2016 Update: Peak Tommy-vision

mr-robot-alf-pic

With the definition of television expanding to include streaming content, and whole new platforms developing shows to entice people to subscribe, in 2015 there were 409 scripted series across broadcast, network and online services. It will be higher in 2016.

When we started this project around 15 years ago, the crossovers were between shows that fit a demographic or appeared in neighboring time-slots or had a creator in common. Now networks are looking for franchises, embracing spin-offs and resurrecting shows from two decades ago.

This years’ connections come from expected franchise building, like Supergirl connecting with The Flash and its spin-off DC’s Legends of Tomorrow debuting. Someone pointed out a traditional old-school crossover between Without A Trace and CSI, which we’d previously missed. And our inclusion of Girl Meets World last year, brought in another seven shows as part of the Disney Network Live Action Universe – which was something we had no idea even existed until this week.

There are now 441 shows on the list/grid/key – stretching from I Love Lucy (1951) to three shows that debuted this year (DC’s Legends of TomorrowFuller House and Degrassi: The Next Class). There are 49 shows on the list that are still airing; over ten percent of the entire list is a current show. We’ve hit peak television and peak Tommy.

Edit: Another update made August 21, 2016 to add in more Disney Channel shows

Advertisements

55 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

55 responses to “2016 Update: Peak Tommy-vision

  1. Spaghetti or not, here I come

    There’s actually more shows in the Disney Channel universe: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Franchise/DCLAU

    You should also add “Class”, a direct spinoff of Doctor Who that’s debuting this fall, to your next update.

    And if the original Power Rangers is in the Westphall verse then every other incarnation should be included as well. They’ve all teamed up in the finale for the Super Megaforce season: http://powerrangers.wikia.com/wiki/Legendary_Battle

  2. Did you know the person who first came up with this theory and put it in print? You should. He was that awesome.

    http://www.slushfactory.com/content/EpupypyZAZTDOLwdfz.php

  3. Kevin Rubio

    While Gow & Crowe may be the “keeps” of the list, the original theory was postulated by writer/producer/comic book creator, Dwayne McDuffie in 2002 from the post entitled: “Six Degrees of St. Elsewhere”, for the website, The Sluch Factory. (1-29-2002)
    (source here: http://www.slushfactory.com/content/EpupypyZAZTDOLwdfz.php *AND* here: https://youtu.be/zjtpFV4i-54)

  4. If you’re aware that the late/great Dwayne McDuffie originally came up with the hypothesis and what he dubbed the Grand Unification Theoryy of Television, acknowledging him in a post or the About section is just common courtesy.

    • Our inspirations would take up a long post – and some of them (including our own first site) are lost to long-ago lost internet pages. I appreciate someone linking to McDuffie’s post here, as it is one of the earliest blog posts about Tommy.

  5. Dan

    Really adore this website, crossovers and mapping out the connections between TV shows is fascinating. I think there are still some missed out from the Disney Channel Verse, it connects all the way down to 2 shows from Argentina, which may be a first for the universe.
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Franchise/DCLAU?from=Main.DCLAU
    Also missing is a connection between 24 (Already in the Universe) and Homeland and Tyrant, which all use fake CNB News, all 3 shows are also made by the same producer Howard Gordon.
    Blindspot also used the infamous Hudson University as a backdrop for one of its episodes as did The Mysteries of Laura, both on NBC.
    Keep up the awesome work!

  6. Dan M

    Really adore this website, crossovers and mapping out the connections between such different TV shows is fascinating. I think there are still some missed out from the Disney Channel Verse, it connects all the way down to 2 shows from Argentina, which may be a first for the universe.
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Franchise/DCLAU?from=Main.DCLAU
    Also missing is a connection between 24 (Already in the Universe) and Homeland and Tyrant, which all use fake CNB News, all 3 shows are also made by the same producer Howard Gordon.
    Blindspot also used the infamous Hudson University as a backdrop for one of its episodes as did The Mysteries of Laura, both on NBC.

  7. BB

    In the final episode of the TV show Psych, most of the characters move to San Francisco and Adrian Monk of the Monk TV show is referenced. The creator of Psych confirms this fact in this interview: http://www.eonline.com/news/526383/psych-the-cast-and-creator-spill-series-finale-secrets-plus-will-there-be-a-movie Therefore, Psych should be included.

