What’s In A Name?

This Fall, History Television delves deep into the history of names and what they mean to our society in the all-new Canadian original series, What’s in a Name?.

Premiering Monday, September 12 at 8pm ET/PT on History Television, this quirky and insightful 13-episode series examines the thing people use the most but take most for granted: the name.

What’s in a Name? follows Canadians looking to find a one-of-a-kind, catchy and marketable name for everything from a rock band to a designer perfume to a soon-to-be born baby. The TV series and website are produced by Toronto-based marblemedia.

What’s In a Name? explores history in the best possible way – by using a modern day challenge to investigate the past. Every episode begins with an individual who needs to name something special. What’s in a Name? not only helps the person find the best name, but also examines what names worked – and what names didn’t – in the past.

These colourful individuals have been given a head start in their quest for a name. In advance of the TV production, names were submitted online by the Canadian public. The launching point for each episode is a short list of five names, based on the public’s submissions and experts weigh in on what works and what falls flat when choosing a name.

“There is an insatiable appetite for relatable historical content, and History Television is pleased to be the ultimate destination for this type of series. “What’s in a Name? is a perfect example of programming that encourages viewers to think of history as a topic that is engrained in our everyday lives,” said Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media. Narrated by brand expert, radio host, and best-selling author Terry O’Reilly, What’s in a Name? also features special appearances by well-known celebrities and personalities such as former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, rock expert Alan Cross, racecar driver Paul Tracy, the Trailer Park Boys, actor George Wendt and renowned chef Susur Lee.

The What’s in a Name? experience extends to the online world with the companion website WhatsinaName.com. Going live on September 7, 2011, the extensive website features a multitude of interactive elements, including polls and quizzes on names. In the game Nomatics, players solve fun puzzles to learn the history of iconic Canadians. The site also allows users to discover the meaning, popularity and origin of their names, create and submit stories on names, and explore other user’s name stories. Experts from What’s in a Name? contribute to the website, and a name-themed blog gives users the opportunity to write in and have their questions answered by the team. As well, viewers can catch up on episodes and unseen footage from What’s in a Name?

“While our TV series explores the naming of notable people, places and things, the website engages Canadians in a more personalized way, which is both educational and entertaining. It’s a great opportunity to extend the What’s in a Name? series to fans online, and encourage them to share with friends and family through their social networks,” said Matt Hornburg, Executive Producer/Partner, marblemedia.