Friday, September 20, 2019


In continuing our September theme of looking at those behind the scenes, both fictional and true, who expand the TV Universe in some way, this week we’re looking at the televersion of newswoman Katie Couric.


From Wikipedia:
Katherine Anne Couric (born January 7, 1957) is an American journalist and author. She recently served as Yahoo's Global News Anchor. Couric has been a television host on all Big Three television networks in the United States, and in her early career was an Assignment Editor for CNN. She worked for NBC News from 1989 to 2006, CBS News from 2006 to 2011, and ABC News from 2011 to 2014.

In addition to her television news roles, she hosted Katie, a syndicated daytime talk show produced by Disney–ABC Domestic Television from September 10, 2012, to June 9, 2014.

Some of her most important notable roles include co-host of Today, anchor of the CBS Evening News, and correspondent for 60 Minutes. She also reported for nearly every television news broadcast across ABC, CBS and NBC. Couric's 2011 book, The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives, was a New York Times best-seller. In 2004, Couric earned induction into the Television Hall of Fame.

For more on Katie Couric, click here.

Here are the roles which guaranteed her a place in the Television Crossover Universe:

Murphy Brown
- A Chance of Showers

Sesame Street
- Telly Builds a Tower with Two Monster Girls (1996)
- The Cave Monster Who Wanted a Pet (1998)
- Episode #31.1 (2000)

Will & Grace
- Marry Me a Little
- Marry Me a Little More (2002)

- The Sue Sylvester Shuffle

- We Live in Two Different Worlds
- When You're Tired of Breaking Other Hearts (2013)

The Colbert Report
- Katie Couric (2007)
- Amy Farrell (2011)
- Alexis Ohanian (2013)
- Same to You, Pal (2014)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- Criminal Stories

- Pilot

This Is Us
- Jack Pearson's Son

Murphy Brown
- A Lifetime of Achievement
(2018) .

One Day at a Time
- What Happened

(O’Bservation: This was archival footage from 9/11/2001 when she was reporting on ‘Today’ about the attack on the Twin Towers.  We didn’t get to see her; we only heard her voice.  This will be one of the qualifiers to get the ‘Today’ show into the Hall.)

Welcome to the Hall, Ms. Couric!

Monday, September 16, 2019


Often with my Thursday Theories of Relateeveety, I often turn to ‘Columbo’ and seek out possible family relations for the various characters in the episodes – murderers, victims, and those on the sidelines.

I think it’s time I turned my attention to the main man himself.  And since he would have been 92 today….

First off, big thanks go out to Ted Kerin, who collected all the info about Lt. Columbo’s family for the best Columbo web site out there.

Q. Did Columbo come from a big family?
A. Yes. His mother was in the hospital having a baby "about once a year for a while there" ("Murder Under Glass"). Dinnertime at the Columbo household 
"was like, well, you know, Madison Square Garden." ("Lady In Waiting")

Q. How many brothers and sisters did Columbo have?
A. Five Brothers and one sister. "We were never lonely." 
("Make Me A Perfect Murder")

Q. How many of Columbo's siblings can you name?
A. He has a brother Sal, who taught him to smoke at age 12 ("Strange Bedfellows"). 

He also had an older brother, who was very popular with the girls: Columbo got "an education" by impersonating his older brother on the telephone when the girls called. ("Murder In Malibu") 

I think we can combine all of those references into being about just one of the Lieutenant’s brothers, excluding his younger brother “Baby”, and O’Bviously that would be Salvatore Columbo.  Sal should then be the brother who taught him to smoke cigars, and he was the one who was popular with the girls in school.  Sal Columbo also has a voice that Frank Columbo found easy to imitate and he might have fallen into sounding exactly the same as Sal out of habit... and because of the cigar habit. 

None of those brothers made it into the ‘Columbo’ series – hey, if we weren’t going to meet his wife, it was unlikely we were ever going to meet his brothers nor his sister Mary.