    I do not know if this counts – Psych made several references to The Mentalist as seen this in this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uyrxx9D5ls

  8. Possibly an overlooked reference. In the St. Elsewhere episode, Legionnaires, Part 2 (s01e07), Westphall walks into Beale’s office as he’s talking to a patient on the phone. He says to her: “Mrs. Stephens, I don’t think your daughter-in-law is a witch.” This, of course, could be Phyllis Stephens, Darrin Stephens’ mother (Bewitched).

    While Bewitched is already connected, I thought that this would be interesting to your project.

  9. an actress or something

    have you added I’m In The Band to the Westphall-verse yet? It’s a Disney XD show that had a direct crossover with The Suite Life On Deck. It’s also linked to a lot of other shows on Disney XD and two foreign-language productions as well

  10. Also of note is the link between Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. In the 2.5M episode “The Salmon Under My Sweater” (2004), Charlie wrote the theme song for Oshikuru: Demon Samurai, an anime show which Sheldon, Leonard, and Penny watch in “The Gothowitz Deviation” (2009)

  11. scifive

    You’ve noted the Weyland-Yutani company as linking several sci-fi shows (Angel, Red Dwarf, various Star Treks, Firefly) but you should know that the company originates in the Alien film franchise. Joss Whedon wrote Alien: Resurrection, which I assume explains him including the company in Angel and Firefly.

  12. Ryan

    I dispute the connection between Alf and Mr. Robot. Elliot imagines Alf in a dream sequence. Alf does not appear in the “real” world of Mr. Robot. Instead he is a fictional character. This would mean that Elliot has watched the Alf television show, not met the actual Alf, like the original connection between Alf and the rest of the Universe. If this is a valid connection, there are literally dozens of other shows that have made Alf references which should be added. This would open the list to several other shows to be analyzed for connection through references.

  13. Bobby

    Canonically, The Lone Rangers Nephew Dan Reid is the father of Brit Reid AKA the Green Hornet. Making The Lone Ranger Green Hornets Great Uncle.

  14. Maggie the Ocelot

    As of Sunday, Sherlock is in…the most recent episode (Season 4, episode 2) showed a letter from Torchwood (with the official Torchwood logo) on Sherlock’s mantelpiece. There is also dialogue in Season 3 episode 2 where Mycroft quotes M from the James Bond series, saying the quote is from “A colleague of mine”.

  15. As The Walking Dead is now in, Telltale’s The Walking Dead seasons 1 and 3 have a character crossovers with the television series.

  16. Scott Alan Johnson

    Northern Exposure should be added to the list, because of a reference to Twin Peaks. Episode 1.5, Russian Flu, has Fleishman visiting Snoqualmie Falls, and sees the log lady through a telescope.

    • I resisted making this connection for a long time, because it literally makes no sense that someone in Alaska can see Twin Peaks (in Washington) through a telescope. Twin Peaks has been admitted through other means, but I wish I could include Northern Exposure.

  17. Mike

    You forgot the show I’m in the Band, it had a crossover with The Suite Life on Deck.

  18. Mike

    Also, you guys left out the Power Rangers series from Zeo-Ninja Steel

  19. Mike

    And also, Blackish had an episode where they went to Disney World, so this should be added too.

    • A trip to Disney World does not constitute a crossover as far as I know. Now if the amusement park were a fictional one which is shared between shows, it could count as a crossover if the reference were very specific, in my opinion.

      Real places should not create crossovers, or the chart would include every television series out there. Think of all the series set in Washington D.C. They do not cross over just because characters from different shows visited the Smithsonian, unless the characters meet face to face.

      • WOW!

        Actually Black-ish should be included but for a different reason. The season two finale explicitly mentions Diff’rent Strokes and The Cosby Show, meaning that it would count as in the same universe.

  20. Mike

    MacGyver (2016) just had a crossover with Hawaii Five O (2010)

  21. Dan

    The Sunshine Girls are a fictional in universe version of the Girl Scots that exist within the Disney Channel Universe, appearing in That’s So Raven, Corey in the House and Hannah Montana (Hannah sings at their benefit concert). They also appear in the Nickelodeon Universe, in iCarly and Victorious, with very similar uniforms. This would bring in all of the Nick Verse into the Tommy Westphall Universe:
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/NickVerse

    • Similar or exact? Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, so can I see screen shots? Also, do you know episode titles where these appearances were made?

