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Saying What He Means

July 8, 2007 9:00 PM

Fox reality guru Mike Darnell's "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" will face off against NBC's similarly themed "The Singing Bee" this week.

Though it's anybody's guess which program will come out on top, Mr. Darnell is certain of one thing: His title is way better.

"You absolutely know what 'Don't Forget the Lyrics!' is," he said. Mr. Darnell has a famed penchant for wordy, descriptive and occasionally hostile-sounding reality show titles, such as "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"

When Mr. Darnell was first pitched "5th Grader," the original title was "Do You Remember Grade School?" -- wordy and descriptive, for sure, but lacking the lapel-grabbing challenge of "Smarter." In fact, this week's issue of Business Week is citing "Smarter" as the best reality show title of all time.

"Sometimes they make fun of me around here," Mr. Darnell said. "Like, 'Oh my God, it will never fit in the TV Guide.'" -- James Hibberd


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