Scott McCormick, many moons ago, was the first to introduce me the theory of how the ending of Saint Elsewhere, in which the entire show was revealed to be the dreamy glint in the eye of an autistic child named Tommy Westphall, was something of a mammoth tesseract of the fictional space-time continuum that manages to suck in a shit-ton of other television series into its dream-of-an-autistic child reality. It basically begins with a connection between Saint Elsewhere and Homicide, which cuts neatly into the entirety of Tom Fontana's milieu and into the Dick Wolf Law And Order series, with a detour into the world of Chris Carter's X-Files. I think that he's about to flip, though, because someone actually did the legwork on just how many shows were affected by the Saint Elsewhere paradox, and the answer is 282. And while I may have missed their mention on the grid - there may be three more shows to add: Mulder and Scully show up on The Simpsons, which connects to both Futurama and The Critic. Perhaps more.
The connections go back decades and span continents:
280 shows are connected to Homicide: Life on the Street and St. Elsewhere, for a grand total of 282 series.All told, this is awesome. This means that the only moment of truth we were ever told on teevee was that the entire universe of television was contained in the mind of an autistic child. But here's where this shit gets deep. We are told that Homicide is based on a non-fiction book by Wire scribe David Simon. And we, ourselves, live in the same world as David Simon. Which means that we are all, every one of us, the fantasy of an autistic child. But what if the autistic child is also a figment of the autistic child's imagination. Who knows how deep our own non-existence goes? Perhaps we were annihilated in the existential void before we were even created!
There are 15 non-US shows in the Tommyverse. Most notably the Candian teen series "Degrassi Junior High" and its spin-offs, "Doctor Who" and its spin-offs, as well as the only non-English language series "Paris Section Criminelle" - a French-language version of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent".
The shows span from 1951 (I Love Lucy) to the present (23 shows are still on the air).
All I know, is that this means Baltimore doesn't exist, we've all a reason to feel relieved.