last part of the title.
'iCarly' Was Almost Titled...
The main character of the series changed names along with the title of the show.
According to Gurl, the series swapped names because the website “iSam.com” was already taken. The main character (played by Miranda Cosgrove) was renamed Carly, and the name Sam was given to her second-in-command BFF.
'Buffy, the Vampire Slayer' Was Almost Titled...
Buffy was completely left out of the original title for Joss Whedon’s WB series.
The original name was the shortened version of the official series title, and while it’s certainly not the worst, we do miss the whole “Buffy” aspect.
'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Was Almost Titled...
The FXX comedy got straight to the point with this working title.
'Ellen' Was Previously Titled...
Before she was entertaining moms everywhere with her talk show, Degeneres starred on her own sitcom — but it wasn’t always named after her.
'These Friends Of Mine'
When ABC saw the comedian’s star was on the rise after Season 1 of the series wrapped, they scrapped this original title and named it after her.
'GCB' Was Almost Titled...
The short-lived ABC dramedy almost had an edgier name.
'Good Christian Bitches'
The series was based on the book Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin, but ABC decided to shorten the title and avoid the b-word all together.
'Saturday Night Live' Was Previously Titled...
SNL may have been around for what seems like forever, but it wasn’t always able to use the acronym.
'NBC's Saturday Night'
When the sketch show premiered in 1975, it had this title. The following year it dropped the NBC in its name, and in 1977, it added another part — live.
'New Girl' Was Almost Titled...
The adorkable series almost had a risque title.
'Chicks and Dicks'
Fox decided to make this working title just a tad more family-friendly.
'Lost' Was Almost Titled...
What might arguably be the world’s most frustrating TV show almost had a different title.
It’s fitting, considering the show really didn’t end up anywhere, but Lost is just a touch eerier.
'The Big Bang Theory' Was Almost Titled...
The nerd comedy almost had a truly terrible title.
'Lenny, Penny, and Kenny'
Could you sit through infinite seasons of Lenny, Penny, and Kenny? SO. MUCH. RHYMING.