10 TV Shows That Recycled Their Sets

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iStock

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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              15 Facts About Rushmore On Its 20th Anniversary

              The Criterion Collection
              The Criterion Collection

              On December 11, 1998, Wes Anderson introduced the world to his unique brand of whimsical comedy with Rushmore. Though it wasn't his feature directorial debut—he had released Bottle Rocket, which he adapted from a short, in 1996—it was his first major Hollywood movie. And kicked off his still-ongoing collaborations with a stable of talented actors that includes Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. It was also the second film Anderson co-wrote with Owen Wilson.

              To celebrate the quirky comedy's 20th anniversary, here are some things you might not know about Rushmore.

              1. Rushmore Academy was the director's Alma Mater.

              Wes Anderson sent location scouts across the United States and Canada to find the perfect high school to shoot the movie. He was having a tough time trying to find the school, until his mother sent him a picture of his old high school in Houston, Texas: St. John's School. Anderson thought it was the perfect location to make the movie.

              2. Bill Murray wanted to make Rushmore for free.

              Bill Murray in Rushmore (1998)
              The Criterion Collection

              Once Bill Murray read the screenplay, he wanted to be in the movie so badly that he considered appearing in it for free. Murray ended up working on Rushmore at scale with the Screen Actors Guild day rate minimum for smaller indie film projects. Anderson estimated that Murray made about $9000 for his work on the film.

              3. Film critic Pauline Kael had a private screening.

              Pauline Kael’s film criticism was a major influence on Anderson’s view of cinema. “Your thoughts and writing about the movies [have] been a very important source of inspiration for me and my movies, and I hope you don't regret that," he once wrote to her.

              Kael retired from The New Yorker in 1991, so Anderson arranged for her to have a private screening of Rushmore before the film came out in 1998. He wrote about the screening in the introduction to the published version of the screenplay, and shared what Kael told him about the film: "I genuinely don't know what to make of this movie."

              4. It was Jason Schwartzman’s first film role.

              Casting directors searched throughout the United States, Canada, and England to find a young actor to play the lead role of Max Fischer. Australian actor Noah Taylor was the frontrunner for the part when, on the last day of casting in Los Angeles, Jason Schwartzman auditioned. He was wearing a prep school blazer with a Rushmore Academy patch that he made himself.

              5. Owen Wilson's private school experiences inspired some of the movie's plot points.

              As a sophomore at St. Mark High School in Dallas, Texas, Rushmore co-writer Owen Wilson was expelled for stealing his geometry teacher's textbook (the one that contained all the answers); he went to Thomas Jefferson High School to complete 10th grade. This was the inspiration for when Max is expelled from Rushmore Academy and is forced to attend Grover Cleveland High School.

              Although Wilson doesn’t have a credited role in Rushmore, he does appear as Ms. Cross’s deceased husband, Edward Appleby, in a photo in Appleby’s childhood bedroom.

              6. Wilson's Dad Inspired a Moment in the Movie.

              Wilson’s father, Robert Wilson, was the inspiration for Herman Blume’s speech about privilege at the beginning of Rushmore.

              7. Alexis Bledel was an extra in the film.


              Getty Images

              Before she starred as Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, actress Alexis Bledel was an uncredited extra—she played a Grover Cleveland High School student—in Rushmore. You can see her in the background in various scenes, including dancing with the character Magnus Buchan (Stephen McCole) at the end of the film.

              8. Both Anderson and Wilson's brothers had parts in the movie.

              Owen and Luke Wilson’s older brother Andrew plays Rushmore Academy’s baseball coach, Coach Beck. He also appeared in Anderson’s directorial debut, Bottle Rocket, playing the bully John Mapplethorpe.

              Eric Chase Anderson, Wes's brother, plays the architect who designs Max’s aquarium.

              9. The Movie's Editor Made a Cameo.

              Rushmore editor David Moritz plays the Dynamite Salesman; he sells Max the dynamite and explosives for his stage play Heaven and Hell at the end of the film.

              10. Producers Made a Deal to get a Bentley.

              Producers needed a Bentley for Murray's character, Herman Blume, but Rushmore’s production budget was only $20 million and they couldn’t afford to rent one. A Houston resident was willing to lend them his Bentley if they gave his daughter a role in the film. Producers agreed; the man's daughter plays an usher who seats Miss Cross at Max’s play at the end of the movie.

              11. Mason Gamble's role in Dennis the Menace almost cost him the part of Dirk Calloway in Rushmore.

              Mason Gamble in Rushmore (1998)
              The Criterion Collection

              Wilson referred to the character of Dirk Calloway, played by Mason Gamble, as the conscience of the film. Originally, Anderson didn’t want to cast Gamble in the part because of the actor’s previous—and very recognizable—role as Dennis Mitchell in the 1993 live-action movie Dennis the Menace.

              12. Rushmore Upset Francis Ford Coppola.

              Director Francis Ford Coppola owns a winery, and when he first saw Rushmore, he was upset with Anderson because he used Coppola’s chief Napa Valley wine rival during Max's post-play celebration. (It probably didn't help matters that Coppola is Schwartzman's uncle.)

              13. Anderson's Brother Did the Movie's Criterion Collection Artwork.

              The Criterion Collection edition of 'Rushmore' (1998)
              The Criterion Collection

              Eric Chase Anderson did the artwork for the Criterion Collection DVD cover, an interoperation of a shot from the montage of Max’s extracurricular activities at the beginning of the movie. The Yankee Racer shot is itself a recreation of a photo from French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue, taken in 1909 when he was only 15.

              14. Schwartzman waxed his chest to play Max.

              Although Max only shows his chest once in the film (during the high school wrestling match), Anderson made Schwartzman wax his chest for the duration of Rushmore's filming.

              15. The Max Fischer Players Appeared on MTV.

              During the 1999 MTV Movie Awards, the Max Fischer Players recreated the year's hit movies—The Truman Show, Armageddon, and Out of Sight—as stage plays.

              An earlier version of this article ran in 2014.

              Harry Potter Star Daniel Radcliffe Says Broadway Made Him a Better Actor

              Dominik Bindl, Getty Images
              Dominik Bindl, Getty Images

              For 10 years, moviegoers watched as Daniel Radcliffe matured on film throughout eight Harry Potter films. But the 29-year-old recently revealed that he believes the bulk of his professional growth has occurred as a result of his Broadway stage work.

              “It gives me a lot of confidence as an actor, which is not always something that I’ve felt,” Radcliffe told Variety. “I feel like doing theater ... it was really very important for me psychologically.”

              Radcliffe starred in a number of films after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the final film in the franchise, including The Woman in Black, Now You See Me 2, and Lost in London. His Broadway credits include Equus, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The Cripple of Inishmaan.

              “There’s something about doing it without an editor to save you, or a myriad of things in post-production that can help you out, something that made me go: ‘OK, I can act,’" Radcliffe continued. "I’ve grown a little bit as an actor every time I’ve gone back to the theater."

              Radcliffe crediting his professional growth to working in theater may leave some Potterheads wondering if he thinks playing Harry Potter for so long held him back.

              “Not professionally, at all,” he said. “There were moments when probably I coped with the personal effects of Harry Potter not as well as I could have. But professionally, no.”

              According to Radcliffe, "There are directors that were, I think, excited to—I am quoting one of them here and I won’t say who—'reinvent' me.”

              Radcliffe fans can gauge that reinvention for themselves with The Lifespan of a Fact, the new Broadway play starring Radcliffe, Bobby Cannavale, and Cherry Jones. It is running at New York City's Studio 54 through January 13, 2019.

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