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(Onion AV Club)   "The last five minutes of St. Elsewhere is the only television show, ever. Everything else is a daydream"   (avclub.com) divider line 64
    More: Misc, videos, human beings, Mad About You, Buffy The Vampire, Malcolm in the Middle, Scott Bakula, fictional world, Lists of tourist attractions  
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6813 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 06 Aug 2012 at 5:04 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-06 02:00:12 PM
For a more interesting view of how all these different series tie together, check out The Tommy Westphall Multiverse
 
2012-08-06 02:11:54 PM
Two words: Heisler Beer.
 
2012-08-06 02:29:24 PM

SurfaceTension: For a more interesting view of how all these different series tie together, check out The Tommy Westphall Multiverse

iii)In the Red Dwarf episode "Psirens", the crew of the Red Dwarf come across a space ship graveyard which includes a
Weyland-Utani ship (connecting it with Angel, and a Eagle ship from the TV series Space: 1999.
1. A Klingon Bird of Prey from the Star Trek universe(see 2.A.ii.(1).(b)(i) for more Star Trek) is also in the grave yard


I take issue with their link here. In the episode "The Last Day", after Kryten pontificates about the meaning of the human term "friendship," Lister says "Don't give me any of that Star Trek crap." The implication being that Star Trek is fictional in the Red Dwarf Universe.
 
2012-08-06 02:34:45 PM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: SurfaceTension: For a more interesting view of how all these different series tie together, check out The Tommy Westphall Multiverse

iii)In the Red Dwarf episode "Psirens", the crew of the Red Dwarf come across a space ship graveyard which includes a
Weyland-Utani ship (connecting it with Angel, and a Eagle ship from the TV series Space: 1999.
1. A Klingon Bird of Prey from the Star Trek universe(see 2.A.ii.(1).(b)(i) for more Star Trek) is also in the grave yard

I take issue with their link here. In the episode "The Last Day", after Kryten pontificates about the meaning of the human term "friendship," Lister says "Don't give me any of that Star Trek crap." The implication being that Star Trek is fictional in the Red Dwarf Universe.


Weyland-Utani also appears in Firefly, the manufacturer of the cannon that Mal uses to bring down the ship at the beginning of the pilot.
 
2012-08-06 02:42:08 PM
And then Bobby Ewing steps out of the shower
 
2012-08-06 02:52:03 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: And then Bobby Ewing steps out of the shower



And Bob Hartley wakes up and tells his wife Emily about a strange dream.
 
2012-08-06 02:53:26 PM
For a more rational, less sensational view of the connections, one would do well to understand US slander, trademark and copyright law. Yes, TV shows must obtain permission to use real products in their fictional shows. A gruesome serial killer who only smokes Marlboros? That's a lawsuitin! Producers have found it convenient to use the fictional brands that have been established as free and clear for use. Ergo, Morley cigarettes. Same with the names of characters. If your killer is named Drew Curtis and is set in Lexington, KY, the farking real Drew Curtis from Lexington, KY may have grounds for a lawsuit. Same with phone numbers--have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?
 
2012-08-06 02:58:43 PM

hammettman: Same with phone numbers--have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?


My friend Jenny has.
 
2012-08-06 03:09:27 PM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: hammettman: Same with phone numbers--have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?

My friend Jenny has.


I got her number
 
2012-08-06 03:13:02 PM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: hammettman: Same with phone numbers--have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?

My friend Jenny has.


True, but that number opened a large can of litigation.

Popularity and litigation

The song, released in late 1981, initially gained west-coast popularity in January 1982; many who had the number soon abandoned it due to unwanted calls.


"When we'd first get calls at 2 or 3 in the morning, my husband would answer the phone. He can't hear too well. They'd ask for Jenny and he'd say 'Jimmy doesn't live here any more.'... Tommy Tutone was the one who had the record. I'd like to get hold of his neck and choke him."

