I recently caught a crossover episode of full house and felt the topic needed to be addressed. Crossovers, in television, are when actors from one popular show appear on another playing their characters from their own show. This also extends to crossover movies, which are rarer. Examples of crossover movies would be Alien vs. Predator and Jason vs. Freddy. Typical crossover episodes are very superficial and lack the good qualities of either show. Occasionally there is a well done crossover. To be a good crossover it must be timely (both shows popular around the same time), audience targeted (the jokes are not overly connected between the shows), and the shows must be congruently matched (same general genre, and same viewer demographics). I picked 5 of my favorites with very different styles.
- Boy Meets World and Step by Step. A quick and clever cross over. Cory meets a girl named Dana while in Disney World on the Boy Meets World show. The episode aired between two episodes of Step by Step set in Disney World. They did not elaborate on who she was, because it was understood. This cameo style of cross over is very popular in Japanese television.
- Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and Full House. A cute, but too early crossover. In the second episode, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper tried to use a crossover to get more viewers. Mr. Cooper gets teaching job in San Francisco and Michelle tanner is in his class.
- Saved by the Bell and That’s so Raven. This is not technically a crossover, unless you count a location as a character. It is what is generally called a “shared reality” situation. The setting of both shows is Bayside High, but not the generic sounding name, but an intentional link between the shows. Even though Saved by the Bell is set in Pacific Palisades and That’s so Raven is set in San Francisco.
- Ally McBeal and The Practice. This crossover broke every rule. A comedy and a dark drama managed to successfully merge. On top of that, one show was on Fox and one was on ABC. The firm in Ally McBeal called in the firm from The Practice to help with a tough murder case. The result was a funny and interesting drama that aired half on one station and half on the other.
- The Critic and the Simpsons. This is by far my favorite crossover, simply because the Critic was the funniest cartoon of all time. Although The Critic was unpopular and quickly cancelled and the Simpsons were immensely popular and still on, the series were perfect matches. The sophisticated Jay Sherman and the uncouth Homer Simpson were a good pairing. There had been several references to each other in episodes on both series. There was a full fledge crossover when Jay came to Springfield to judge a film contest.
Not a crossover, just a clip from The Critic.