Picket Fences and The X-Files

Picket Fences (1992-1996)
The X-Files (1993-2002)
Type: Verbal Reference Crossover
Group 2

   Oh man. First there was going to be a crossover between these shows, then the networks said, "No!!!!" and each show did their own separate episode on a similar plot and all official and unofficial talk of the episodes declared, "Nope, no crossover here. Close but no cigar." And now it turns out there was a mini-hidden crossover in there. The mind boggles.

   Here's the poop. David E. Kelley and Chris Carter were going to do a crossover between their shows Picket Fences and The X-Files. The story would start on one show and conclude on the other show. This was to be no small deal. The shows were on two different networks - CBS and Fox respectively. Nobody had ever done a cross network crossover before. Why hadn't they? Well because what network wants to give free publicity for its competition's shows? And that's exactly why this sucker was called off. CBS said no way Jose we're they going to go along with that.

   And that's a shame because the shows were a good fit with each other. Both were produced by the same studio. Both were quirky oddball shows with The X-Files all about investigating bizarre phenomenon, often in offbeat little towns and Picket Fences all about the small quirky town of Rome, Wisconsin. It would be cool and it would be history so of course CBS couldn't let it happen. Cool thing is that later both Carter and Kelley got their cross-network crossovers anyway. NBC was hip enough to let Richard Belzer's character of Detective Munch from the the NBS series Homicide: Life On The Streets bop on over for a guest spot on The X-Files. And Kelley? Good Lord the man went crossover and cross-network crazy. If David E. Kelley has two shows of his on the air at the same time, he'll try and cross them over no matter what network they're on. First he crossed over his ABC show The Practice with his Fox show Ally McBeal and then later he crossed over The Practice with his Fox show Boston Public. And those are just the cross network (i.e.: shouldn't be able to happen) ones.

   But back to the point. The X-Files?Picket Fences cross is a no go. But it seems initial development had been done on each show's separate halves of the crossover. So, oh well, each show just retooled their episode as a stand alone without any characters crossing between the shows. No crossover right?

   Wrong! Even I took the word of things like the X-File episode guide that called this crossover an utter washout. But a sharp eyed reader of this site proved me wrong. The X-File episode, "Red Museum", is a standalone story involving cows, teenagers and injected alien DNA in a small Wisconsin town... just not Rome. Instead it was the town of Delta Glen. But the Picket Fences episode is a different story...

   The Picket Fences episode "Away In A Manger" also had a story concerning some freaky cow crap... so to speak. And it was independent of what went on in The X-Files. But it also clearly references the events of The X-Files episodes as having happened in the neighboring town of Delta Glen. Specific plot points and supporting characters are mentioned. Of course Mulder and Scully aren't mentioned by name. That would attract attention from the network. When the cow calamities begin in Rome, one character starts going on about stuff that went on over in Delta Glen. Weird stuff happened there involving alien DNA, cows, a plane crash, and a doctor named Larsen - all from The X-Files "Red Museum" episode. And the same character talks about how they heard the F.B.I. was investigating all of it. No agent names of course. Everyone figures the dude saying this is just kooky. I mean, what F.B.I. agents would investigate such crazy stuff?

   Knowing this happened... well I just love it. And I'll tell you what I love the most. The fact that CBS was the one stomping its big foot down and demanding that this crossover not happen. And then in the end the crossover did happen in a subtle way and only on the CBS end. The guys who threw the biggest hissy over it still ended up having the crossover happen on their own network. Hehehehe. That's not just me laughing either. I gotta figure David E. Kelley was giggling his arse off as he rewrote that episode and snuck his crossover in under CBS's noses.

Other Picket Fences Crossover Links
Picket Fences and Chicago Hope

Other X-Files Crossover Links
The X-Files and COPS
The X-Files and Homicide: Life On The Street
The X-Files and Law And Order: Special Victims Unit
The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen
The X-Files and Millennium
The X-Files and Picket Fences
The X-Files and The Simpsons
The X-Files and Strange Luck

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Buy these shows on Amazon.com and support this site at the same time! Check out Picket Fences and The X-Files on DVD! The X-File half of this crossover, Red Museum, can be found as part of the X-Files Season 2 DVD set!

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