-Mrs. Lorene Burns, random Alabama householder formerly at +1-205-867-5309, disconnected in 1982.[7]

In some cases, the number was picked up by commercial businesses or acquired for use in radio promotions.
In 2003, Southwest Junior High School had to change the school phone number due to repetitive calls asking for Jenny. This was in area code 704.
Brown University, which in 2002 owned the number in the 401 area code, transferred the number to Gem Plumbing & Heating,[8] a local business in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Gem began using the number in advertising campaigns both in Rhode Island and in eastern Massachusetts (area code 617). Gem trademarked the number in 2005.
In 2004, Weehawken, New Jersey resident Spencer Potter picked up the number for free after discovering to his surprise that it was available in the 201 area code, hoping it would improve his DJ business. Unable to handle the overwhelming volume of calls, he sought to sell the number on eBay in February 2009. Although bids reached $1 million, his inability to confirm the identity of the bidders led him to sell it privately to Retro Fitness, a gym franchise with a location in Secaucus, New Jersey that felt the 1980s origin of the number tied in perfectly with their business's retro theme.[4]
In 2006, Benjamin Franklin Franchising, a large national plumbing franchise, began using a toll-free version of the number (+1-866-867-5309). In 2007, Gem brought suit against Clockwork Home Services, the parent company of Benjamin Franklin Franchising, alleging a violation of its trademark. Clockwork contended that Gem's trademark was invalid. Effective in May 2007, Clockwork was ordered by a court to stop using the number in New England. Currently (as of July 1, 2011), +1-866-867-5309 is back in the hands of Benjamin Franklin Franchising and is considered a valid method of reaching BFF customer support.[9][10]
In July 2009, a Pennsylvania company had the number assigned to a Vonage phone line in the name of a small business, and then listed the entire business for sale on eBay.[11] Whereas telephone numbers are the legal property of the wireline carrier, so the logic behind this company and several others was that Vonage, as a VOIP provider did not own the numbers, making them open for sale, with eBay being the typical medium
 
2012-08-06 03:16:44 PM

hammettman: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: hammettman: Same with phone numbers--have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?

My friend Jenny has.

True, but that number opened a large can of litigation.

Popularity and litigation

The song, released in late 1981, initially gained west-coast popularity in January 1982; many who had the number soon abandoned it due to unwanted calls.


"When we'd first get calls at 2 or 3 in the morning, my husband would answer the phone. He can't hear too well. They'd ask for Jenny and he'd say 'Jimmy doesn't live here any more.'... Tommy Tutone was the one who had the record. I'd like to get hold of his neck and choke him."

-Mrs. Lorene Burns, random Alabama householder formerly at +1-205-867-5309, disconnected in 1982.[7]

In some cases, the number was picked up by commercial businesses or acquired for use in radio promotions.
In 2003, Southwest Junior High School had to change the school phone number due to repetitive calls asking for Jenny. This was in area code 704.
Brown University, which in 2002 owned the number in the 401 area code, transferred the number to Gem Plumbing & Heating,[8] a local business in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Gem began using the number in advertising campaigns both in Rhode Island and in eastern Massachusetts (area code 617). Gem trademarked the number in 2005.
In 2004, Weehawken, New Jersey resident Spencer Potter picked up the number for free after discovering to his surprise that it was available in the 201 area code, hoping it would improve his DJ business. Unable to handle the overwhelming volume of calls, he sought to sell the number on eBay in February 2009. Although bids reached $1 million, his inability to confirm the identity of the bidders led him to sell it privately to Retro Fitness, a gym franchise with a location in Secaucus, New Jersey that felt the 1980s origin of the number tied in perfectly with their business's retro theme.[4]
In 2006, Benjamin Franklin Franchising, a large national plumb ...


images1.wikia.nocookie.net

Now who wants to hear a story about a bridge?
 
2012-08-06 03:21:27 PM

hammettman: For a more rational, less sensational view of the connections, one would do well to understand US slander, trademark and copyright law.


Always thought it was the opposite. They don't show Coke products, because if Coke wants to be shown... they need to pay up. If they can't find a beer sponsor, they'd use a fake one.
 
2012-08-06 03:24:17 PM

hammettman: have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?


Do they still do that? Its so easy and cheap to get a number nowadays, I thought a show/movie would just buy a number from Vonage or something and disconnect it. Or, maybe even be creative and throw in some pre-recorded ad.

I could go out right now and get myself an additional, real, number in any area code and not use it. If I were doing a film, that's what I'd do.
 
2012-08-06 03:33:44 PM
No. Quite simply, Coke is a registered trademark. If the Coke logo is shown in TV or film, even in the background, it most likely has been cleared for use. This doesn't always involve compensation, but it must be cleared nevertheless otherwise the producers could be asked to remove the scene with references to the brand.

