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10 TV Shows That Recycled Their Sets

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With a few exceptions, television productions don’t typically enjoy the massive budgets of their big-screen counterparts, so producers often have to get creative when it comes to finding ways to save money. Which helps explain why a couple episodes of Star Trek look as if they were shot in Andy Griffith’s Mayberry. Here are 10 TV shows that borrowed their sets from other series.

1. THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW ON STAR TREK

In the Star Trek episodes "Miri" and "City on the Edge of Forever,” the exteriors of the fictional town of Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show were reused. The town set was redressed as a ghost town when the crew of the Enterprise finds a planet inhabited solely by children in “Miri,” then used it again as a New York City backdrop when Kirk and Spock travel back in time to the 1930s for “City on the Edge of Forever.” If you look closely, you can even see the sign for Floyd's Barbershop from The Andy Griffith Show in the background of a Star Trek episode.

2. SCRUBS ON THE OFFICE


The Office's Jim and Pam pay a visit to Scrubs' Sacred Heart Hospital.

Screen grab via NBC/YouTube.

In the season five finale of The Office, Jim and Pam discover that they are going to have a baby. The hospital set used for the episode was the same set used for Scrubs’s Sacred Heart Hospital. Both NBC TV shows filmed at North Hollywood Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, which was a real working hospital until 1998, when it was decommissioned and repurposed as a closed set for Scrubs. Unfortunately, North Hollywood Medical Center was demolished in 2011 and is now the site of a new apartment complex.

You might recognize the North Hollywood Medical Center from a number of other TV shows, too; The Sopranos, Freaks and Geeks, Six Feet Under, and Chuck all used it as a location. It was also the primary filming location for Adult Swim's Childrens Hospital.

3. THE WEST WING ON SMALLVILLE

    In “Hourglass,” a first season episode of Smallville, Lex Luthor has a vision of himself as the President of the United States, sitting in the Oval Office. Instead of building an entirely new set for the shot, producers flew Michael Rosenbaum, who played Luthor, from the set of Smallville in Vancouver to the set of The West Wing in Los Angeles to film the vision.

    4. THE BRADY BUNCH ON MANNIX AND MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE


    Mission: Impossible takes on Chez Brady.

    Image courtesy of YouTube.

      It’s very strange to see the iconic home from The Brady Bunch used for other TV shows, but it happened a few times during the 1970s with some Paramount productions. The Brady Bunch living room, patio, and backyard were recycled for “One for the Lady” and “The Danford File,” two episodes of Mannix, while the family living room was also redressed and redecorated for a violent meeting in the “Double Dead” episode of Mission: Impossible.

      5. ROSEANNE ON MIKE & MOLLY

        If Molly’s home on Mike & Molly looks familiar, that's because it’s the same living room set from Roseanne, only refurbished. Production designers and set dressers transformed the Conners' living room set into something more modern for Mike & Molly.

        6. GILMORE GIRLS ON PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

        Although a few years separate Gilmore Girls and Pretty Little Liars, both young adult dramas filmed on the same Warner Bros. backlot in Burbank, California. A number of the landmarks, buildings, and houses in Gilmore Girls’s Stars Hollow were redressed for Rosewood, the town in which Pretty Little Liars takes place. For example, the high school Rory Gilmore attended before she transferred to the prestigious Chilton Preparatory School was recycled as Rosewood City Hall, and Taylor’s Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe was reused as Lucky Leon's Cupcakes on Pretty Little Liars.

        7. SAVED BY THE BELL ON THAT’S SO RAVEN

        Parts of Saved by The Bell’s Bayside High School set were repurposed for That’s So Raven, where the featured school was also known as Bayside High. Michael Poryes, who worked as a writer on Saved by The Bell and was the creator of That’s So Raven for the Disney Channel, may have had a little something to do with that crossover.