But of course, I’m not bound by the confines of TV series borders when it come to my theories of relateeveety.  Nothing says we have to find any of them (but especially Sal) within an episode of ‘Columbo’.  I looked elsewhere and finally found him right where I expected to – at least as far as location goes.  New York City.

But as far as the TV series…?


[1966: Atop the Empire State Building, a tour guide is showing the latest group around the Observation Deck.]

Here on top of the Empire State Building, you're on the hundredth and second story above the ground level. At a height of one thousand four hundred and seventy three feet. This is the tallest building, the tallest structure in the entire world. Now you'll note, when you come up in the elevator, it took you seven minutes. Well, this way down, you wanna get down in a hurry, it would take you thirty seconds.


Well, of course, we don't recommend that. Now as we gaze out across the panorama. As we gaze out across the imposing panorama of our proud city, you will notice many other notable buildings. Among them the Chrysler Tower, that's one thousand and forty six feet high, and the Chanin Tower, that's six hundred and eighty feet high and already it's threatened with obsolescence.  

Observe also the mighty Hudson river and now if you'll come with me to the north aspect of the building, I will point out many more items of interest.  

And that was that, the scene shifted its attention to one of the stragglers from the tour group named Morton Dill.

Nothing in his speech to the tour group would suggest that he was Columbo’s brother, let alone that he was Salvatore Columbo.  But listen to the way he talks – the raspy quality, the Noo Yawk inflections.  Add to that a similarity in appearance – I’m not saying they’re identical twins but there is a resemblance.

And the actor who played the tour guide, Arne Gordon, was definitely older than Peter Falk.

If you’d like to check out the tour guide “in action”, click on either of these two links below.  You can either watch the full episode or go to about 4:35 into the episode for the beginning of his quick scene.

Just one more thing….

Making this claim that the tour guide and Lt. Columbo are brothers doesn’t harm the integrity within their respective shows.  It’s all a bit of “wish-craft” on my part to curate this illusion that most TV series are connected in some way. 

And thanks to those skilled in photoshopping, we already know Lieutenant Columbo has dealt with the Time Lord known as the Doctor….


Saturday, September 14, 2019


From Wikipedia:
Jesse Lee Reno (April 20, 1823 – September 14, 1862) was a career United States Army officer who served in the Mexican–American War, in the Utah War, on the western frontier, and as a Union General during the American Civil War. Known as a "soldier's soldier" who fought alongside his men, he was killed while commanding a corps at Fox's Gap during the Battle of South Mountain. Reno, Nevada; Reno County, Kansas; El Reno, Oklahoma; Reno, Pennsylvania; Fort Reno (Oklahoma); and Fort Reno Park in Washington, D.C. were named after him.

His ancestors changed the spelling of their surname "Renault" to the more Anglicized "Reno" when they arrived in the United States from France in 1700, landing west of the present city of Richmond, Virginia on the James River. The family roots are French and were among the first Huguenots on the North American soil.

Reno had a reputation as a "soldier's soldier" and often was right beside his troops without a sword or any sign of rank. On September 12, 1862, Reno's IX Corps spent the day in Frederick, Maryland, as the Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. George McClellan advanced westward in pursuit of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia under Gen. Robert E. Lee. Elements of Lee's army defended three low-lying "gaps" of South Mountain—Crampton's, Turner's, and Fox's—while concentrating at Sharpsburg, Maryland, to the west, the location of the subsequent Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862). In the Battle of South Mountain on September 14, Reno stopped directly in front of his troops as he reconnoitered the enemy's forces advancing up the road at Fox's Gap. He was shot in the chest by a rookie Union Soldier from the 35th Massachusetts who mistook him for Rebel Cavalry at dusk.

