Tele-Cognizance is an affliction that causes a TV character to realize that they are living inside a TV show. Don't think it sounds so bad? Imagine how you would feel if you knew the Whole Truthiness of the world you live in.
You'd go mad before the day was out.
Serlinguists, those characters who can step outside their surroundings to address the audience viewing at home, would also be tele-cognizant, but not all tele-cognizants would be serlinguists.
Several characters of 'Moonlighting' were tele-cognizant, which they probably contracted from David Addison who suffered from it the most.
Lt. Columbo demonstrated that he was at least momentarily tele-cognizant in the episode "Last Salute To The Commodore". And many of the characters in 'It's Garry Shandling's Show' were obviously aware of their television surroundings.
I bring this up because it looks like another TV character has fallen under its influence - Alan Shore of 'Boston Legal'.
It's not uncommon at the end of a business day at Crane, Poole & Schmidt for Alan to join his mentor Denny Crane out on his patio for cigars and booze. This past week, he arrived and said, "There you are! I haven't seen much of you this episode."
"It saddens me," Denny agreed.
So apparently Alan knows he was inside a TV show episode, because anybody else would have said that they hadn't seen the other person all day.
And as for Denny seeming to agree, I wouldn't read too much into that. He probably didn't have a clue as to what Alan said since the words "Denny Crane" were nowhere to be heard in the greeting.
And besides, I think he's had a few TMIs and probably wouldn't know what the hell Alan was referring to even if he had been listening.
Hrmm.... by coincidence, the name of the episode was "Too Much Information".