Friday, March 9, 2012

Great Article about Picking A Title (For A TV Show)

There's a great article up at Yahoo TV about picking a title for a TV show.

Everything in there can and should be applied to novel and short story titles. It's a great article.

Some highlights:

THE DO'S AND DON'TS: Nine vital title tips from execs and producers who know you don't get a second chance to make a first impression
DON'T Be Too Witty
A title that gets executives excited may just be too cute for viewers. "We loved Better Off Ted internally," 20th Century Fox Television's Dana Walden says of Victor Fresco's critical darling that was dropped by ABC after two seasons. "We thought it was so smart and funny. We went with the witty, pithy title, and it just didn't work."
DON'T Be Too Generic
If a title feels like it could be slapped on any one of a dozen shows, it's probably the wrong title. "Every year, there are 10 shows that all sound the same," says one studio exec. "You can't distinguish them. You want to avoid those generic titles." If Desperate Housewives had been called, say Housewives, would it have become a zeitgeisty hit? 
DON'T Be too Long
Titles that are too long will get reflexively shortened -- by your onscreen guide and viewers. So save everyone the trouble and stick to a half-dozen words or less. People referred to The New Adventures of Old Christine as Old ChristineBeverly Hills 90210 became 90210. When people write, blog or tweet about How I Met Your Mother, it's HIMYM. For the latter two series‚ one a reboot with high title familiarity and the other an established hit that came into its own in a pre-Twitter era -- it's not a problem. But for a new series finding its footing and in need of constant brand reinforcement, a long title can hurt.

Read the rest at: The Strange Art of Picking a TV Show Title

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