Monday, May 9, 2011

TVCU 90210

January 10 will be the fourth anniversary of the Television Crossover Universe.  

Currently, this post is our # 10 most viewed blog post.  It was originally posted on May 2011, and it wasn't that popular for a long time.  Just a few months ago, for some reason, it had a big spike in views, and has maintained a steady readership ever since.  I have no idea why, but I'm glad people like it.

I have to admit, I was  big fan of Beverly Hills 90210 from the very start.  I was in high school when it came out, and I grew up as the characters grew up.  I tried to watch Melrose Place, but it didn't appeal to me as much.  I have not really watched much of the revival shows, except when research demanded it.  

Thanks to all the 90210 and Melrose fans for reading and I'm glad you enjoy.


This post is updated to incorporate information from the Horror Crossover Encyclopedia.  (Really!)

So when I started writing this blog, it was about the universe called Earth-90210, because I thought there was no connection to the TVCU.  Then I came across this.  Thanks Toby.

So today we are covering Beverly Hills 90210.  This was a show that started as a topic of the week show, but soon transformed into a soap opera.  It grew so popular it had spin-offs, then those had spin-offs, thus creating another shared reality.  So let's take a look.

Wait, that doesn't seem right.  But that's how it started.  But this is more of how we remember it:

19th century--BEVERLY HILLS 90210--In past lives Dillon and Kelly were living in the old west, where they were lovers then.

August 1971--DOCTOR AT LARGE--"Things That Go Mump in the Night"--An Alison Parker appears in the episode.  IMBD says this is the same Alison Parker from Melrose Place.  This has to be an error unless Alison is a Time Lord (or Lady...and I don't think she is.)  However, I still felt it was worth mentioning.  Perhaps this Alison is the aunt of Melrose Place's Alison.

1990 to 2000--BEVERLY HILLS 90210--This is the story of teens/20 somethings in Beverly Hills.  Originally it revolved around Brendon and Brenda Walsh, having moved there from Minnesota, and their culture shock.  As I said in the intro, I was certain this was not in the TVCU, but was still worthy of a blog because is is part of a shared crossover reality.  Ironically, Toby O'Brien, who strongly dislikes the show, revealed to me why it's included.  And it's because of Morley Cigarettes.  Morley is a fictional brand that appears often in the TVCU (and acts as a connector).  Besides Beverly Hills 90210, Morley Cigarettes are found in REAPER, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, COLD CASE, CRIMINAL MINDS, ER, JAKE 2.0, KILLER INSTINCT, THE L WORD, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, MEDIUM, MILLENNIUM, MISSION:  IMPOSSIBLE, NASH BRIDGES, NEW AMSTERDAM, PRISON BREAK, THE OUTER LIMITS (though only the stories that have the cigarettes are included), SPACE:  ABOVE AND BEYOND, SPECIAL UNIT 2, SPY GAME, THAT 70S SHOW, THE TWILIGHT ZONE (same rule as OUTER LIMITS), and THE X-FILES.  Matt Hickman adds:  from 11 fictional colleges you should be glad you don’t attend,60249/.  California University, Saved By The Bell: The College Years and Beverly Hills: 90210.  Splitting up with your longtime, high-school chums can be traumatizing for incoming college freshmen, though if you happen to be enrolled in the fictitious California University, you probably don’t have to worry. Just ask the cast members of both Saved By The Bell: The College Years and the original Beverly Hills: 90210, who all ended up at this catchall college once the specter of higher education came calling. (Or, in the case of 90210, the specter of late middle-age came calling.) At California U, you and your gang will be able to carry on your various shenanigans for at least three or four more seasons—er, years—and perhaps pick up a few new cast members—er, friends—along the way. However, growing as person will be out of the question if you’re stuck with the same old friends and making the same old dumb jokes, so maybe Cal U isn’t the best choice for people who don’t want to continue life as the lame, high-school version of themselves.

Early 1990s--90210--Harrison Mills met his future wife Celia, a former Olympic cyclist, while they were both working in the Peace Corps.

December 1991--BEVERLY HILLS, 90210--"A Walsh Family Christmas"--Santa appears.


1992 to 1999--MELROSE PLACE--Over in Beverly Hills, jailbait Kelly has an affair with the hired help.  He calls it off and returns to his home in Melrose Place.  Kelly goes all stalker and follows him, and the cameras do too and then stay there.  At least I think that's how I remember it.

