It was once common (possibly universal) to retitle a TV show if it ran in syndication parallel to its first-run appearance. (This may have been mandated by contract.)
This usually involved taking some of the words away from the title (or adding some, particularly "The Adventures Of" or "The Best Of"). Occasionally the syndication title will end up being something really bizarre (as in the case of Lexx
, whose first four episodes, for legal reasons, air under the title Tales from a Parallel Universe
Sometimes, the reruns preserve the original title while "New" is inserted into the first-run series, especially with game shows.
Syndication titles are almost never used anymore, and were almost always forgotten in favor of the original title once the original could be used without any issues (there are a couple of exceptions where the syndication title became better known).
Can also refer to the repackaging of what were originally distinct incarnations of a series under a blanket title.
Some films have also been retitled when shown on TV, typically to differentiate them from later remakes or Similarly Named Works
Shows whose initial run was retitled for other reasons (such as These Friends of Mine
/Star Trek: Enterprise
, Mrs. Columbo
/Kate Loves a Mystery
) are outside the scope of this entry unless they were subsequently aired under a single title. Also outside the scope of this entry is the practice, common in the early days of videotape, of having two episodes of a TV series hastily edited together and presented under a new title as if it were an original movie
- The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis as Dobie Gillis.
- Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as Mister Rogers.
- The show's title was originally written as "Misteroger's Neighborhood" until it was realized that it might confuse kids learning to spell.
- Laverne and Shirley as Laverne and Shirley and Friends/Company
- The Dick Van Dyke Show as The Dick Van Dyke Daytime Show
- The Rockford Files as Jim Rockford, Private Investigator
- The Phil Silvers Show as Sergeant Bilko or You'll Never Get Rich
- The Andy Griffith Show as Andy of Mayberry
- The Bob Cummings Show as Love That Bob
- Private Secretary as Susie
- I Love Lucy was rerun by CBS during the daytime as Lucy in Hollywood, and Lucy in Connecticut after the original was retooled into The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour.
- The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour was syndicated as We Love Lucy in the 70s.
- Emergency!! as Emergency One
- CHiPS as CHiPS Patrol
- Ironside as The Raymond Burr Show
- Marcus Welby MD as Robert Young, Family Doctor
- Happy Days as Happy Days Again
- Lassie as Timmy and Lassie (or Jeff's Collie, for the early seasons before Timmy showed up)
- The Lexx TV movies as Tales from a Parallel Universe
- Thunderbirds as Turbocharged Thunderbirds
- Subverted, as it was a revoiced and re-edited version of the show which took the piss out of the original stories and characters. Brits, to whom Thunderbirds is as much of a 1960s icon as The Beatles or Radio Caroline, were appalled, and creator Gerry Anderson allegedly ordered all copies of Turbocharged Thunderbirds destroyed. Not sure if he succeeded, though.
- Anderson didn't totally succeed as an episode was screened at a convention in 2006.
- Quincy as Quincy, M.E.
- The Carol Burnett Show as Carol Burnett and Friends
- The Ropers as Three's Company's Friends: The Ropers
- Also Three's a Crowd as Three's Company, Too
- Both Shows regained their original titles when shown on Antenna T.V. in 2011.
- CSI (the original) as CSI: Las Vegas
- American Idol as American Idol Rewind
- Subverted in that Rewind is a different show compiling old material with new narration and interviews.
- In its later years, the syndicated episodes of Magnum, P.I. kept their title, but the first-run episodes were titled simply Magnum.
- The earlier black and white episodes of Gunsmoke as Marshall Dillon.
- Bonanza as Ponderosa
- In the 90's, The Family Channel ran episodes from seasons 6-14 as The Lost Episodes, which were never lost, just digitized.
- In the mid-'90s Comedy Central split some Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes into two hour-long parts, added new introductory segments with Michael J. Nelson as "Jack Perkins" (longtime host of A&E's Biography series), and syndicated them as The Mystery Science Theater Hour. These versions also appeared in broadcast syndication for a brief period.
- Dragnet (originally Dragnet 1967, Dragnet 1968, etc.) and Badge 714 (which was used for the earlier black and white episodes).
- The episodes of "Dragnet" would have a jarring edit to replace the "Dragnet 19xx" title with a generic "Dragnet" one. When the series was shown on Nick At Nite, the original titles remained in place.
- Power Rangers (also called Best of Power Rangers and Power Rangers Generations, originally Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Turbo, etc.).
- The Ward Bond episodes of Wagon Train as Major Adams, Trailmaster.
- The original You Bet Your Life as The Best Of Groucho.
- Kraft Suspense Theatre as either Suspense Theatre or Crisis.
- The Smurfs as Smurfs' Adventures
- Inverted with Alvin and the Chipmunks. When it was syndicated in 1988, the new episodes on NBC were shown under the new title The Chipmunks.
- Scooby-Doo: The 1976-78 episodes from The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour, Scooby's Laff-A-Lympics and the 1978 edition of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! were syndicated as The Scooby-Doo Show.
- Looney Tunes shorts were repackaged in the 1960s-1970s as The Bugs Bunny Show and The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour. Another inversion, since it aired variably on two networks (ABC and CBS), rather than in syndication.
- There were several packages of Warner cartoons not seen on the networks that were syndicated. The A.A.P. shorts (1931-48 Merrie Melodies and color Looney Tunes), the Sunset/Guild package of black-and-white Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny & Friends, and Porky Pig & Friends (packaged after Porky's show left ABC and included the redrawn Looney Tunes. Many of the so-called "Dork Age" cartoons (Daffy and Speedy cartoons, the Alex Lovy shorts) would first see TV airtime in 1970 on ABC's Saturday morning show Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp.
- Some reference sources errantly say that The Hair Bear Bunch went into syndication after its CBS run under the name "The Yo-Yo Bears," which was its name in development. The show was shelved for ten years, when USA cable picked it up for its Cartoon Express show.
- Jem as Jem and the Holograms (subverted since "Jem" is still the onscreen title)
- Lazer Tag Academy as Laser Patrol
- King Leonardo And His Short Subjects as The King And Odie Show.