Remember when in 2009 CBS put in development a comedy series based on the blog Shit My Dad Says? The racy title raised a lot of eyebrows throughout the project’s development process. The network toned it down to $#*! My Dad Says when it picked up the comedy to series, but still drew the wrath of watchdog Parents Television Council, which urged a boycott of the show.
It seem like $#*! My Dad Says was the canary in a coal mine that tested the limits of how far creators can go with the use of foul language in titles and get away with it. While so-called “fleeting expletives” have gotten broadcasters in hot water with threats of steep fines, curse words slowly but surely have been creeping into show names. $#*! My Dad Says was followed by two projects during the 2010-11 development season that had “bitch” in the title: ABC’s Don’t Trust The Bitch in Apt. 23 and Good Christian Bitches. Both went on the air with their original titles, though “bitch” was not spelled out — Don’t Trust The B—- in Apt 23 and GCB. Last development season, CBS’ Greg Berlanti/Greg Malins comedy pilot was casually referred to as Oh Fuck It’s You.
Which brings us to this development season with a whopping four comedies that feature “fuck” in their titles: Adam Goldberg’s How The Fuck I’m Normal, which has a pilot production commitment at ABC; ABC’s Dumb Fuck, written by Hank Nelken; as well as NBC’s Fuck I’m In My Twenties, which like $#*! is based on a blog; and Grow The Fuck Up from writer Ali Rushfield. Are we getting close to the first on-air American TV series with the F-word in the name?