1992 to 2002--X-FILES--The exploits of Agents Mulder and Scully.  They continue to seek out the truth behind the conspiracies regarding the paranormal.  One of the leaders of the conspiracy is the Cigarette Smoking Man, whose brand of choice is Morley Cigarettes.  Morley is a fictional brand that appears often in the TVCU (and acts as a connector).  Besides Beverly Hills 90210, Morley Cigarettes are found in REAPER, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, COLD CASE, CRIMINAL MINDS, ER, JAKE 2.0, KILLER INSTINCT, THE L WORD, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, MEDIUM, MILLENNIUM, MISSION:  IMPOSSIBLE, NASH BRIDGES, NEW AMSTERDAM, PRISON BREAK, THE OUTER LIMITS (though only the stories that have the cigarettes are included), SPACE:  ABOVE AND BEYOND, SPECIAL UNIT 2, SPY GAME, THAT 70S SHOW, THE TWILIGHT ZONE (same rule as OUTER LIMITS), and THE X-FILES.  There were also novels and comics that are part of the canon. 

September 1992--Nyhetsmorgon--Tonårsserien Beverly Hills en succé för TV4--The cast of the show play their 90210 characters on this talk show/variety show.

December 1992--BEVERLY HILLS 90210--"It's a Totally Happening Life"--Ivan Ronald Schablotski ‎says:  Clarence showed up in an episode of BEVERLY HILLS 90210.   I woke up in a cold sweat, realizing that neither one of us had mentioned the biggest 90210 crossover of all. as written on IMBD (and I remember watching the episode personally)... It's a Totally Happening Life (16 DEC 1992) Two guardian angels, Clarence and Miriam, watch the gang's Christmas holiday doings which include: the recovered Andrea and Brandon consider becoming intimate after Jay breaks up with Andrea by letter, and Nikki breaks up with Brandon by moving back to San Francisco. Brenda, Dylan and Kelly's love triangle trying a "mature" situation, which falls apart. David also decides to graduate early so he can be with Donna and the gang after his divorced mother moves to Portland. The mishap events lead to all of them on a bus bound for a Christmas Eve party for underprivileged kids, where disaster looms en route. Yes, Clarence the Angel from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE was mentoring a new angel to help her get her wings.

1994 to 1995--MODELS INC.--A bunch of models and their talking dog go around in a van solving mysteries.  Just kidding.  A show like that might have lasted longer than a year.  All I remember of this (and yes, I watched all these shows once upon a time) is that one of the Melrose Palce residents got hired to be a model, which spun off into the show about the agency called (wait for it) Models Inc.

December 1994--BEVERLY HILLS, 90210--"Christmas Comes This Time Each Year"--Santa appears.

July 2004--I LOVE THE 90S--"Promo"--Hal Sparks and Michael Ian Black eat at the Peach Pit, the popular hangout for the kids of 90210.

Release Date: September 13, 2005 - ongoing at time of writing (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Supernatural
Horror Crosses: Dinosaur Island; Night of the Demon (modern film series)
Non-Horror Crosses: X-Files, Millennium; Special Ops Force; The Pretender; That Girl; Grosse Pointe; Renegade; Pacific Blue; 3rd Rock from the Sun; Married...with Children; Family Guy; That ‘70s Show; CSI; Rules of Engagement; Lost; In Case of Emergency; Kyle XY; Beverly Hills 90210; Jackie’s Back
The Story: The story is complicated, but the basic premise is that a demon killed a woman, leaving her kids in the care of their father, who becomes a monster hunter. The kids are raised into adulthood as hunters, and then their father goes missing. And that’s when the first episode begins. (That would have been much cooler with Kansas playing in the background.)