He was brought by stretcher to Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis's command post and said in a clear voice, "Hallo, Sam, I'm dead!" Sturgis, a long-time acquaintance and fellow member of the West Point Class of 1846, thought that he sounded so natural that he must be joking and told Reno that he hoped it was not as bad as all that. Reno repeated, "Yes, yes, I'm dead—good-bye!", dying a few minutes later.  

In his official report, Confederate general D. H. Hill sarcastically remarked, "The Yankees on their side lost General Reno, a renegade Virginian, who was killed by a happy shot from the Twenty-third North Carolina."


From the IMDb:
Reno, Nevada's naming begins on the battlefields of Mexico where officer Reno serves with Steve and Red. While they head west Reno returns to West Point. He becomes a Civil War hero and his friends intend to honor him.  

The late great William Schallert, the hardest-working actor in television, portrayed General Reno.


Friday, September 13, 2019


Continuing with the September “theme” of looking behind the scenes of the TV and movie business within Toobworld, we have another fictional TV station to induct into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame with this Friday Hall of Famer.  (For those who are curious, KBEX is already a member, as is the network UBS.)

This time….


I’ve written about WNKW in the past - at least three times! 

That breaking news story (during a flash-back, so technically it took place eight years ago) happened in the 'White Collar' episode "Forging Bonds". It's not the first time WNKW has appeared in 'White Collar', but it's always good to have more evidence that the superstation belongs in New York City - as if it being the central location in the TV series 'Jack & Jill' wasn't enough!

It's also appeared in 'Fringe', 'Invasion', and 'Pushing Daisies', but in those cases the station was broadcasting from locations outside of New York City.

“Super-Station" WNKW made another appearance in Toobworld this week, and on a key series to help bring in the other TV shows in which it appeared - 'White Collar'.

As we wrote about the TV station in the past, WNKW has been seen before in such shows as 'Fringe', 'Invasion', 'Pushing Daisies', and as a major location in 'Jack & Jill'.

It also crossed over into the alternate TV dimension that houses 'Spin City'. As a "super-station", WNKW shows up on different TV channels and reporting from different locations (from Florida in 'Invasion' and Boston in 'Fringe').

But it's based in New York City and it was brought home to the Big Apple with its report on the investigations into NY State Senator Gary Jennings.

What helps all those other shows is that 'White Collar' has also used another Toobworld staple in the past - the NY Ledger newspaper. It's deeply entrenched into the 'Law & Order' franchise and was even the central location for an ancillary series, 'Deadline'.

WNKW made a return appearance on 'Fringe' this past week. As I mentioned in an earlier post, WNKW should be a NYC TV station, as it was the place of employ for the main characters in 'Jack & Jill'.

Before, my splainin was that its reporters were filing news reports that were then picked up by other news outlets from outside their broadcast area. This would splain why WNKW showed up onscreen from the Homestead, Florida, region in 'Invasion', and why it appears now on 'Fringe' which is generally taking place in the Boston area.

However, this doesn't splain why the call letters were for Channel 42 in the first episode, and for Channel 5 in the second.

There could be three ways to go with this.

1) Two different TV channels in the Boston area picked up the news reports from WNKW, probably small independent stations without the facilities to produce their own news broadcasts.

2) Channel 42, being a UHF station, could be a satellite for Channel 5, which would have the stronger signal, but which might not reach the area covered by 42. (I don't know if this still happens, but I know it used to be widespread just in the smaller state of Connecticut back when I was growing up there.)

3) The station that has the contract for use of WNKW news reports applied for and received permission from the FCC to upgrade their signal from UHF 42 to VHF 5.
Perhaps most of these crunchy bits of pretzel logic (Sorry, been in a Steely Dan mood all week) might not make sense or are not feasible in the real world. But then again, the rules can be different in Toobworld.  

Based on those other examples, it’s obviously a “super-station” like TBS and WGN in the Real World.  (This was a suggestion from Team Toobworld member Vincent back in 2009 and it holds up a decade later.  He also added two more examples for its inclusion in the TVXOHOF: 'The Vampire Diaries' and 'The Good Wife'.  Thanks again, Vincent!)

