2016 Update: Peak Tommy-vision

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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

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24 Comments

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24 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 😄 show that had a direct crossover with The Suite Life On Deck. It’s also linked to a lot of other shows on Disney 😄 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.

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