There are people that specialize in "product placement" who do pay, or offer free products, to be used in TV/Film productions. Typically, the products are used in a positive light as there is some degree of approval accorded to the providers.

/damn I sound lawyerly today
//yes, I did work in TV/Film clearance
 
2012-08-06 03:35:23 PM

hammettman: Yes, TV shows must obtain permission to use real products in their fictional shows.


No, that's not correct at all. In fact, it's not even remotely based on US law.

The only time you need their permission is if you're using the product in a way that suggests they have endorsed your product (i.e. the show). They absolutely do not, e.g., need to get Coke's permission to have a character drink a Coke product.

However, if they choose not to do so it's because instead, they charge products for that privilege.

See, e.g, this article.
 
2012-08-06 03:37:24 PM

downstairs: hammettman: have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?

Do they still do that? Its so easy and cheap to get a number nowadays, I thought a show/movie would just buy a number from Vonage or something and disconnect it. Or, maybe even be creative and throw in some pre-recorded ad.

I could go out right now and get myself an additional, real, number in any area code and not use it. If I were doing a film, that's what I'd do.



Universal Studios bought the number 212-664-7665 for just that purpose and has used it in several movies. Paul Thomas Anderson bought two numbers used in Magnolia, one of which went to a recording of Tom Cruise's character talking about his Seduce and Destroy program.
 
2012-08-06 03:41:50 PM

downstairs: hammettman: have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?

Do they still do that? Its so easy and cheap to get a number nowadays, I thought a show/movie would just buy a number from Vonage or something and disconnect it. Or, maybe even be creative and throw in some pre-recorded ad.

I could go out right now and get myself an additional, real, number in any area code and not use it. If I were doing a film, that's what I'd do.


It all depends on the headache. All of the phone numbers spoken of in TV and film productions usually started with 555 because that number never went to an actual person or business.
 
2012-08-06 03:51:17 PM

mattharvest: hammettman: Yes, TV shows must obtain permission to use real products in their fictional shows.

No, that's not correct at all. In fact, it's not even remotely based on US law.

The only time you need their permission is if you're using the product in a way that suggests they have endorsed your product (i.e. the show). They absolutely do not, e.g., need to get Coke's permission to have a character drink a Coke product.

However, if they choose not to do so it's because instead, they charge products for that privilege.

See, e.g, this article.


Sorry, you are dead wrong. Any use that displays a trademarked logo, whether positive or negative or sans endorsement, requires permission. There is not always compensation or free product, but there is always permission to use the product.
 
2012-08-06 04:01:49 PM

Sybarite: downstairs: hammettman: have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?

Do they still do that? Its so easy and cheap to get a number nowadays, I thought a show/movie would just buy a number from Vonage or something and disconnect it. Or, maybe even be creative and throw in some pre-recorded ad.

I could go out right now and get myself an additional, real, number in any area code and not use it. If I were doing a film, that's what I'd do.


Universal Studios bought the number 212-664-7665 for just that purpose and has used it in several movies. Paul Thomas Anderson bought two numbers used in Magnolia, one of which went to a recording of Tom Cruise's character talking about his Seduce and Destroy program.


Sure. But they paid for the number. PTA was aware of the use of 555 numbers and wanted to be real. Should they stop paying for the number and it is released in the future, there is the potential for a lawsuit. 555 numbers have been used because they are cleared and don't go to any phone.
 
2012-08-06 04:32:25 PM

hammettman: Sorry, you are dead wrong. Any use that displays a trademarked logo, whether positive or negative or sans endorsement, requires permission. There is not always compensation or free product, but there is always permission to use the product.


This is simply not the law in the US. Where do you see any law that would require this?
 
2012-08-06 04:39:11 PM
A nice little thread about show endings is now turning into a trademark/copyright knowledge dispute. This is silly in an unbelievably boring way.
 
2012-08-06 05:05:44 PM
tvseriesfinale.com
 
2012-08-06 05:07:03 PM

Somacandra: A nice little thread about show endings is now turning into a trademark/copyright knowledge dispute. This is silly in an unbelievably boring way.


