Thread: TV show synchronicity

  • avatar
    • 3 years 9 months ago
    • Posts: 1974
    I have noticed weird event pairings in prime time shows lately. At first I thought it was coincidence but been happening so much I'm starting to think it's on purpose. Examples:

    Last night, on The Office, the following exchange took place:
    “You’re not stupid—jazz is stupid.” “Jazz is stupid! I mean, just play the right notes!”
    This show was followed, on the same channel (NBC), by Parks & Recreation, in which Leslie appeared on a radio talk show. The host played some weird jazz music after the interview and Leslie made an uncomfortable face.

    A few weeks ago, Raising Hope had Wilmer Vilderrama as a guest star for the first time (episode "If a Ham Falls in the Woods").
    Same night same channel (Fox), New Girl had a guy fooling one of Cece's Russian model friends into thinking he was Wilmer Vilderrama (for sex).

    There have been other things like this in the past few months among my TV viewing, though I can't remember them right now...Has anybody else noticed stuff like this?
    Quote by tangspot2
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    • avatar
      • 3 years 9 months ago
      • Posts: 2434
      Kinda interesting, although I never noticed anything like that. And damn, you watch a lot of shows.
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      • avatar
        • 3 years 9 months ago
        • Posts: 1368
        FOX does a ton of cross-promotion on their shows

        Like American Idol on the Simpsons
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        • avatar
          • 3 years 9 months ago
          • Posts: 7016
          Yeah S n S, television shows have weird coincidences and the strangest take place between different broadcasters. I find musical references the easiest to remember like the same artist or song mentioned on different shows, sometimes during the same week or night.

          But the most unusual example I remember happened in the mid-80's when several prime-time TV sitcoms made reference gags about intestinal parasites, especially tapeworms. These gags crossed all networks for about a two week period. Truly freaked me out at the time.

          It must have something to do with staffers working production across multiple series.
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          • avatar
            • 3 years 9 months ago
            • Posts: 2947
            I think NBC and ABC used to do this a lot in the 90s during their Must See TV and TGIF blocks.
            • avatar
              • 3 years 6 months ago
              • Posts: 1974
              On Sunday, Family Guy had Jon Hamm guest star (as himself). It was a rerun. That show was followed by a new episode of Bob's Burgers, in which Jon Hamm provided the voice for a fancy toilet.
              Quote by tangspot2
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              • avatar
                • 3 years 6 months ago
                • Posts: 4598
                They often times do it on purpose to create a theme for the night. They will even show episodes out of order to create a theme. The ones you named might have been just a coincidence or they could have perhaps been the same writers? There is not telling with these network execs.

                Off topic, but I saw something on ABC a few weeks back that I have not seen much of in the past. On an episode of The Middle the older son Axl randomly wanted the family to go out to eat at Red Lobster to tell them he got accepted into college. When the show went to break the first commercial was for Red Lobster. Traditionally TV shows have stayed clear of promoting products, but I guess not anymore. Networks have continued to find cleaver ways to keep us watching. Could products and services one day be integrated with the shows to combat things like DVR?
                • avatar
                  • 3 years 6 months ago
                  • Posts: 1974
                  Yeah, I'm sure most if not all of these coincidences are on purpose.

                  As for the commercials. I haven't seen that kind of promotion in any current sitcom or drama. Nothing like what you saw on The Middle (which I don't watch). I agree that one is pretty skeevy.

                  It used to be the actors themselves would step out of character for a moment at the end of a show to tell you about a product. This started on radio. Not all commercials were like that, but if a company really wanted to promote themselves this was a high profile way. Here is Jackie Gleason coming on after The Honeymooners and before the credits to tell you about Buick.
                  Other times, the whole series was sponsored by one company, such as Kraft Suspense Theater, which didn't do any kind of integration beyond the announcer mentioning Kraft at the beginning and end. It was a quality show.

                  There is one current show I watch where a major character's cell phone is clearly an iPhone (Law & Order SVU) but it's not like she's all waving it around and using fancy features and stuff. Is it really product placement, is it just realism (it is a phone that many people use), is it convenience (the actress using her own phone), I don't know. I don't feel it affects the plot, nobody ever says "iPhone" or even mentions phones at all so I don't care.

                  Now reality shows is another story. Master Chef would have people in the show talking about Walmart fine products such as groceries and cookware and all the contestants would get their own sets of Walmart pans and Walmart bags that would appear quite prominently.
                  Last night on The Taste (yes, most reality shows we watch are about cooking), they went to the farmer's market in new Ford Soandsos and had some people tell the camera how nice the cars were. They didn't even show the farmer's market at all but they did show the line of Ford Whatevers leaving a parking lot. To be honest I don't really mind these promo tactics with reality shows which are already garbage, but I do roll my eyes pretty hard and laugh at how ridiculous it all is. But...
                  Quote by bassman21
                  Could products and services one day be integrated with the shows to combat things like DVR?

                  yes I do think this could be the beginning of a trend and this kind of thing may escalate.
                  Quote by tangspot2
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                  • avatar
                    • 3 years 6 months ago
                    • Posts: 7016
                    No doubt, there is planned synchronicity in the media, lol.
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                    • avatar
                      • 3 years 6 months ago
                      • Posts: 1974
                      Quote by bassman21
                      Could products and services one day be integrated with the shows to combat things like DVR?

                      More along these lines: I recently rescanned my channels and was delighted to find I now get RTV. On Saturday I watched The Colgate Comedy Hour. Not only is this show named for the big sponsor, but they mention and show additional sponsors in the opening credits, plus two mentions within the show itself. Jerry Lewis made a (great) joke about Palmolive soap in one bit.
                      Quote by tangspot2
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                      • avatar
                        • 3 years 3 months ago
                        • Posts: 31
                        I also saw the episode of The Middle you speak of and also noticed the 'coincidence' of a Red Lobster ad./I didn't stop to think anyone else would notice it.
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