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.

              tv

              The 25 Highest-Grossing Movies of All Time Worldwide

              Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame (2019).
              Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame (2019).
              Marvel Studios

              Ever since Avengers: Endgame was announced, Hollywood insiders had no doubt it would be a box office smash. But few people could have predicted just how big of a dent the movie would make in its opening weekend alone. The latest MCU movie demolished all previous box office records by making a cool $1.2 billion in just its first few days in theaters.

              It's the first film in cinema history to cross the billion-dollar mark in its opening weekend, and knocked its predecessor—Avengers: Infinity War—from the top spot in terms of opening weekends by almost double (Infinity War broke records a year ago when it made $640 million worldwide during its first weekend in theaters). After grossing $2 billion in record time, and knocking James Cameron's Titanic out of the number two spot of biggest blockbusters, Avengers: Endgame has now officially unseated yet another Cameron film, Avatar—which has held the number one spot for 10 years—to become the highest-grossing movie of all time.

              1. Avengers: Endgame (2019) // $2,790,200,000

              2. Avatar (2009) // $2,789,700,000

              3. Titanic (1997) // $2,187,500,000

              4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) // $2,068,200,000

              5. Avengers: Infinity War (2018) // $2,048,400,000

              6. Jurassic World (2015) // $1,671,700,000

              7. Marvel's The Avengers (2012) // $1,518,800,000

              8. Furious 7 (2015) // $1,516,000,000

              9. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) // $1,405,400,000

              10. Black Panther (2018) // $1,346,900,000

              11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) // $1,341,700,000

              12. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) // $1,332,500,000

              13. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) // $1,309,500,000

              14. Frozen (2017) // $1,276,500,000

              15. Beauty and the Beast (2017)// $1,263,500,000

              16. Incredibles 2 (2017) // $1,242,800,000

              17. The Fate of the Furious (2017) // $1,236,000,000

              18. Iron Man 3 (2013) // $1,214,800,000

              19. Minions (2015) // $1,159,400,000

              20. Captain America: Civil War (2016) // $1,153,300,000

              1. Aquaman (2018) // $1,148,000,000

              1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) // $1,123,800,000

              2. Captain Marvel (2019) // $1,120,100,000

              1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) // $1,119,900,000

              2. Skyfall (2012) // $1,108,600,000

              Box office totals courtesy of Box Office Mojo.

              12 Facts About Revenge of the Nerds For Its 35th Anniversary

              Twentieth Century Fox
              Twentieth Century Fox

              In the summer of 1984, nerds were mainly perceived as guys who wore pocket protectors and had tape on their glasses. But in Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs was inventing the type of nerd culture we’re familiar with today. Decades later, nerds rule the world.

              Revenge of the Nerds starred then-unknowns Anthony Edwards, Robert Carradine, Curtis Armstrong, James Cromwell, Larry B. Scott, John Goodman, and Timothy Busfield. In the movie, the jock-filled Alpha Beta fraternity bullies the geeks on the campus of Adams College, so to fight back, they form a frat chapter under black fraternity Lambda Lambda Lambda (Tri-Lambs), and take down the jocks. The movie’s plot and title come from a magazine article published around that time about Silicon Valley innovators—who just happened to be nerds.

              The film, which was budgeted at $6 million, only opened on 364 screens (it eventually expanded to 877). Somehow the movie had legs and grossed $40,874,452 at the box office and ranked as the 16th highest-grossing film of 1984. It was successful enough to spawn three sequels, none of which were as popular as the original. To celebrate Revenge of the Nerds' 35th anniversary, here are some geeky facts about the underdog comedy.

              1. Greek officials at the University of Arizona objected to the movie being filmed on their campus.

              The movie filmed at the University of Arizona, and involved the college’s Greek system. The Greek officials didn’t want the movie to be another Animal House, so they threatened to halt production. “We meet with the sororities, and we’re worried we’re about to deal with a bunch of feminists who are pissed because this is a fairly sexist movie,” the film’s director, Jeff Kanew, told the Arizona Daily Star. “I just say to them, ‘Look, I have kids, and I’ll tell you now, I’d let them see this movie. It’s about the triumph of the underdog, not judging a book by its cover. This is a good movie.’” The filmmakers won, and the Greeks allowed them to film there.

              2. The set was one big party.

              Ted McGinley—who played Alpha Beta honcho Stan Gable—told The A.V. Club: “I was so embarrassed to say Revenge Of The Nerds.” Kanew cast him because he saw him on the cover of a Men of USC calendar, sold at the University of Arizona bookstore. His good looks attracted “hot girls” from the UofA campus to watch the dailies with the cast and crew. “They had beer and pizza and sandwiches,” McGinley said. “I mean, you just don’t do that on movie sets. It was just so much fun, and I thought, ‘It can’t be better than this!’”

              3. Curtis Armstrong knew it would be a good movie, even though his character wasn't fully fleshed out.

              Curtis Armstrong filmed Risky Business but then was unemployed for a year before he got Revenge of the Nerds. “You have to realize the character of Booger in the original script was non-existent almost,” Armstrong told Entertainment Weekly. “What was there was just, ‘We’ve got b*sh!’ and ‘Mother’s little d**chebag’—those kinds of lines. I was looking at it and thinking, ‘How do I take this and even begin to make it likeable or accessible?’”

