TV Shows That Originally Had Different Titles!

Find out which hit shows like Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, and New Girl were almost titled something completely different! 

When our favorite TV shows pop up on streaming networks like Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus, we don’t think twice about their names. But did you know that some of your favorite TV shows originally had completely different titles than they do now? Shows like Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, and New Girl were not pitched to major television networks with those names. Networks, producers, writers, and the rest of the team go through lots of trial and error to find the name that sounds right! There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in getting a TV show to air on major networks and the name of the show is one of the most important things in getting a script noticed! The name has to be original, eye-catching, and of course representative of the theme of the show. With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at which of your most-watched TV shows ended up switching out their original title.


In 1989, the hit comedy series Seinfeld was first named The Seinfeld Chronicles. It’s hard to believe that the classic show would be referred to as anything other than the iconic character’s last name. Jerry Seinfeld and the show itself were a staple in ’90s pop culture!

Grey’s Anatomy

We couldn’t imagine the 18 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy with any other name, but the show actually had several title changes before the production team landed on Grey’s Anatomy. Originally the show was pitched with the simple title, Surgeons. Although it’s to the point, how could our beloved show be called anything else?


Now talk about an iconic show title, it’s hard to believe that Friends would have ever held any other title. The NBC show was first titled Six of One in honor of the six main characters. Ironically enough, the network didn’t think Friends would be enough of a catchy title! Ten unforgettable seasons and fans all over the world proved otherwise.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

When you hear the title Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the vampire hunks come right to mind! Would the show still have the same effect if the show makers stayed with the name Slayer instead? We have to agree that the current title was the best fit!

New Girl

We never would have guessed that the show New Girl would have any title other than its easy-going and popular name. The title even fits so well with the theme song! However, the quirky show first had an even quirkier title, Chicks & Dicks. Not exactly well-received, even Zooey Deschanel, who plays the main character, Jessica Day, almost passed on the role because she didn’t want to read the script.


This one might be the best name change yet! Lost was originally named Nowhere. We’re not sure that the show would have survived the 6 seasons without the name change!

Stranger Things

Originally titled Montauk, this supernatural show was almost set in New York. Can you imagine how different the plot would be if Eleven and the crew were adventuring around the empire state building or The Hamptons? After the production crew decided on placing the show in the fictional small town of Hawkins, Indiana, the show needed a name change.

That ‘70s Show

The producers wanted this show to be called Teenage Wasteland, but they failed to obtain the rights to The Who’s famous song name. The show’s name changed to the well-known title That ‘70s Show instead. Producers thought that its current name was more catchy!

One Tree Hill

This show not only had a title change but also switched from shooting as a movie to a TV show! Ravens was the name for the movie, but after some convincing, the producers decided that the name of the U2 song fit better. We would have to agree!

Wizards of Waverly Place

When we hear the words Wizards of Waverly Place the feeling of nostalgia can’t help but overwhelm us. Would we have the same feeling of admiration if the show stuck with its original title, The Amazing O’Malleys? The primary pilot followed the O’Malley family who ran a magic shop. David Henrie who plays the oldest brother Justin Russo posted a video of the script with the original title.


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A post shared by David Henrie (@davidhenrie)

One thing’s for certain, and that’s how glad we are that these shows decided to stick with the titles they have now! Whether you’re a comedy, drama, or action series fanatic, we hope you learned something new about your favorite shows!

About the Author

Anastasia Frazier

Anastasia Frazier is a Broadcast and Digital Journalism major in the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, who greatly enjoys all things media, journalism, and entertainment!