"You still have to get past guard shacks,
armed security, electronic sensor gates.
It's like Shawshank over there."
Shawshank Prison first came into existence in the fictional multiverse in the dimension of BookWorld, thanks to the Stephen King short story "Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption" which was included in his 1982 book "Different Seasons".
In 1994, it was adapted for the Cineverse with the title edited down to "The Shawshank Redemption". Directed by Frank Darabont (later celebrated for his contribution to the TV dimension Zombie Toobworld with 'The Walking Dead'), the movie starred Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, and James Whitmore.
In Earth Prime-Time, "The Shawshank Redemption" is definitely a movie. It is either mentioned as such, or a poster is seen, or is quoted from, in the following TV series:
- 'The Nanny'
- 'How I Met Your Mother'
- 'Caroline In The City'
- 'Will & Grace'
- 'Everybody Hates Chris'
- 'Reno 911!'
- 'My Name Is Earl'
- 'Cougar Town'
- 'The Thick Of It'
- 'Modern Family'
- 'Happy Endings'
- 'Royal Pains'
- '2 Broke Girls'
- 'The Middle'
- 'Lost Girl'
- 'Warehouse 13'
- 'Franklin & Bash'
and of course:
As for the Tooniverse?
- 'The Cleveland Show'
- 'Family Guy'
- 'The Simpsons'
And I swear just recently I heard a TV character complain that when he (she?) saw the movie in the theater, it already had the TNT logo down in the corner!
Several of those shows make reference to Zihuatanejo, the location for the final scene in the movie, but that's a real place and so as a location it doesn't have as much "oomph" as Hooterville would.
But this mention of the prison in 'CSI' (a backdoor pilot for a cyber-crime 'CSI' to star Patricia Arquette) made no reference to the movie or the novella. According to the ever-fluid "rules" of the Toobworld Dynamic, this can be taken as a reference to Shawshank Prison as a real place. And that would mean the movie was probably based on "real-life" events from back in the 1940s onwards.
I can't say if it would be the first TV show to have done so. I need to see the 'Haven' episode "Spiral" as there were several mentions to the prison throughout, but I have no clue if it was in connection to the movie.
But even something so slight as this is a solid link to have that world created by Stephen King absorbed into the TV Universe.
In fact, I'm surprised the Master has never bothered with adapting the basic premise into a TV series! (Then again, maybe he did.....?)