The ‘Bitch’ is back.
After ABC changed a new show’s mildly profane title during development, upcoming comedy Apartment 23 has now more-or-less reverted to its original head-turning name.
The official new title of the show is Don’t Trust The B—- in Apartment 23, dashing out the letters of the curse in an attempt to soften its impact (not unlike how CBS dealt with the short-lived Shit My Dad Says last season, substituting the non-word “$#*!”). The Disney-owned network has two upcoming shows that previously used the word “bitch” in their title: Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 and drama Good Christian Bitches. The former was shortened to Apartment 23 right before the network’s broadcast upfront presentation in May. The latter was change to Good Christian Belles, and was then changed again to GCB. (Good Christian Bitches, in particular, was singled out by some culture critics who were ready to pounce on the show should it hit the air with its original title).
In the case of Apartment 23, the new title was rather anonymous; it didn’t tell you anything about the show. The new version more clearly suggests the show’s premise — about a naive midwesterner (Dreama Walker) who moves in with a hardcore party girl (Krysten Ritter). And given that CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and Fox’s New Girl have successfully launched girl-with-new-roommate(s)-in-the-big-city premises this fall, the cleverly written Apartment 23 might likewise pop for viewers. The show does not yet have a premiere date, but is expected to debut sometime this season.
Although networks are wary about the swear word in a show title, on-air use is fair game. According to a story in the New York Times a couple years ago, the use of the word “bitch” in primetime tripled in the last decade, growing to 1,277 uses on 685 shows in 2007 from 431 uses on 103 prime-time episodes in 1998.