Notes: Playpen Magazine is a fictional porn magazine that appears frequently on this show. It has also shown up on the above listed shows and films, thus all of those horror and non-horror crosses are in the Horror Universe. The only one needing explaining is Family Guy. Family Guy has lots of gag references that could be taken as crossovers, but the continuity of those crosses are too difficult to reconcile. However, that doesn’t mean that Family Guy couldn’t still be in. If Family Guy is included, either it exists in a very different manner than what we see on the show, or it exists very much like what we see on the screen. I would dismiss the latter, with the unaging and weirdness of the people of the town, but South Park, which is a similar type of series, has established that unusual phenomena of the show, the usual elements of a cartoon, are due to a Cthulhu cult. So perhaps a secret Cthulhu cult is responsible for Quahog's unusual status. But there must be more to it. For it’s not just the town and its residents. Many famous people of the world, real and fictional, show up on Family Guy, often out of their normal character. To keep the connection, but to explain the differences, the best solution would be that Family Guy (and its two spin-off shows) take place in an alternate universe within the Horror Multiverse. Supernatural was remade in 2011 as Supernatural: The Animation. This series has been referenced and spoofed a few times on Mad.


Release Date: September 25, 2007 - May 26, 2009 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Reaper
Horror Crosses: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Medium; the Devil and Daniel Webster
Non-Horror Crosses: Beverly Hills 90210; Cold Case; Criminal Minds; ER; Jake 2.0; Killer Instinct; The L Word; Malcolm in the Middle; Millennium; Mission Impossible; Nash Bridges; New Amsterdam; Prison Break; The Outer LImits ; Space: Above and Beyond; Special Unit 2; Spy Game; That 70s Show; Twilight Zone ; X-Files; Burn Notice; Eli Stone
The Story: On his 21st birthday, Sam discovers his soul had been sold to the devil by his parents. Fortunately, all the devil wants from Sam is for Sam to become his bounty hunter, recapturing escaped souls from Hell.
Notes: Morley Cigarettes appear in this series. That is a fictional brand that also appears in all the above listed crosses (except the Devil and Daniel Webster), most notably Buffy for our purposes of inclusion. In the case of the Outer Limits and Twilight Zone, only episodes featuring Morley would be in the Horror Universe (or a divergent timeline if the episode is too bizarre to fit in the main timeline). Space: Above and Beyond takes place in one possible alternate future of the Horror Universe. In one episode of the series, the devil remarks, “I’ve debated Daniel Webster, and you sir, are no Daniel Webster.” Since the devil of this series speaks of Daniel Webster as a real person, this also brings that classic story into the Horror Universe. And though in the Horror Universe, not all representations of the devil are considered to necessarily be the same entity, in this case, it’s made clear that the devil of Reaper and the one who met Webster are one and the same. I’ve chosen not to give it a separate entry, but on Eli Stone, Genny Clarke works at the Workbench, the same place that the lead characters from this series work. They even wear the same uniform.

2008--BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA--"I'm from beverly hills. You know, 90210?"


2008 to Present--90210--This time the Wilsons come from Kansas to Beverly Hills.  Besides the zip code, there are other ties to the original series such as returning characters.


2009 to 2010--MELROSE PLACE--The revival of this series didn't do as well.  Perhaps it was because it was aired on a network with shows geared towards high school kids, but wasn't about high school.  Maybe because it didn't carry over any characters from the original series other than in a quick couple of appearances in the first two episodes.  Perhaps it was because there was no Alyssa Milano.


BONGO UNIVERSE--The original 90210 characters appear in FAMILY GUY PRESENTS STEWIE GRIFFIN:  THE UNTOLD STORY but I'm not sure if the characters are appearing as part of the Bongo Universe or as a fictional characters in this universe.

NOT SURE HOW TO CLASSIFY THIS--Wayne Campbell, of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE's WAYNE'S WORLD, had a fantasy where he is on Melrose Place.  Wayne exists in Skitlandia.  (I tried to fit him into the Doctor Who Universe or TVCU due to his meeting a TERMINATOR, but I just couldn't figure why the T-2000 would travel from Los Angeles to Milwaukee, then back to Los Angeles when trying to track Jon Connor.)  But this is a fantasy world within the mind of Wayne.  Should this even count as an alternate reality?  Including it anyways for the sake of completeness.


Release Date: August 2, 2010 (Contemporary Setting -- See series notes above)
Non-Horror Crosses: Beverly Hills, 90210; The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show
The Story: Crystal Cove gets crabs. Actually, it’s just one very, very large crab.
Notes: Dylan McKay and Brendan Walsh are victims of the Man Crab Beast, which places Beverly Hills, 90210 in the main Horror Universe timeline. Pebbles Flintstone and Bamm-Bamm Rubble appear to be students at Crystal Cove High School. I have a lot to say about that, but none if it is really relevant to horror crossovers, so go to the Television Crossover Universe website and find out what I think about it there or wait for my next book, the Cartoon Crossover Encyclopedia, coming in a few years.


