Inside Move: JAG spinoff makes its name

Eye finally settles on title -- 'NCIS'

Follow the bouncing name: CBS has once and for all settled on a title for its upcoming “JAG” spinoff.

The series, which revolves around special agents who investigate crime connected to Navy and Marine Corps personnel, was originally developed as “NCIS.”

But execs at the Eye — which already boasts “CSI” in addition to “JAG” — had been wary of scheduling yet another show with initials in its title. What’s worse, “NCIS” even sounds like “CSI.”

So when the net announced its fall schedule, “NCIS” had turned into “Navy CIS.” One problem: The show revolves around the real-life Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which doesn’t just handle Navy cases.

CBS, along with Paramount Network TV and producer Don Bellisario, then changed the title to “Naval CIS.” Another problem: Eye execs thought the show sounded like it was set inside a bellybutton–or revolved around a juicy orange.

With deadlines for long-lead magazine ads and stories looming, CBS finally settled on (drum roll, please)… “NCIS.” That’s right. Viewers and critics who confuse it with “CSI” be damned.

Eye execs aren’t the only ones pondering title changes: UPN has changed the title of its Warner Bros. TV/Greenblatt-Janollari laffer “The Opposite Sex” to reflect the name of its lead, hip-hop star “Eve.”

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