In the second half of a 'House' two-parter last night, Dr. Cutty warned that the mysterious illness that killed a cop and threatened the life of Dr. Foreman was a level three contagion.
Dr. House wasn't notably impressed.
"Ooh! Level three!" he sneered. "Better call Jack Bauer!"
Jack Bauer is the main character in '24', a fellow show on the FOX network. Based on the popularity of the series, I bet you already knew that.
But this isn't technically a Zonk!, one of those discrepancies in which one TV show mentions another when both should be in the same dimension.
'24' and 'House' aren't in the same TV dimension. For 'House', the President of the United States is George W. Bush. As for '24', even though it's set several years in the future, the president is the quisling Logan. And even though '24' is set in the future, that same future will never be in the cards for 'House. For the POTUS will always be whoever holds the office here in the Real World in the main TV dimension, where 'House' currently resides.
So, even though '24' could be an alternate dimension to Earth Prime-Time, it could also be a TV show seen in Toobworld.
But this scene opens up a new question that leads to a new possibility - if Jack Bauer of '24' is a counter-terrorist agent in his version of Toobworld, who is he in the main TV dimension?
I've posted my theories in the past that although Josiah Bartlet is the President in 'The West Wing' dimension, and Leo McGarry was the White House Chief of Staff and a Vice Presidential candidate before his character died in that same dimension, on Earth Prime-Time they are a Boston doctor ('St. Elsewhere') and a police detective ('Touched By An Angel') respectively. So the same change in occupation could have occurred for Jack Bauer.
Taking the snarky comment by 'House' as a clue, perhaps Jack Bauer is some kind of super-celebrity first-responder in the CDC. Maybe he's specialized in pandemic contagion in the past and in such a way that he would be familiar to both Drs. Cutty and House. (And as such, there are two TV series in which we might have eventually met this version of his character - had the shows survived: 'The Burning Zone' and 'Medical Investigations'.)
Maybe this Jack Bauer led several test scenarios at that medical facility in connection with Homeland Security, and this is how both Cutty and House know him.
And based on the way House referred to him in his exchange with Cutty, Jack Bauer doesn't rate very high on his respect meter.
Probably jealous of the attention Cuddy paid to him!