ABC's new "The Goldbergs" (premiering Tuesday at 9 p.m.) resembles "The Wonder Years" in form but another show in name: the early, unrelated sitcom "The Goldbergs," which was based on the popular radio show and starred Gertrude Berg. It aired on CBS, NBC, the defunct DuMont network and first-run syndication from 1949 through 1955. (Ten episodes are available on Netflix; Shout! Factory released the six-disc, 71-episode "The Ultimate Goldbergs" DVD set.)
This isn't the first series with the same title as an earlier, unrelated show, of course. A handful of others demonstrate that when it comes to TV, sometimes it pays to pick up after a name-dropper.
THE HIT "Lost" (ABC, 2004-10) Surreal drama of plane-crash survivors on an uncharted island having to make their way home
THE MISS "Lost" (NBC, 2001) Reality show of three couples dropped into Mongolia having a not-so-amazing race home.
THE HIT "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) Drama set in a Chicago emergency room, with ensemble cast and starring George Clooney.
THE MISS "E/R" (CBS, 1984-85) Sitcom set in a Chicago emergency room, with supporting-cast member George Clooney.
THE HIT "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004) Legal drama of a Boston law firm.
THE MISS "The Practice" (NBC, 1976-77) Sitcom of New York father-son doctors.
THE HIT "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004) Six 20-something / 30-something friends explore life and love.
THE MISS "Friends" (ABC, 1979) Three 11-year-old friends explore life and like.
THE HIT "Hard Copy" (syndicated 1989-99) Tabloid TV show
THE MISS "Hard Copy" (CBS, 1987) Drama of non-tabloid Los Angeles newspaper.
THE HIT "Happy Days" (ABC, 1974-84) Sitcom of a nostalgically remembered '50s.
THE MISS "Happy Days" (CBS, 1970) Variety show of a nostalgically remembered '30s and '40s.
THE HIT "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975-present) Late-night comedy sketch show with Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray and Christopher Guest all eventually among The Not Ready for Prime Time Players. Titled "Saturday Night" until the other show tanked.
THE MISS "Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell" (ABC, 1975-76) Prime-time variety show with Bill Murray, Brian Doyle- Murray and Christopher Guest as The Prime Time Players.
THE HIT "Police Story" (NBC, 1973-75) Realistic dramatic anthology of police work.
THE MISS "Police Story" (CBS, 1952) Anthology dramatizing real-life police casework.