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Title Twisters

The Only TV Column That Mattersâ„¢ breaks down TV show names just for you.



Many of your favorite TV shows went by different names before they debuted: Friends was originally titled Six of Us. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation used to be Crime Scene Investigators. Maybe It’s Me was once called Maybe I’m Adopted. Ed was developed as Stuckeyville—these are the better-known examples from TV-geek trivia. More obscure program working titles include Frizzy & Swishy (which became Will & Grace), Crap In the Wild (Survivor), President Lefty (The West Wing), The Untitled Bushy-Haired Professional Woman Drama (Providence, Judging Amy AND Crossing Jordan), Talkin’ ’Bout Pussies (an unaired Animal Planet pilot, not Sex and the City) and Government Mind Control Project No. 666 (Entertainment Tonight).

Tube Stops* Thursday, March 7: The Family Guy (Fox, 7 and 7:30 p.m.) Peter and Chris’ favorite TV show is canceled! (Join the club.) Then, Meg outs heterosexual celebrity Luke Perry in her high school newspaper! Ah, memories ...

*Friday, March 8: Movie: Dead In a Heartbeat (2002, TBS, 6 and 8 p.m.) A mad bomber is making people with pacemakers ’splode, and only Penelope Ann Miller and her spectacular breasts can stop him ... Oops, make that Miller and spectacular (singular) boob Judge Reinhold.

* Saturday, March 9: The Laramie Project (HBO, 9 p.m.) Premiere: Moises Kaufman’s film adaptation of his play about the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, starring Dylan Baker, Steve Buscemi, Jeremy Davies, Peter Fonda, Janeane Garofalo, Terry Kinney, Amy Madigan, Camryn Manheim, Christina Ricci and many more. No smart-ass comments here.

* Sunday, March 10: Firestarter: Rekindled (Sci-Fi Channel, 7 p.m.) Premiere, Part 1 of 2: Charlie’s all grown up into a sizzling hottie (Marguerite Moreau) in search of her origins and a cure for that nasty burning sensation.

*Monday, March 11: The American Embassy (Fox, 8 p.m.) Series Debut: Wide-eyed Emmy Brody (Arija Bareikis) starts her new job at the U.S. Embassy in London. The Colin Quinn Show (NBC, 8:30 p.m.) Series Debut: Slow-witted Colin Quinn (Colin Quinn) starts his new job as The Only Man on TV Less Appealing and Talented Than (Fear Factor’s) Joe Rogan.

* Tuesday, March 12: Undeclared (Fox, 7:30 pm.) Season (and maybe Series) Finale: Ben Stiller drops by just in time for the show to be canceled to make way for That Mid-’90s Show.

* Wednesday, March 13: Amazing Race 2 (CBS, 8 p.m.) Season Premiere: More reality crap! Also on UPN Fridays! Viacom = Satan ...