Sorry. The article itself was about connections between shows. "Why do they always use the same cigarette brand." They use the same cigarette brand (Morley Cigarettes) because it is fictional and does not require permission to use a trademark. Sometimes this is used due to expediency, sometimes as an in joke.
 
2012-08-06 05:08:29 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: hammettman: Same with phone numbers--have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?

My friend Jenny has.

I got her number


I need to make her mine
 
2012-08-06 05:16:56 PM
i.imgur.com
They also read the same newspaper.
 
2012-08-06 05:19:48 PM
What about how What's Your Number? takes place in Gotham?
 
2012-08-06 05:25:58 PM
OCEANIC also appeared in Once Upon A Time.
 
2012-08-06 05:32:00 PM

GreenAdder: [i.imgur.com image 570x1280]
They also read the same newspaper.


Wow... that thing has some legs.. used in the mid-80s through very recently.
 
2012-08-06 05:47:07 PM

downstairs: GreenAdder: [i.imgur.com image 570x1280]
They also read the same newspaper.

Wow... that thing has some legs.. used in the mid-80s through very recently.


You'd think Fox studios could buy another newspaper for the prop department, wouldn't you?
 
2012-08-06 05:49:43 PM

Sybarite: MaudlinMutantMollusk: And then Bobby Ewing steps out of the shower


And Bob Hartley wakes up and tells his wife Emily about a strange dream.


i117.photobucket.com

"Lois, I had the craziest dream. I was a high school chemistry teacher and I was diagnosed with can..."
"Hal, unless your dream is going to make breakfast for the boys, spare me."
 
2012-08-06 05:54:02 PM
Referencing/quoting well-known objects, names and stuff like that is pretty common in sci fi. They are just carrying on the tradition.
 
2012-08-06 05:57:39 PM

SurfaceTension: For a more interesting view of how all these different series tie together, check out The Tommy Westphall Multiverse


Some of those links are very specious. Just because an element of one show appears, as an in-joke, in another show, doesn't mean they're linked.
 
2012-08-06 05:59:50 PM
Okay, who distracted Tommy Westphall and got Firefly and Deadwood cancelled?
 
2012-08-06 06:00:13 PM

SockMonkeyHolocaust: Referencing/quoting well-known objects, names and stuff like that is pretty common in sci fi. They are just carrying on the tradition.


Even "Unobtanium" was a running gag long before James Cameron's billion-dollar abomination.
 
2012-08-06 06:07:54 PM
Got a few:

Millennium Falcon in Star Trek: First Contact

i46.tinypic.com

TOS Enterprise in BSG

i46.tinypic.com

R2D2 in Star Trek

i48.tinypic.com
 
2012-08-06 06:17:05 PM

Sybarite: MaudlinMutantMollusk: And then Bobby Ewing steps out of the shower


And Bob Hartley wakes up and tells his wife Emily about a strange dream.


And BJ finally said good bye?

/ got nothin
 
2012-08-06 06:32:45 PM

Zombie DJ: OCEANIC also appeared in Once Upon A Time.


Not suprising, considering it's the same premise only we mostly know all the backstories already.

/the crash of Oceanic flight 815 was also mentioned in Chuck
 
2012-08-06 06:44:00 PM
Oh goodie! This article again! I can't wait til November when somebody else rewrites it and passes this off as new.
 
2012-08-06 07:03:53 PM
Call me when John Munch arrests someone for molesting Tommy Westphall.
 
2012-08-06 07:04:33 PM

downstairs: hammettman: For a more rational, less sensational view of the connections, one would do well to understand US slander, trademark and copyright law.

Always thought it was the opposite. They don't show Coke products, because if Coke wants to be shown... they need to pay up. If they can't find a beer sponsor, they'd use a fake one.


I remember on Rosanne (and probably a number of other shows/sitcoms) it was always just BEER on a white label. Or POTATO CHIPS on a white bag.
 
2012-08-06 07:08:54 PM

Benjamin Stone: downstairs: hammettman: For a more rational, less sensational view of the connections, one would do well to understand US slander, trademark and copyright law.

Always thought it was the opposite. They don't show Coke products, because if Coke wants to be shown... they need to pay up. If they can't find a beer sponsor, they'd use a fake one.

I remember on Rosanne (and probably a number of other shows/sitcoms) it was always just BEER on a white label. Or POTATO CHIPS on a white bag.


