Design your own TV crossover!

Last updated 09:47 03/02/2012

Did you know Homicide: Life on the Street's Detective John Munch (played by Richard Belzer) appeared in Arrested Development, Law & Order, The X Files and The Wire? Or that a Firefly-class ship can be seen in the first few minutes of the Battlestar Galactica mini-series? Or that Lost's Charlie Pace hooks up with a girl whose father is in the middle of purchasing a paper company in Slough, the same town where The Office was set?

20120203The crossover is one of the most fun aspects of regular television viewing - and I was reminded of just how much fun they can be after coming across Poobala's Crossovers and Spin-Offs List last week ... which resulted in about half my weekend being spent in front of my lappy, gobbling up every last crossover I could read about.

Crossovers can be subtle and they can be comical, like when Mulder & Scully appeared on The Simpsons. But crossovers can also be big, acting as backdoor pilots for new shows or establishing a shared reality for two series; for example, if Detective John Munch is a real character on Homicide, Arrested Development, Law & Order, The X Files and The Wire, then isn't it fair to assume that all of those exist in the same fictional alternative universe? I think so.

Anyway, I don't want to get too complicated - in fact, I wanted to have a bit of fun today: seeing as it's the Friday before a long weekend, I thought we could have a bit of a laugh designing our own TV crossovers.

All you have to do is pick a character, setting, object or story event from one show, and introduce it to another show. Your crossover can be as big or small as you'd like; make it a glaringly obvious reference or a delightfully subtle nod to a favourite show. Just make sure you post your ideas in the comments section below.

To get things started, here are five crossovers I'd like to see take place ...

CSI / Fringe / Person of Interest: Nick heads to a crime scene on the roof of the Mandalay Bay, where a man swears he saw a person jump off the edge of the building and fly away; unable to disprove the witness, the case is sent to the FBI where it lands on Olivia Dunham's desk. At the same time, the Mandalay Flying Bird Man (so named by the awkward Las Vegas media) has become a target for the mysterious Mr Finch after his social security number popped out of the machine, leading to a gripping face-off (is there any other kind?!) between Reese and Dunham.

Go Girls / The Almighty Johnsons: Britta wears fairy outfits and seems she probably believes in a heap of kooky-spiritual-fantasy stuff ... isn't it at least possible that she might be Frigg? If it isn't possible, it certainly will be after I take over at South Pacific Pictures and green-light The Almighty Go Girls: Gods of the North Shore.

Dexter / Criminal Minds / Sons of Anarchy: The BAU team are called in after the murder of several men involved in a hostage crisis at Harrison Morgan's daycare centre, unaware that the unsub is actually Dexter "The Bay Harbour Butcher" Morgan. Meanwhile, Dexter escapes to Charming, California, where he hides out with new friend Jax Teller under the assumed biker name Dogwood Corgan ... until an Irish guy kidnaps Harrison and takes him to Belfast, at which point I switch off because that s*** was boring the first time.

House / Monroe: This is actually a fully formed spinoff in which the two doctors just argue back and forth about who is making the correct diagnosis, while simultaneously one-upping each other by sabotaging their own personal lives, until a minor cast member saves the day in the final act. Who wouldn't watch an hour of that every week?!

Downton Abbey / Boardwalk Empire: This might be the greatest idea I've ever had, and it fits into eight simple words: Nucky Thompson, the Countess of Grantham's American brother. I've got a large grin just imagining the possibilities. Would Thomas leave Downton to join the booze war in Atlantic City? Could Arnold Rothstein join Nucky for a short visit to the estate? How quickly would Owen Sleater talk Anna into cheating on Mr Bates? Perhaps Margaret Schroeder and Branson the Chauffeur could be old school friends?! Dear god, please make this happen.

What television crossovers would you like to see happen? Post your ideas in the comments section below ...

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41 comments
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BDI   #1   09:53 am Feb 03 2012

Here's my dream TV crossover: Kardashian UFC special.

Each of the cast of the vomitous 'Kardashian' programmes are, one-by-one, led into the UFC cage to be pummelled into a bloody mess by a mugging bully-boy.

Ratings success would obviously dictate whether any followups happen. With luck we'd get at least one sequel, and I'd have to vote for that to be a Jersey Shore UFC special.