              With its strong cast, writers, and director, Armstrong said, “It has to be a good movie. But I wasn’t sure how it was going to be taken as opposed to Risky Business, which was sort of an art-house-type movie. This was very much broader and very much cruder, but it had a message that went beyond sex jokes.”

              4. The scenes between Booger and Takashi were improvised.

              The actors would bring ideas to the director and vice versa, creating a lot of improvisation in the movie. In one scene, Booger and Takashi (Brian Tochi) engage in a friendly game of cards. But unbeknownst to Takashi, Booger tricks him. “We ran and got our cots, and Brian and I were next to each other,” Armstrong told Entertainment Weekly. “It wasn’t planned that we would be next to each other. It just happened that way.”

              The production asked the guys to “come up with something” for them to film. “We had nothing at all!” Armstrong said. “We went to the prop people, and they had a deck of cards. And that’s where that scene [and Booger’s whole bit about taking money from Takashi] came from. And they liked it so much that, every time Takashi and I were in the room together, we would have to come up with something else.”

              5. Lambda Lambda Lambda exists in real life.

              On January 15, 2006, the University of Connecticut founded the co-ed social fraternity. It’s “unaffiliated with Greek Life” and is “dedicated to the enjoyment and enrichment of pop culture and to the brotherhood of its members. Tri-Lambs does not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, class, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

              6. Booger's belch came from a camel.

              In one of the film's more memorable scenes, Booger and Ogre compete in a belching contest. Booger takes a swig of beer and lets out a robust seven-second belch and wins the contest. But the effects were added in post-production. “I can’t even belch on command,” Armstrong told USA Today. “If you said to me, ‘Can you belch now?' I couldn’t do it.”

              To make up for Armstrong’s dearth of gas, “They wound up finding a recording of a camel having an orgasm,” Armstrong said. “They took this sound and blended it in with a human belch.”

              7. Curtis Armstrong wrote a bio for Booger, but it turned out to be about himself.

              Because his character wasn’t fully developed, Armstrong wrote a one-page bio for Booger. Years later he re-read the bio and realized he and Booger had similarities. “I’d basically retold my life as Booger without even being aware of it,” Armstrong told Entertainment Weekly. “[One detail] was that [Booger] used nose-picking and belching as a defense mechanism because [he’s] insecure. Now, mind you, I did not pick my nose and belch because I was insecure. However, I was insecure growing up. I didn’t have dates or anything like that; I was not good around girls. But I had other ways of defending myself other than being crude and picking my nose. When I look at it now with some distance, I realize all I was doing was writing about myself.”

              8. A Dallas test screening almost killed Revenge of the Nerds.

              The film tested well in Las Vegas—an 85—but when the Fox executives took the movie to Dallas, the number dipped. “You’re gonna send us to Dallas to screen a movie that celebrates nerds and in which the black guys intimidate the white football players?!” director Kanew told the Arizona Daily Star. The movie scored in the 60s, which caused Fox to cut marketing for the film and only release it on 364 screens. “I don’t really understand what happened, but it hung around and grew and grew and grew,” Kanew said.

              9. Poindexter was originally named after a prop guy.

              When Timothy Busfield auditioned for the movie, his character didn’t have many lines, so he had to read Lamar’s lines. At the time, the character was named Lipschultz, after the prop guy. All that was written for the character description was “a violin-playing Henry Kissinger.”

              “There was one line Lipschultz had in the original, but our prop guy was named Lipschultz, and he didn’t like the fact that there was a nerd named Lipschultz, so they changed it to Poindexter,” Busfield said during a San Francisco Sketchfest Nerds reunion. Busfield found Poindexter’s costume at a thrift store and showed up to the audition with his hair parted, and danced to “Beat It.”

              10. The sequel to Revenge of the Nerds afforded Anythony Edwards a pool.

              Anthony Edwards told The A.V. Club that he didn’t want to appear in Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, but acquiesced because the producers talked him into it. He’s hardly in the film, but the money he earned afforded him a simple luxury. “I ended up with a pool in my backyard that I called the Revenge of the Nerds II pool,” Edwards said. “Not that I’m complaining, but they seriously overpaid me for my weeks of work on the film, so I used it to put in a pool.”

              11. A remake (thankfully) got shut down.

              After two weeks of filming in the fall of 2006, a Revenge of the Nerds remake stopped production. Emory University in Atlanta pulled out of filming, but according to Variety, the real reason was because a Fox Atomic executive “was not completely satisfied with the dailies.” The cast included Adam Brody and Jenna Dewan.

              12. Revenge of the Nerds pushed nerdom into the mainstream.

              “I’m not going to say Revenge of the Nerds was responsible for everything in nerd culture, but I do think you could make an argument that that attitude began with the last scene in Revenge,” Armstrong told HuffPost. “The last scene—the scene I probably love above all in that movie—we’re at the pep rally and come out in front of everybody as nerds, and encourage these people of different generations to join them in their nerdness. I get teary thinking about it, and you could certainly make an argument that that was the beginning of embracing nerd culture by everybody.”

              This story has been updated for 2019.

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