Fox ordered four new series last night, but its the show’s titles that had some viewers buzzing.
Mindy Kaling’s comedy about a “Bridget Jones-type” single woman has been officially untitled for months, though some reports have used the title Mindy. Unless you’re Seinfeld, it’s tough to pull off the vanity sitcom title, so trying something else is a good idea. Here’s Fox’s choice: It’s Messy.
It’s sort of like Denise Richards: It’s Complicated, but suggests clothes on the floor and possible spills. Plus, Kaling plays an OB-GYN on the show so … yeah. “Not digging the title of Mindy Kaling’s pilot,” Tweeted @tbrick2, “Sounds like a Sarah Jessica Parker rom-com.”
If you think that sounds like a romcom, another Fox comedy originally had the rather catchy working title of Ben Fox is My Manny. It’s new title is the more box office generic Ben & Kate.
Another new Fox series, a drama, has the title The Mob Doctor … Guess what that one’s about? Yes, a doctor (Jordano Spiro) who has to pay off a debt to the mafia. Points for clarity, not so much for subtlety.
The title that gets my vote as the one most in need of reconsideration is Kevin Williamson’s serial killer thriller starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy.
At one point, this promising drama had the working title of Mastermind. That’s a bit Bond villain-sounding, but had its merits. Now it’s officially … The Following.
“Mastermind is a better title than The Following, [it’s] too close to The Finder,” commented one EW.com reader. Also, a bit too reminiscent of box office bomb The Happening (and you know if ratings aren’t so hot, it’s going to be all too easy to write headlines with a set-up title like The Following).
Still, titles often change between the time a series is picked up, the network’s upfront presentation and the fall (remember CBS last year with The 2-2? It’s now NYC-22). And sometimes, titles strike you as odd initially, then grow to seem naturally perfect. When ABC first announced Desperate Housewives, many in the industry were like, “Really?” It sounded too blunt, and almost offensive to its target audience, then it not only became a massive hit, but spawned cable shows about “real” housewives.
What do you think of Fox’s new titles?