  1. The only reason to count a dream sequence (as far as the Toobworld concept goes) is because the dreamer is aware of the reality of the dream's subject matter. (I was about to type "occupants". LOL)

    So when Alf dreamed about 'Gilligan's Island', he was aware of the news story when the seven stranded castaways were rescued. When the oldest kid in 'Day By Day' dreamt of 'The Brady Bunch', he was familiar with the reality show based on them. (And each example used the original actors from the respective shows.)

    So at least in Skitlandia - since Wayne doesn't exist in Earth Prime-Time - people know about the threat of Terminators, even if Skynet's reign hasn't begun.

  2. Possibly worth mentioning is that the Bongoverse has a tv show called Springfield 90210 which starred Jason Perry, IIRC (don't quote me on that name). Since Bongoverse tv shows tend to also be 'real' within the Bongoverse, it probably doesn't count as an alternate reality version, but would count as an additional Bongoverse version.

  3. Wayne didn't dream about the Terminator. He actually encountered him on his way to the Alice Cooper concert. As for his dream of Melrose Place, he was dreaming about a fictional TV show. That was made clear. But there are also lots of other counterparts of 90210/Melrose Place in Skitlandia that I chose not to mention.

    I haven't found any connections to bring Alf into the TVCU, so I place him in the Marvel Universe, where he does have a connection. Weirdly, there is no solid connection for Gilligan's island in the TVCU, but there is for the Looniverse. Likewise, the Brady Bunch is in the TVCU, but Day by Day is in the Family Ties universe, with not connections to TVCU.

    But I do follow your same logic for dreams when both shows exist in the same reality. Just as I handle zonks by assuming the show referred to is either a reality show (like the Office), or somebody wrote a show about people they know (Seinfeld written by Jerry and Larry, Friends written by Gunther, Cheers written by Diane).

    I will always find a way to explain away why one show seems to be fictional in a world where it should be real. But when the two shows are clearly in alternate realities with no connections to each other, then there's not reason to explain things.

    That Terminator in Milwaukee is one of the many alternate reality version of the Terminator. In this one, Jon Connor must have been in Milwaukee instead of Los Angeles.

  4. No TVCU connection for Gilligan's Island? Not even the link provided in A VERY BRADY SEQUEL? What about the use of the Harlem Globetrotters?

    Okay, this one should work. BACK TO THE BEACH. Gilligan and the Skipper are in this movie, and so is Pee Wee Herman. Pee Wee Herman has appeared in so many places, I cannot believe he doesn't exist in the TVCU. Plus BTTB brings in some older Frankie & Annette movies, and I know for a fact that HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI has an appearence by Samantha Stevens.

    As for Wayne's World, well, in the DCU John Conner traveled from California to Metropolis, which is on the East Coast, making it possible that he passed through Milwaukee at some point before the Superman / Terminator crossover took place, which would explain why a T-1000 was looking for him when Wayne happened to be driving home (after the concert). So I think Wayne's World could be DCU, although the many dream sequences in both the movies and the SNL sketches are still dream sequences.

  5. A Very Brady Sequel takes place in the 1990s, which would mean so should Gilligan's Island. Plus the Professor's last name is different. Thus, despite some similarities, not the same folks. And since the Globetrotters are real people, not fictional, they can exist in every alternate reality, thus not a means of linking series.

    However, Back to the Beach does bring in Gilligan's Island. Thank you for reminding me of that film (which I enjoyed very much when I saw it in the theater). Since Pee Wee Herman is a fictional character who has many links to the TVCU, that does pull in Gilligan's Island. And I wish I had known about Samantha Stevens' appearance in How to Stuff a Wild Bikini before I did my Bewitched blog. It will make it into the update next year, as well as when I cover the Frankie and Annette films.

    You make a very strong argument for placing Wayne's World into the DC Universe, and I think I will go with that now. And the Terminator meeting was not a dream. There was no waving of the hands and going do do do do. It happened.

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  8. Its an amazing show. Watch 90210 Episodes online. Its music is also great. Its one of my favorite shows.