      • Dan

        They all wear yellow uniforms and yellow hats. Only difference is the orange sashes they wear in the Nickelodian shows. However even in the real world the uniforms of scouts and girl guides differs from area to area, so it definitely could be judged as a substantial link.

  22. Conor

    Yoyodyne (referenced as a front for Lectroid aliens in Buckaroo Banzai and as the main manufacturer of Federation ships in Star Trek) is referenced in passing in Silicon Valley and manufactured the central bus station on The John Larroquette Show.

  23. Dan

    The TARDIS is in Episode 10 Season 2 of “The Librarians” in a really awesome cameo.
    SVU’s Hudson University has also recently appeared in Elementary (S5E13), 12 Monkeys (S2E9), Bull (S1E3), and even 13 Reasons Why (S1E8)

  24. Gilmore Girls has a Donna Reed episode!

  25. Mike

    Raven’s Home should be added in this, since its a spinoff of That’s So Raven.

  26. Mike

    On the grid, I found That ’70s Show on there twice, but The Middle wasn’t on there.

  27. I’ve got to dispute the connection between Julia and St. Elsewhere. Yes, there is a character named Dr. Morton Chegley on both series. Dr. Morton Chegley on Julia is played by Lloyd Nolan, born in 1902. Dr. Morton Chegley on St. Elsewhere is played by Arthur Taxier, born in 1951. So, not only are the characters played by different actors, the actors have an age difference of 49 years.

  28. Dan

    The Visitor (1997-8) makes a really cool reference to the X-Files, that if the shows FBI agents don’t solve the case (involving a pilot abducted by aliens) the section chief will give it to “those two clowns down in the basement”. Although it doesn’t mention them by name, both shows were produced by Fox and it’s just too fun not to include!

    • I agree it would be great to include it, but without the characters in the basement being specifically named, this leads to a very slippery slope of including every wink and nudge. I am still disputing the inclusion of Haven because no names of the agents were given, making the reference too vague.

  29. Dan

    I’ve been looking into a large shared universe between British soaps and have found some crossover links.
    In 1993 Doctor Who crossed over with EastEnders (1985-Present) in “Dimensions in Time” which while many fans today consider non-canonical, it was when it first aired. EastEnders spun off:
    EastEnders:E20 (2010-2011)
    Kat and Alfie: Redwater (2017-Present)

    Coronation Street (1960-Present)
    In 2010 a crossover occurred between EastEnders and Coronation Street with characters from Albert Square visiting Weatherfield and visa versa.
    Spun Off:
    Pardon the Expression (1965-6)
    Turn Out the Lights (1967)
    The Brothers McGreggor (1985-8)
    After Hours (1999)

    Emmerdale (1972-Present) featured a character crossover with Coronation Street’s Reg Holdworth appearing in TV movie “The Dingles in Venice”.

    Brookside (1982-2003) mentioned the January 1994 plane crash featured in Emmerdale as a real event, a character reading a newspaper featuring the headline “AIR DISASTER TOLL RISES – Village Mourns As Many Die”.
    Spun off: Damon and Debbie (1987)

    Hollyoaks (1995-Present)
    Matt Musgrave from Brookside crossed over on to Hollyoaks.
    Spun off:
    Hollyoaks: In the City (2006)
    Hollyoaks Later (2008-2013)

    Crossroads (1964-2008, 2001-2003)
    Jill Richardson, the owner of the shows fictional hotel guest starred in Brookside as hotel owning “Cousin Jill”. Funnily enough in the shows final episode it was revealed that the entire run had been a dream of a character named Angel. Dreams within dreams within dreams!

    So that’s a total of 15 shows that are connected and within the Tommy Westphall’s mind.

  30. Given that Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, and Dead Like Me are on the list, apparently Hannibal should also be added. As described here: http://whatculture.com/tv/10-tv-shows-you-didnt-realise-were-set-in-the-same-universe?page=7 the Wonderfalls character Gretchen Speck-Horowitz later appears in Hannibal.

    • Dan

      The character Marianne Marie Beetle (played by Beth Grant) , who originated in Wonderfalls, and then appeared in Dead Like Me, also appeared in the pilot episode of Mockingbird Lane, which wasn’t picked up. I wonder is American God’s will eventually join the Fullerverse and the larger Westphallverse?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s