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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 2:41pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I am not sure if this topic has been done previously (search function suggests no), I certainly know we've done it for films.

So, what about TV shows that were called something different for overseas audiences?

Supernatural detective series RANDALL AND HOPKIRK (DECEASED) was released in the US as MY PARTNER, THE GHOST. I prefer the UK title.

Australian soap opera PRISONER was renamed PRISONER: CELL BLOCK H in the UK so as to avoid confusion with Patrick McGoohan's series.

LOIS AND CLARK was renamed THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN when BBC aired it in 1994. I don't know the reason for it. I am guessing the BBC thought having Superman's name in the title would make it more marketable and attractive; that said, surely British audiences knew that Lois and Clark were characters from DC.

On a similar note, for a while, the UK's Channel 4 renamed SMALLVILLE as SMALLVILLE: SUPERMAN THE EARLY YEARS. Again, maybe they thought adding Superman's name would market it better. Or maybe they were worried Brits would have no idea what Smallville was.

I suspect we won't be able to come up with much (prove me wrong, folks!) as TV shows don't seem as prone to name changes as films.
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Phil Kreisel
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 3:43pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The TV Series "Spooks" was named MI-5 when it first aired in Canada.  As I never got into it (but a good friend of mine couldn't get enough of it), I don't know what the rationale for the name change was.

I take it we're not counting shows that started off in one part of the world and were remade (and often renamed) in others (e.g. The UK's Man about the House remade as Three's Company in the US)
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 5:20pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Yes, keeping remakes out of it, please. Thinking totally of a show that was renamed for a foreign audience.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 5:26pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Top Cat was renamed as Boss Cat by the BBC because they didn't want to advertise the cat food Top Kat, despite the fact that they didn't overdub the show, so that everyone called him TC and the song was Top Cat over the titles...

Edited to add: the damning evidence LINK


Edited by Peter Martin on 05 January 2018 at 5:28pm
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 5:41pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The only rationale I can think of for renaming Spooks to MI-5 is that maybe they thought `Spooks' sounds like a show about ghosts (as in spirits), not spies.






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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 5:51pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Speaking of McGoohan and The Prisoner, the UK version of McGoohan's first spy series was called Danger Man but the US eventually got it as Secret Agent (with a theme called Secret Agent... Man).  Some theorize that The Prisoner was a continuation of McGoohan's John Drake character though McGoohan says no. 
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 7:50pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Post deleted for Robbie. 

Edited by Brian Miller on 06 January 2018 at 8:34am
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 8:27pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Actually, it was VALERIE, VALERIE'S FAMILY: THE HOGANS, then THE HOGAN FAMILY. And the name changes were due to Valerie Harper leaving the show, not changes made for other countries.


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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 10:27pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

On a family trip to Northern Ireland in the '80s, I happened to see some news show interviewing Don Messick, and the announcer called him the voice of. among the obvious others,  'the celebrated Scooby Hound." 
I never saw an actual Scooby cartoon, so I don't know if they really renamed Scooby, or if it was just another instance of a 'news goof'.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 10:47pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

"Hey, our ratings aren't so good! Let's start calling it 'STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE' instead of just 'ENTERPRISE', so people will know it's supposed to be a STAR TREK show!"
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 05 January 2018 at 11:24pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Another possible reason for the British name change for "Lois & Clark" could be that the name plays on a phonetic similarity to American explorers Lewis & Clark. Since that connection might not be familiar to UK audiences, they may have simply opted for the more marketable approach with Superman's name right there in the title.

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I missed the part about changing for foreign audiences. 

And I knew why the name was changed. I did not know about the VF:TH bit tho. I remembered them being different. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 8:09am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

In my first post:


 QUOTE:
So, what about TV shows that were called something different for overseas audiences?

I do feel sometimes (including in the "versus" topics I do) that no-one actually bothers to read my posts in full.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 8:33am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I did read your post, Robbie. It just didn’t take in my brain for some reason. No need for the scolding. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I was half-asleep, dagnabbit!
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 11:14am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Another possible reason for the British name change for "Lois & Clark" could be that the name plays on a phonetic similarity to American explorers Lewis & Clark. Since that connection might not be familiar to UK audiences, they may have simply opted for the more marketable approach with Superman's name right there in the title.

*** 

You beat me to it, Brian. I had always assumed that was the case - I am generalising here but I suspect most UK viewers most definitely hadn't heard of Lewis and Clark.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Yes, I think Brian is right. 

Personally, I prefer the title THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, given the 50s series was called THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN and there was a comic of the same name. 
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Jim Muir
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 12:20pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

The one that instantly sprang to mind was the cartoon “Teenage mutant
ninja turtles” renamed a n the UK as “teenage mutant hero turtles”

Some broadcasting ruling over the promotion of “ninjas” to children, I
think!
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 12:45pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

The actual name of the show was LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. Superman was always in the title.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

The only rationale I can think of for renaming Spooks to MI-5 is that maybe they thought `Spooks' sounds like a show about ghosts (as in spirits), not spies.

——

I think they might have been concerned that some people in North America would think it was referring to the racial slur.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 1:32pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

"Australian soap opera PRISONER was renamed PRISONER: CELL BLOCK H in the UK so as to avoid confusion with Patrick McGoohan's series."

Yeah, that's the title they used in the U.S.....and boy was I addicted to it.

I used to watch  GOOD NEIGHBORS on PBS. I found out later it was originally titled THE GOOD LIFE in the U.K.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

The American comic strip character Dennis the Menace shares a name(and very nearly a birthday) with the UK comic strip character(longtime star of THE BEANO).
The American newspaper cartoon was retitled for British printings as  'The Pickle' for some years, until it was agreed to use the shorter title 'Dennis'.  Connecting this with TV, I know that the more recent TV cartoon versions have used that shorter title in the UK. I'm not sure about the early '60s live-action sitcom with Jay North, did that even run in the UK?
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 6:59pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

The UK's Born Survivor: Bear Grylls  was renamed either Man vs Wild or Ultimate Survival in most overseas markets.

Robin of Sherwood was Robin Hood in the US.

Three BBC shows that were renamed for the US:

Are You Being Served? sequel Grace and Favour became Are You Being Served? Again! in the US.

Jam and Jerusalem, Jennifer Saunders' sitcom about the Women's Institute, became Clatterford (the town where it was set). This might be because the US audience would be unfamiliar with the W.I. being associated with jam-making and the hymn Jerusalem.

Sketch show The Fast Show became Brilliant which was the catchphrase of one of the characters. I believe there was already a series called The Fast Show in the US>


Edited by Robbie Moubert on 06 January 2018 at 7:14pm
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Ray Brady
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Posted: 06 January 2018 at 8:30pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I think franchises need to be treated differently than remakes, and a lot of those get renamed for foreign markets. Thus does Pop Idol become American Idol, while Strictly Come Dancing becomes Dancing With the Stars.

Most recently the Great British Bake-off needed to be renamed for the US market as the Great American Baking Show, because the term "Bake-off" is a trademark of Pillsbury.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 07 January 2018 at 3:39am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

In the mid-2000s, the BBC's detective drama set in Newcastle, 55 Degrees North, was redubbed with its original working title, The Night Detective, for airing on BBC America. As was the case with changing Spooks to MI5, the rationale was that the alternate title described the show's premise more easily for the mentally-challenged Americans(clearly implied to make up much of the viewing audience) who wouldn't understand the more 'British' title.
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