Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's All In The Title

This week NBC announced they're canceling their new medical drama Do No Harm after just two extremely low-rated episodes. The series premiere could only manage an anemic rating of .9 (which somehow adds up to just 3.1 million viewers), making it the lowest rated season opener in the history of network television. Congratulations!

If you ask me, what torpedoed this series wasn't poor writing or mediocre acting. It was the title. The extremely misleading and uninformative title. When I say Do No Harm, which of the following do you think of?

A.  A series about an idealistic young female doctor who travels to the big city to become a resident and learns that healing the soul is just as important as healing the body.

B.  A show about a former soldier of fortune who turns over a new leaf and travels the world trying to right the wrongs he's committed.

C.  The story of a neurosurgeon who, every night at precisely 8:25 pm, transforms into an evil personality in a modern take on the Jekyll and Hyde story.

If you picked A or B then you're a reasonable person with an ordered and logical mind. You're also dead wrong. Believe it or not Do No Harm was about a mild-mannered doctor who transforms into a Mr. Hyde type character.

Who would ever look at that title and think, "Ah, Do No Harm. That's obviously a modern Jekyll and Hyde tale. I'm intrigued!" No one, that's who! No wonder nobody watched the poor show. I might have actually been interested in a (well-written) Jekyll and Hyde series, but I'd never know one existed if I saw that title in the listings. Whoever came up with that cockamamie title needs a good firing. Stat!

Surely there was something, anything else they could have named the thing. Heck, here's a list of better titles just off the top of my head:

• Dr. Jekyll, I Presume

• Paging Dr. Jekyll
• Dr. Jekyll, MD.  Mr. Hyde, er, not MD
• Two Doctors, One Body
• Doctor Jekyll, Medicine Woman
• I'm Jekyll, He's Finster
• Dr. Kill-Dare
• EMERGENCY! (may already be taken)
• J*E*K*Y*L*L
• Diagnosis: Supernatural Schizophrenia
• Wait Till You Get My Bill!

See? It's not rocket science, guys!

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