Well, they were poor so it makes sense to go for the generic brands. Though these days it seems the generic stuff has all been replaced by store brands.
 
2012-08-06 07:15:52 PM

fusillade762: Benjamin Stone: downstairs: hammettman: For a more rational, less sensational view of the connections, one would do well to understand US slander, trademark and copyright law.

Always thought it was the opposite. They don't show Coke products, because if Coke wants to be shown... they need to pay up. If they can't find a beer sponsor, they'd use a fake one.

I remember on Rosanne (and probably a number of other shows/sitcoms) it was always just BEER on a white label. Or POTATO CHIPS on a white bag.

Well, they were poor so it makes sense to go for the generic brands.


A valid point. :D
 
2012-08-06 07:28:00 PM
Stephen J. Cannell tended to have companies -- frequently charter air services -- named Beller in his shows.

Most Quentin Tarrentino movies are not set within a collective universe / continuity, but the cigarette of choice is Red Apples.

The leading cigarette brand in Kevin Smith's Askewniverse is Nails. Jersey Girl was supposedly not part of the Askewniverse, yet had a possible cross-over character: Betty "Lady" Aberlin portrayed an unnamed nun in Dogma and then was the nun principal at Gerti's school in Jersey Girl.

The Munchiverse includes St. Elsewhere, as Dr. Turner appeared on Homicide. St. Elsewhere was already tied into Cheers (Carla had her baby there, and then three of the doctors visited Cheers), The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart (via Mr. Carlin).
 
2012-08-06 08:10:38 PM
I'm pretty sure Morley Cigarettes is more of a television in-joke than something that can be construed to constitute a link between shows. It'd be like assuming that newspaper a few posts up means that all the shows in which it appears take place on the same day.
 
2012-08-06 08:18:47 PM

Scythed: I'm pretty sure Morley Cigarettes is more of a television in-joke than something that can be construed to constitute a link between shows. It'd be like assuming that newspaper a few posts up means that all the shows in which it appears take place on the same day.


The fake brands as a link between storyverses is complete BS. They can't use real brands, and they invent new ones, or reuse others they've seen all the time. Occasionally, they slip them in as a reference to the writers' favorite shows.

The spaceships are just shout-outs and don't link anything to anything else.
 
2012-08-06 08:36:42 PM

mattharvest: hammettman: Sorry, you are dead wrong. Any use that displays a trademarked logo, whether positive or negative or sans endorsement, requires permission. There is not always compensation or free product, but there is always permission to use the product.

This is simply not the law in the US. Where do you see any law that would require this?


I've worked in the television business for twenty five years, and every product, whether seen or referenced, requires a legal clearance. There are companies that specialize in this in entertainment business. Once a script has reached the shooting draft stage, it is sent for clearances. Sometimes an oblique reference, say a character talking about playing a game of Monopoly, simply requires that there is a check with a standing agreement that the industry has with Milton Bradley, and since it is simply being used in dialogue and has no direct effect on the plot, then it is cleared. However, if a drug deal goes down, and someone uses prop Monopoly money for cash as a part of the story, then you can be damn sure a lawyer at Milton Bradley saw the script and approved the use of their trademarked product.

That's the way it works. It is prohibitively expensive to do re-shoots and re-edits because a brand, product or person complains about their use. That is why so many brands and products are fictional and often shared by various shows (they've already been art-directed and propped). This goes not only for products, but for music, references to real people, current events, websites (such as Facebook, Twitter) etc. Often, money must change hands to use the IP involved. That is why you hear so many variations of the "Happy Birthday" on television. If you want to use the actual song, you have to get it cleared for use (the licensor must approve how it is being used) and then you have to pay a license fee (it is not in the public domain, surprisingly).

/takes a long drag on a Red Apple
 
2012-08-06 08:46:01 PM
1968. "The Prisoner". Patrick McGoohan.

St. Who?
 
2012-08-06 08:47:00 PM
Late '50s through early '60s. "The Twilight Zone". Rod Serling.

St. Who?
 
2012-08-06 09:30:13 PM
Ah, but does this universe include Val Verde?
 
2012-08-06 09:30:23 PM

Otto_E_Rodika: I've worked in the television business for twenty five years,


Bet you're getting a kick out of these replies...
 
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