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Syndication Title

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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/Ellen, Enterprise/Star Trek: Enterprise, Mrs. Columbo/Kate 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.


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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Babes in Toyland (1934) was retitled March of the Wooden Soldiers when the movie began airing on television in the early 1950s. This was because the rights to the original title had been sold for the remake, though that was still in Development Hell at the time. (The Storybook Opening was deleted from this version for the same reason.)
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla ran on local stations in a mostly uncut and expanded form under that title at the same time a heavily edited version played in theaters as The Terror of Godzilla in 1978.
  • Satisfaction (1988) was originally released theatrically under this title as a collaboration with NBC and Aaron Spelling as a starring vehicle for Justine Bateman. When the movie made its network television debut in 1991, the movie was renamed ''Girls of Summer'' with the emphasis on Julia Roberts (who had a relatively minor role in this movie) due to her success with Pretty Woman.
  • The 1936 Flash Gordon serial was retitled Space Soldiers for 1950s television airings, to avoid confusion with the made-for-TV Flash Gordon (1954).
  • Some Like it Hot, a 1939 movie featuring Bob Hope, Shirley Ross and Gene Krupa, has aired on television under the title Rhythm Romance, which helps distinguish it from the better-known 1959 movie Some Like It Hot.
  • The Get Smart feature film The Nude Bomb was shown on cable as The Return of Maxwell Smart.
  • The early Our Gang shorts were sold into syndication as The Little Rascals, as MGM retained the rights to the Our Gang title.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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 & 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
  • 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 The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.
  • The The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour was syndicated as We Love Lucy in the 70s.
  • Emergency!! as Emergency One
  • CHiPS as CHiPS Patrol
  • Ironside (1967) as The Raymond Burr Show
  • Marcus Welby, M.D. 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. Anderson didn't totally succeed, as an episode was screened at a convention in 2006.
      • Anderson sold his rights in both Thunderbirds and his earlier shows to ITC in the late 1960s after he found himself in personal financial problems. He had absolutely no control over any exploitation of the show from that point onwards. He had no power to order Turbocharged Thunderbirds destroyed, and it still exists in full; indeed, it was sold on VHS in the late 1990s and was being repeated in Japan as late as 2009.
  • The Carol Burnett Show as Carol Burnett and Friends
  • The Ropers as Three's Company's Friends: The Ropers
  • 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.
  • Richard Diamond, Private Detective as Call Mr. D.
  • The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson airs on Antenna TV as Johnny Carson, as it is scheduled against the current incarnation of The Tonight Show on NBC in much of the country.
  • Gangbusters as Captured.
  • The Millionaire as If You Had a Million.


    Western Animation 
  • 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 until the USA Network picked it up for its Cartoon Express block.
  • 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.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: The show began airing on ABC in 1959 as Rocky and His Friends. In 1961, new episodes movied on NBC as part of The Bullwinkle Show, while older episodes aired in syndication as part of The Rocky Show. The show was retitled Bullwinkle's Moose-o-Rama on Nickelodeon, and then The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show on Cartoon Network. Finally, international prints were titled The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends and those are the prints that are used on official DVD releases.
  • The Puppy's New Adventures and The Puppy's Further Adventures as The Puppy's Great Adventures
  • Jay Ward's 1964 series Hoppity Hooper went into syndication as Uncle Waldo's Cartoon Show.