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July 24, 2014

The attack of the one word titles

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 6th 2006 8:33AM

The one word titled LostOkay, maybe it's just me. Perhaps I wouldn't have noticed it if I weren't reporting on the television industry. However, I have, and I'm a bit disturbed about it because it could mean the beginning of the downfall of Western civilization as we know it. Yes, it's been said that everything from microwave ovens to Britney Spears would be the downfall, but I really think this is.

What am I talking about? The amount of television shows this season with one word titles, of course. What the heck do you think I was talking about? The Middle East? North Korea? Britney having another baby? Hell, no! I write about television; I don't care about any of those issues!

Seriously, maybe it began with shows like Lost, but it seems like a majority of shows this season are saving a lot on graphics with a one-word title. You doubt me? Well, you always doubt me, but I have proof to back up my theory. Jump ahead and you'll see what I mean.

Let's begin with FOX, who is the main culprit in this conspiracy. They currently have six shows on their schedule with one-word titles: Bones, Cops, House, Justice, Standoff and Vanished. That's six out of the 17 shows currently on the network's fall schedule. That's nearly forty percent!

CBS and NBC have the next largest group of one-word titles at five each. NBC has ER, Heroes, Kidnapped, Medium and Scrubs, while the Eye network has Jericho, Shark, Smith, Numb3rs, and Survivor. The CW follows up with four shows: Girlfriends, Runaway, Smallville and Supernatural. In last place, with the show that probably started this trend, is ABC with only Lost and mid season replacement Traveler as their single-word shows. Well, you could add Supernanny to that list, but that really isn't an official word, is it?

Scandalous! What's next, one letter titles? Maybe they'll remove the them all together, making us guess at what the show's title should be. Or, maybe the titles will begin to reflect the genre that they belong to: Sitcom, Drama, Dramedy, Stupid Reality Show That I Can't Believe You Are Wasting Your Time Watching. My TV Squad readers, we need to put a stop to this. Write the networks, call your congressmen, stand on the steps of your town hall and exclaim that you won't take it anymore. If not, then we may be talking about the new dramas P, Q and Z for the 2007-08 fall schedule.

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cat55fish

You should check this book title out:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/onewordtitle-%28essays-on-modern-culture-perception%29/17453686?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1

September 30 2011 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scififan9009

I hate that they cancelled Surface.

October 20 2006 at 12:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christopher J. Arndt

Aside from the normal shows... the geneology for one word freak shows... goes

Alias
Lost
Eyes
Threshold
Surface
Invasion
and then the current season of words like Vanished, Justice, Kidnapped, who cares?

October 11 2006 at 5:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael

A list off the top of my head, just cuz:

Seinfeld
Friends
Roseanne
Columbo
Soap
Newhart
Deadwood
Smallville
Dallas
Alias
Batman
Charmed
Angel
Bewitched
Flipper
Gunsmoke
Wings
Bonanza
Alice
Becker
Airwolf
Chips
MASH
Taxi
Cheers
ALF
Baretta
MacGyver
Blossom
Manimal
Webster
Benson
Baywatch
Amen

Ach, enough!

September 06 2006 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

While it's true that the actual title of "House" is "House M.D." it is extremely easy to omit the "M.D." because the main titles for the show make the "M.D." so small as to be virtually invisible. As though the "M.D." part pales to insignificance in the presence of House.

September 06 2006 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
renton

Many of these shows, Survivor, ER, Scrubs, etc. have been on longer than Lost.


Yeah, it's kind of a trend - but I don't think Lost started it.

September 06 2006 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PhantomProphet

How is Cops part of this "trend" when it's been on the air since 1989?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096563/

September 06 2006 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allen

I noticed the exact same thing last night, when the commercial for Standoff came on. It's the new trend. You should add WIndfall to the list, if you haven't already.
Remember a few years ago when all new bands had numbers in their names? Blink 182? Sum 41? Carbon 9? Trends come, trends go.

September 06 2006 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Wyant

I think they should name shows like Motorola names their slim phones (RZR, SLVR, SLDR); just take out the vowels.
HS MD, BNS, GRS ANTM(Y) - sometimes Y, LST, R, FRNDS, FRSR, DSPRT HSWVS, LS VGS, LW & R-DR, DDWD, and on and on and on....

Brilliant, I say. Can I copyright this? (c)2006

September 06 2006 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lampbane

"House" isn't a one-word title, because the name of the show is actually "House, M.D." thank-you-very-much. It's just easier to leave the letters off at the end when you're speaking.

September 06 2006 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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