Wednesday, September 21, 2005

There's More Than One Way to Skin a Dot-Com

''E-Ring'' premieres on NBC tonight. I think it's going to fail simply because of its name.

What is E-Ring? Is it a ringtone for Skype? An IM alert? A electronic terrorism ring?

Nope. None of these.

Maybe you're better informed than I was when I first heard the name. Maybe you knew that the E-Ring is the outermost ring of the Pentagon. I sure didn't. It turns out that the Pentagon has "five concentric pentagons of corridors and offices, with the designation of 'rings' and labeled A through E."

Why didn't NBC first call the series ''The Pentagon E-Ring'' and then later shorten the name to ''E-Ring?'' At least the longer name would put E-Ring in context. Maybe even give people a reason to watch. It's a pretty cluttered TV world, and I just don't see ''E-Ring'' catching the attention of potential viewers. Geez, even CBS started with ''Navy N.C.I.S.'' to differentiate it from ''C.S.I.'' while keeping its ties to ''J.A.G.'' Once the series found an audience, CBS shortened the name to ''N.C.I.S.'' for the second season.

Since I originally guessed that ''E-Ring'' related to the internet in some way, I looked for ep titles that reference the web. Can you name any eps with ''.com'' in the title?

  • digital (''New York Undercover,'' 9/28/1995)
  • (''Silk Stalkings,'' 2/9/1997)
  • (''Homicide Life on the Street,'' 2/5/1999)
  • (''The Net,'' 3/27/1999)
  • (''Seven Days,'' 10/13/1999)
  • (''Oh Baby,'' 1/29/2000)
  • Dot.Coms Are Human, Too (''Oh Baby,'' 3/11/2000)
  • (''Even Stevens,'' 6/17/2000)
  • (''Beggars and Choosers,'' 6/27/2000)
  • (''The Fugitive,'' 11/3/2000)
  • I'll Do It My (''The Jamie Foxx Show,'' 11/5/2000)
  • Matt& (''Raising Dad,'' 1/11/2002)
  • (''The Division,'' 2/2/2003)
  • Sex, Lies and (''Judging Amy,'' 5/18/2004)
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