        8. GROWING PAINS ON HANGIN’ WITH MR. COOPER

          For the pilot episode of Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper in 1992, producers reused the Seaver family’s living room set from Growing Pains, which had been canceled earlier that same year. Both TV shows filmed on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California. Alan Thicke, who played Dr. Jason Seaver on Growing Pains, even dropped by to wish Mark Curry good luck while filming the pilot for Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.

          9. ROBINSONS: LOST IN SPACE ON BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

            Although a network didn’t pick it up for series, the pilot episode for Robinsons: Lost In Space featured sets that would later appear on many episodes of Battlestar Galactica. In 2003, John Woo directed the pilot episode for the reboot of the classic ‘60s sci-fi TV show for The WB. While the pilot never aired and eventually was dropped, producers of Battlestar Galactica bought the spaceship sets for the Jupiter 2 from Lost In Space and reused them for the Battlestar Pegasus set.

            10. DEAD LIKE ME ON STARGATE SG-1


            Mandy Patinkin and Jasmine Guy hang out at Der Waffle Haus in Dead Like Me (2003).

            Photo © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

              The characters on Dead Like Me gather at a diner called Der Waffle Haus. The same diner set was once used in Stargate SG-1. In the eighth season episode “Threads,” Daniel Jackson finds himself in a strange diner that closely resembles Der Waffle Haus. Jackson also sits at the booth where the Dead Like Me characters usually sit, and orders waffles as a nod to Bryan Fuller’s cult TV show.

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              40 Years Later: Watch The Johnny Cash Christmas Show
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              Hulton Archive/Getty Images

              Over the course of his career, Johnny Cash made a series of Christmas TV specials and recorded a string of Christmas records. In this 1977 TV performance, Cash is in great form. He brings special guests Roy Clark, June Carter Cash, The Carter Family, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison ("Pretty Woman" starts around 23:50), Carl Perkins, and the Statler Brothers. Tune in for Christmas as we celebrated it 40 years ago—with gigantic shirt collars, wavy hair, and bow ties. So many bow ties.

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              Pop Culture
              An AI Program Wrote Harry Potter Fan Fiction—and the Results Are Hilarious
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              Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

              “The castle ground snarled with a wave of magically magnified wind.”

              So begins the 13th chapter of the latest Harry Potter installment, a text called Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. OK, so it’s not a J.K. Rowling original—it was written by artificial intelligence. As The Verge explains, the computer-science whizzes at Botnik Studios created this three-page work of fan fiction after training an algorithm on the text of all seven Harry Potter books.

              The short chapter was made with the help of a predictive text algorithm designed to churn out phrases similar in style and content to what you’d find in one of the Harry Potter novels it "read." The story isn’t totally nonsensical, though. Twenty human editors chose which AI-generated suggestions to put into the chapter, wrangling the predictive text into a linear(ish) tale.

              While magnified wind doesn’t seem so crazy for the Harry Potter universe, the text immediately takes a turn for the absurd after that first sentence. Ron starts doing a “frenzied tap dance,” and then he eats Hermione’s family. And that’s just on the first page. Harry and his friends spy on Death Eaters and tussle with Voldemort—all very spot-on Rowling plot points—but then Harry dips Hermione in hot sauce, and “several long pumpkins” fall out of Professor McGonagall.

              Some parts are far more simplistic than Rowling would write them, but aren’t exactly wrong with regards to the Harry Potter universe. Like: “Magic: it was something Harry Potter thought was very good.” Indeed he does!

              It ends with another bit of prose that’s not exactly Rowling’s style, but it’s certainly an accurate analysis of the main current that runs throughout all the Harry Potter books. It reads: “‘I’m Harry Potter,’ Harry began yelling. ‘The dark arts better be worried, oh boy!’”

              Harry Potter isn’t the only work of fiction that Jamie Brew—a former head writer for ClickHole and the creator of Botnik’s predictive keyboard—and other Botnik writers have turned their attention to. Botnik has previously created AI-generated scripts for TV shows like The X-Files and Scrubs, among other ridiculous machine-written parodies.

              To delve into all the magical fiction that Botnik users have dreamed up, follow the studio on Twitter.

              [h/t The Verge]

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