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Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Steve Cole's random thoughts on shared universes and crossover shows.

Recently, two new science fiction shows began: Killjoys (about some bounty hunters) and Dark Matter (about some mercenaries who wake up from stasis without their memories). When watching Killjoys one evening, I asked Leanna "Why don't they use that to open the vault on the lower deck?" and she gently told me that the vault in question was on the other ship in the other TV show with the other crew.

This set off a series of thoughts.

Why weren't the two shows set in the same universe? How much trouble would it have been to do so? Surely, it must be less trouble to invent one set of things like geography and culture and governments than to create two. With a firm hand in charge of consistency (please stop laughing, I know that every science fiction show changes the laws of the universe every time a new team of writers is hired) it could work.

This then led me to another idea, one I have had before and often mentioned at dinner but not in a blog.

Why don't all of the writers at all of the networks get together and link all of those police drama shows set in New York City? I mean, if you need a police commissioner on your cop show, why do anything other than ask Tom Selleck to step over from the Blue Bloods sound stage. I'm sure he'd do it for a reasonable price (actors love money and a walk-on role to give somebody a medal or a reprimand couldn't take that much time and bother). Surely the people who own Blue Bloods (Tom Selleck's show) would love to have a crossover with SVU (the sex-crimes drama also set in New York City). Can't one of the minor actors playing a sex crimes detective on Law & Order SVU show up at a crime scene and decide to leave the case in the competent hands of the Major Case Squad from Blue Bloods?

For that matter, are there not other shows that are totally unrelated but happen to be set in the same city? When new shows are created, why not put them in the same city as successful but unrelated shows and have the minor actors (who cost less) do walk-on roles to deliver a prisoner or a file? There was a really great show about FBI Witness Protection that was set in New Mexico. Why didn't every show putting someone into witness protection have an actor from that show briefly walk onto the set to pick them up and whisk them away?

This would get the viewers of one show to try another. So what if the other is on another network? Just arrange to have someone from that show appear on your show this week and send one of your people over to walk-onto their show next week! Everybody wins.