I also found it mentioned in a fictional stations wiki:

Chicago, Illinois, station seen in ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Gotham City station seen In some Batman stories; WNKW is the NBC affiliate for Gotham City.

However, I’m not sure if that’s from any of the television incarnations or the comic books or even just wishful thinking fanfic on the part of the contributor.  At the very least, it shows WNKW is a multiversal, as does this scene from the movie "The Need For Speed":

But either way, WNKW is qualified to join with all of those other series appearances.  And they may not be alone in showcasing the TV station.  I can’t see everything.  I’m not Argos; I’ve only got two eyes and even then, they don’t work together!

That last picture is fanfic and is not eligible to be included as part of WNKW's membership in the Hall.  I'm only sharing it here to help establish that WNKW was part of the world for 'I How I Met Your Mother'. 

(If anybody out there from Team Toobworld has an HIMYM screencap - and also from 'The Good Wife' and 'The Vampire Diaries,' for that matter - showing the call letters for WNKW, copies would be much appreciated!)

Welcome to the Hall, WNKW!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


The televersion of the World Trade Center 

As seen in a flashback episode of 'American Gods'....

Friday, September 6, 2019


With the September posts for the Inner Toob blog, we look at Hollywood as seen in Toobworld – alterations to actual movies, fictional movies, and behind the scenes articles.  And that focus also affects the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  The monthly showcase is always somebody from the League of Themselves who helps foster crossovers – and with the theme being superheroes this year, Greg Berlanti was the perfect choice for that with his work on the Arrowverse.

And that continues with the Friday Hall of Famers, both behind the scenes and with fictional characters.

For this first September Friday, we’ve got a member of the League of Themselves….


From Wikipedia:
Kevin Patrick Smith (born August 2, 1970) is an American filmmaker, actor, comedian, comic book writer, author, and podcaster. He came to prominence with the low-budget comedy film “Clerks” (1994), which he wrote, directed, co-produced, and acted in as the character Silent Bob of stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob.

Jay and Silent Bob have appeared in Smith's follow-up films “Mallrats”, “Chasing Amy”, “Dogma”, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” and “Clerks 2”, which were set primarily in his home state of New Jersey.

While not strictly sequential, the films frequently featured crossover plot elements, character references, and a shared canon described by fans as the "View Askewniverse", named after his production company View Askew Productions, which he co-founded with Scott Mosier.

Here are the shows which gets Kevin Smith into the TVXOHOF:

- Joey and the Big Break: Part 2

Degrassi: The Next Generation
 - West End Girls
- Goin' Down the Road: Part 1 (2005)
- Goin' Down the Road: Part 2 (2005)
- The Lexicon of Love: Part 1 (2005)
- The Lexicon of Love: Part 2 (2005)

Degrassi Goes Hollywood (TV Movie)

The Mindy Project
- Wiener Night
- L.A. (2014)
- The Departed (2015)

- S-T--Star W--Wars W--Wars

The Big Bang Theory
- The Fortification Implementation
- The D & D Vortex (2019)

Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Smith!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019


Every so often, I have to walk away from the daily grind of blogging Inner Toob.  This is one of those weeks.  I will have a Friday Hall of Famer though.

No flipping!

Sunday, September 1, 2019


In this 20th anniversary year for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in which we’re celebrating superheroes (and villains), one might think Stan Lee would be the perfect choice for the September showcase in which we call attention to those behind the scenes who make TV crossovers possible.  Maybe so… but he’s already a member!

So the next O’Bvious choice then has to be….


From this point on, I’m going to let Wikipedia do the heavy lifting…..

Gregory Berlanti (born May 24, 1972) is an American writer, producer, and film director. He is known for his work on the television series ‘Dawson's Creek’, ‘Brothers & Sisters’, ‘Everwood’, ‘Political Animals’, ‘Riverdale’, ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ and ‘You’, in addition to his contributions to DC Comics on film and television, including The CW's Arrowverse.

