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What franchise1 had the most concurrently2 airing American3 television shows?

After brief research, I found that the Law & Order franchise and the Chicago franchise had at one point 4 concurrent shows. Is this the most, or does another franchise have this record?

Additionally, I was disappointed to find out that both those franchises only managed to do so with one of their shows being just a single short season (Law & Order: Trial by Jury and Chicago Justice). So as a follow-up, has any franchise managed 4 or more where each of the shows involved were successful enough to run more than one season?


  1. I'm willing to accept a loose definition for "franchise", but the occasional cross-over isn't enough.

  2. By concurrent, I mean each show's airing schedule is more or less independent from the others.

  3. I'm restricting to American because it's what I'm more familiar with and I suspect the history and standards of each country's tv industry make cross-country comparisons not very meaningful.

  • 2
    For your purposes do the Marvel shows count? They're not (mostly) on broadcast but there are... a lot of them. There's four just on Netflix - five if you include Defenders... plus Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, etc. That's at least five. – Catija Oct 10 '17 at 2:42
  • @Catija Hmmm...I failed to anticipate web tv. My main motivation in asking this question was something along the lines of "How much could a franchise saturate a market and still be profitable." So to that end, I would say no, because a quick Google search tells me production costs for web series are generally lower. I'll edit that into the question. – DPenner1 Oct 10 '17 at 2:59
  • @Catija Well, I edited and then did more Googling and that's less clear to me now. So I've rolled that back and decided to leave my question as it is. Feel free to use web tv in answers, but please make mention of it in answers. – DPenner1 Oct 10 '17 at 3:09
  • I'm also assuming you mean fictional shows... I'm sure there are a ton of non-fiction shows that are variants/spin-offs of each other. – Catija Oct 10 '17 at 4:05
  • @Catija Yes, i did intend fictional – DPenner1 Oct 10 '17 at 4:26
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe (if you include series released outside of broadcast/cable TV) is probably the winner.

Broadcast:

  • Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 9/2013 - current
  • Marvel's Agent Carter - 1/15 - 3/16
  • Marvel's Inhumans - 9/17 - current

Web:

  • Marvel's Daredevil - 4/15 - current
  • Marvel's Jessica Jones - 11/15 - current
  • Marvel's Luke Cage - 9/16 - current
  • Marvel's Iron Fist - 3/17 - current
  • Marvel's The Defenders - 8/17 (miniseries)
  • Marvel's The Punisher - (future release, Netflix)
  • Marvel's Runaways - (future release, Hulu)

So, there are six separate properties all currently in production with Punisher and Runaways still to come, so potentially as many as eight.

  • Sadly, both Luke Cage and Iron Fist have been canceled and it's doubtful there will be another Defenders – m1gp0z Nov 7 '18 at 20:32
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I'm not sure if this meets your 'loose' definition but if you count spin-offs, Happy Days ties your current "4 show" records. In 1982, Happy Days, plus 3 of the (7 total) spin-offs were airing at the same time for 2 months (March 23 - May 27):

  • Happy Days (January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984)
  • Mork & Mindy (September 14, 1978 to May 27, 1982)
  • Laverne & Shirley (January 27, 1976, to May 10, 1983)
  • Joanie Loves Chachi (March 23, 1982 to May 24, 1983)
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    Mork & Mindy was a spin-off if Happy Days? What’s the connection between the two shows? – iMerchant Oct 10 '17 at 6:25
  • @iMerchant Basically Mork appeared in an episode of Happy Days (as part of a dream sequence) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Days#Spin-offs – EdHunter Oct 10 '17 at 7:06
0

The CW's DC multiverse is Called, Arrowverse:

  • Arrow - 2012 - Current
  • The Flash - 2014 - Current
  • Vixen (animated web series) - 2015 - Current
  • DC's Legends of Tomorrow - 2016 - Current

Crossovers:

  • Super Girl (originated on parent station CBS, but moved sophomore year to CW) 2016 (sophomore year) - Current
  • Constantine - 2014 - 2015 + Upcoming Animated Web Series + Reprising Role to Appear in Legends of Tomorrow (2087)

So there are five currently on that have overlapped, four being more directly related, and by early 2018 there will be six series with some kind of overlap.

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