One of the interesting sidelights of the TV press tour is the nuanced, and often puzzling, tinkering with the names of new series. Every year, through some alchemy, network execs swap one misguided name for an equally misguided one or, more puzzlingly, one bland name for an equally bland, and in fact almost identical, one. Last year, one quickly canceled Fox cop show "Ryan Caulfield," a.k.a. "The Badland," a.k.a. "Ryan Caulfield: Year One" had almost as many names as it did airings. And already this year, a good half-dozen new network series have undergone title surgery.
Frankly, the make-or-break difference between "Ed" and "Stuckeyville" or between "Fearsum" and "Freakylinks" escapes us. But that's why we live in an apartment in Brooklyn and not behind a 10-foot hedge in Bel Air.
Here's your chance to see if you have hidden TV-executive talent: Following is a list of original series names and their replacements you tell us which ones made the cut. Name all six and you can send in your résumé to replace the next NBC exec canned for missing the reality-TV trend.
(1) a: "The Faculty," b: "Boston Public"
(2) a: "The Trouble With Normal," b: "People Who Fear People"
(3) a: "Cursed," b: "The Steven Weber Show"
(4) a: "Fearsum," b: "Freakylinks"
(5) a: "Stuckeyville," b: "Ed"
(6) a: "The Geena Davis Show," b: "Geena"
Answers: 1b, 2a, 3a, 4b, 5b, 6a. (Warning: all final titles subject to change, again, perhaps within the next 30 seconds.)