In 2018, Berlanti set a record in having 15 different live-action scripted television series planned to air in the 2018–19 television season on various networks and digital platforms, and he signed the most expensive producer deal to date with Warner Bros. In 2019, Berlanti had three pilots (Batwoman, Prodigal Son and Katy Keene) ordered to series, bringing his total shows on air to a record-breaking 18.

In January 2012, it was announced that, along with Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim, Berlanti would create, write, and produce a series for The CW based on ‘Green Arrow’, called ‘Arrow’. The series premiered on October 10, 2012 and was picked up to full series in the same month. 

On July 30, 2013, it was announced at the summer TCA tour that Berlanti, Kreisberg, and DC Comics CCO Geoff Johns would be introducing Barry Allen in the second season of ‘Arrow’, with the possibility of the character being spun off to his own series. Actor Grant Gustin was cast and made his debut in episode 8, "The Scientist". In November 2013, The CW officially ordered a pilot for ‘The Flash’, and in May 2014 the network picked the project up to series with a premiere scheduled for autumn of that year.

On February 26, 2015, it was announced that Berlanti, along with Guggenheim and Kreisberg, would write and executive produce a spin-off series featuring The Atom (Brandon Routh), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Martin Stein (Victor Garber), and The White Canary (Caity Lotz), for a potential 2016 premiere.  The series was ultimately titled ‘Legends of Tomorrow’, and it follows the ragtag team of heroes and villains as they travel through time and space on a mission to stop the devious immortal Vandal Savage. The series premiered on January 21, 2016, and was renewed for a second season on March 11, 2016.

‘Arrow’ and ‘Black Lightning’ were the first network shows to feature openly gay black characters.

On September 4, 2014, it was reported that Berlanti would executive produce a re-imagining of the origin of Supergirl, to be written by ‘The New Normal’ and ‘Chuck’ alum Ali Adler. ‘Flash’ co-creator Johns is also involved with development. On September 19, 2014, it was reported that CBS had made a series commitment to Supergirl. It was also announced that Berlanti would co-write the first episode.

After its first season, the show moved from CBS to The CW, bringing all live-action Arrowverse shows together on one network. The show made history in 2018 for featuring the first live action transgender superhero when Nicole Maines was cast in a recurring role.

Berlanti worked with Mara Brock Akil and her husband Salim Akil to develop ‘Black Lightning’ which also aired on the CW.
For DC Universe, Berlanti produces ‘Titans’, starring Brenton Thwaites, with Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, and Sarah Schechter, and ‘Doom Patrol’, starring Matt Bomer and Brendan Fraser, with Jeremy Carver, Geoff Johns and Sarah Schechter.

In 2017, Berlanti wrote and executive produced ‘Freedom Fighters: The Ray’ for The CW's streaming platform. The show was praised for its depiction of the first openly gay superhero to headline a series.

And The Ray has a live-action version in one of the Elseworlds, Earth X.

As of now I get the feeling ‘Titans’ and ‘Doom Patrol’ won’t be making any crossovers with the various CW shows.  But I’m a patient guy.  
The last multiple crossover event featured an appearance by Batwoman, who will be getting her own show in DC Universe.  So if she does crossover with those teams there, we’ll have the link by association.

In the meantime, I won’t be greedy.  Mr. Berlanti has done more than enough to warrant a seat at the table.

Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Berlanti.


(Oops.  Sorry….)

With next season's "Crisis On Multiple Earths" mega-crossover event, the roster will expand even further.  Not only will Black Lightning be added to the mix, but we'll hopefully be seeing superheroes from past TV series played by their original actors.  Lynda Carter, Tom Welling, Burt Ward have apperently been signed among others....  (If they end up playing just joke cameos, I will be so hacked off.)