Rich   #2   09:54 am Feb 03 2012

Downton Abbey/Boardwalk Empire. My head just exploded from sheer awesomeness.

samm   #3   10:04 am Feb 03 2012

Criminal Minds/Packed to the Rafters. No idea how they would interact, but you could guarantee every episode would be 'UNMISSABLE!'.

Oh and being an ancient Homicide fan, yes I did know of the many incarnations of Detective Munch :) One of the many highlights of 'The Wire' was spotting all of the 'Homicide' alumni popping up here and there.

Hazzard County Cricket Club   #4   10:06 am Feb 03 2012

Dukes Of Hazzard/Seinfeld

I would rewrite the final episode of Seinfeld so that the plane is forced to make an emergency landing in Hazzard instead of Latham - Jerry, George, Elaine & Kramer could then be arrested by Sheriff Coltrane on some trumped up charge but instead of going to trial as they did in the actual finale Bo & Luke could bust them out of jail and spend the rest of the episode fanging around in the General Lee jumping over stuff. Elaine could hook up with Cooter, Daisy (having rebuffed Jerry's advances) could hook up with George, Kramer could make an unco-ordinated fool of himself attempting a General Lee bonnet slide and somehow it would all contribute to Uncle Jesse saving the Duke farm from Boss Hogg.

that's some good TV watchin'...

...Louise...   #5   10:10 am Feb 03 2012

Speaking of cross-overs, I just discovered last night that they have published the Richard Castle novels, Heat Wave etc as by Richard Castle. One reviewer made me laugh, "In the show he comes across as a much better writer!"

Too late in week for me to be inventive, but my favourite cross-overs were the A-Team at a picture studio where Face sees a Cylon and pauses for a moment with a don't I know you look. And Mad About You appearing on Friends mistaking Phoebe for her sister.

Leon   #6   10:15 am Feb 03 2012

Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Twilight cross over. Buffy turns up in this cross time / cross genre (TV vs Movie) show, kills all the sparkly emo gits :-)

Works equally well with anybody who kills vampires + Twilight.

Skittles   #7   10:19 am Feb 03 2012

I'd like to see Glee & Dexter crossed over - hopefully he kills them all & Glee is never shown again

Matthew   #8   10:26 am Feb 03 2012

If you're aware of the Poobala site, then hopefully you've discovered the Tommy Westphall universe. The theory goes, the final scene of St Elsewhere revealed the show to take place in the mind of an autistic boy calld Tommy Westphall. But characters from St Elsewhere appeared in Homicide, so therefore Homicide must also exist in the child's mind. Meanwhile, the character of John Munch leaves Homicide and becomes a regular in Law and Order: SVU, so all the L&O spin-offs are also imagined. The character of Munch also appears in shows like The Wire, Arrested Development, and The X-Files, putting all those shows in the child's mind. If you carry on following all these threads, you get an entire universe of television shows that logically are all being imagined by this one child.

(There's also another thread that leads through Cheers, but as I understand it the Cheers characters appeared on St Elsewhere, not the other way around, so you could argue that Tommy Westphall was just incorporating characters from another TV show he'd seen into the universe he's imagining, so I personally discount that thread. With the Homicide crossover, the imagined characters went into another show, which is different from characters in another show appearing in an imagined universe.)

Peter   #9   10:48 am Feb 03 2012

Assuming that referencing another show makes them both part of the same universe is rarely a good thing for one's sanity. For example, both Community and Cougar Town exist as shows in each other's universe (characters on both shows have mentioned watching the other show), but if you try and bend your mind to fit both of these possibilities into a single universe... well, I can't even describe how impossible it would be.

Noshow   #10   10:54 am Feb 03 2012

I've always felt that every Australian Rom Com drama series (excluding Underbelly) should all be combined into one hour episode and do us all a favor.

Australia is a big place so its not inconceivable that the McLeods Daughters farm is in the middle somewhere but driving distance to the Home & Away seaside, or the city, or the naval base, or the Police station, or the vet clinic, or whatever.

Just imagine how much time that would free up on our screens for other, hopefully more interesting, viewing.

You know it makes sense!


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