TV Shows That Originally Had a Completely Different Name

Creating a beloved TV show is no easy task. Creating a successful TV show is pretty much like winning the lottery. Not only do you need a good concept, but the writing, actors, and the name of a show all play a huge part in how it’s received by audiences.

Ellen, Joely Fisher, Ellen Degeneres, Clea Lewis
Ellen – Joely Fisher, Ellen Degeneres, Clea Lewis. Photo By Touchstone Tv/Black-Marlens/Kobal/Shutterstock

Many times, a show will go into production with on title, only to have it changed before the pilot episode is released. This makes a lot of sense, considering the title needs to be creative and exciting in order to intrigue audiences. You never know, some failed shows might have been a hit if it stuck to their original title. But today we’re going to take a look back at these popular shows that almost had a completely different name.

That ’70s Show – Teenage Wasteland

Before Hollywood power couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis got married as started a family, they starred together in the hit sitcom, That ‘70s Show. Everyone recognizes the name of the show and is beloved by a generation of fans. What you may not know is that it almost had a totally different name.

Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, Wilmer Valderrama, Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, Laura Prepon
Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, Wilmer Valderrama, Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, Laura Prepon. Photo By Robert Sebree/20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

Originally, That 70s Show was titled Teenage Wasteland. The name came from the classic song by The Who. The title actually fits the show pretty perfectly. However, the band wouldn’t give the network clearance to use the song as the title of the show.

Ellen – These Friends of Mine

Ellen DeGeneres is famous for her beloved show, but Ellen wasn’t always a talk-show host. She actually or her start as an actress and even had her own Sitcom called Ellen. But unlike other shows on this list, Ellen had a different name in season one.

Clea Lewis, David Anthony Higgins, Arye Gross, Ellen Degeneres, Jeremy Priven
Clea Lewis, David Anthony Higgins, Arye Gross, Ellen Degeneres, Jeremy Piven. Photo By Timothy White/Touchstone Tv/Black-Marlens/Kobal/Shutterstock

During the first season, the show was called These Friends of Mine. After the show premiered, Ellen DeGeneres was gaining popularity as a comedian, and ABC premiered the show Friends around the same time. That’s when the network chose to change the name to Ellen. That way, they can capitalize on their actress and make sure fans don’t confuse the show with Friends.

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