Two things have happened this month: the NCAA cancelled the March Madness basketball tournament, and Westworld featured a surprise Game of Thrones cameo this week. Having HBO’s biggest show cross over with its try-hardiest show in the same month that there is no March Madness is surely a sign that the universe wants us to figure out the best possible combination of TV show crossovers by doing loosely organized, nonsensical brackets of potential crossovers and pitting them against each other. We’ll play by the rules HBO established, which means that shows which have gone off the air can cross over with currently airing shows, or both shows can be off the air, whatever, we’re making this up as we go along. And now, I present the Television Cross-over Sweet Sixteen.

Central Western South Division (Crime Shows)

Bracket One:

Justified x Law & Order


I would happily watch Justified crossed over with anything, but seeing the straight-laced cops of Law & Order deal with the morally compromised deputies of Justified has the highest potential for comedy. Lennie Briscoe and Raylan Givens would absolutely hate each other, but they would come to a grudging mutual respect for the results they each get with their investigative styles, though Briscoe would definitely be prepared to arrest Raylan at the drop of a, well, hat.

Sherlock x Luther

sherlock-luther-27mar20.jpg(BBC One)

Truthfully, I put this here just for the possibility of seeing DCI Luther whale on Sherlock for playing games with active investigations. Luther would not put up with any of that bullsh-t like Lestrade does, but Sherlock would accurately and immediately guess Alice is still alive. For this crossover to work, though, it has to take place before series five of Luther. 

Bracket Two:

Hill Street Blues x The Wire

Hill Street Blues is arguably the first great cop drama, and The Wire is arguably the greatest cop drama of all time. Why not mash them up? 

Murder, She Wrote x Fargo

This can work two ways: either Jessica Fletcher can be transported into one of the oddball settings of Fargo and investigate the series of escalating crimes therein, or Cabot Cove could be the setting of a season of Fargo. Either way, I want to see sassy, yet practical Jessica Fletcher interact with the eccentric con artists and murderers of Fargo.

Southern Midwestern Division (Sitcoms)

Bracket One:

It’s Always Sunny x Seinfeld


Two sitcoms about terrible people who do nothing and make zero contributions to society. Put them together and unleash the apocalypse. We even have the perfect setup—the Seinfeld crew is visiting Philadelphia and get stuck in Paddy’s Pub when the city goes into quarantine. The gang, misunderstanding “shelter in place” instructions, locks everyone inside the pub, trapping them all together. Lord of the Flies but with vapid narcissistic adults ensues.

Parks & Recreation x Veep


Another irresistible mash-up, combining TV’s most hopeful political sitcom and its most cynical political sitcom. Selina Meyer would LOATHE Leslie Knope’s enthusiasm and sincerity, and Leslie would be amazed that people working in the White House (!!!) are so awful to each other when they all have the best jobs ever. Despite back-stabby political maneuvers and outright attempts at sabotage from Team Meyer, Leslie triumphs thanks to her determinism and Midwestern nice politicking. Also, Jerry Gergich and Richard Splett would be instant friends and end up having long, fruitful political lives in which they support each other tirelessly.

Bracket Two:

Friends x New Girl


I just want to side-by-side one of the worst sitcom couples of all time (Ross and Rachel) with one of the best sitcom couples of all time (Nick and Jess), and put an end to the Ross and Rachel debate. They SUCK as a couple, they are horrible for each other, and I’m not convinced Rachel ever really loved Ross, so much as he was convenient and didn’t upset her social balance. Monica and Chandler are the Friends who fell in love, Ross and Rachel are toxic f-ck buddies. Let’s put them in context with Nick Miller and Jessica Day, true soulmates who found a way back together rooted in maturity, mutual respect, and true, ride-or-die friendship and end the argument forever. 

Arrested Development x Brooklyn 99    

Here’s my pitch for this cross-over event: the detectives of the 99th Precinct investigate the Bluth family. I know they’re situated on opposite coasts, but the Bluths could have as yet undiscovered shady dealings in Brooklyn, or Gob could get into trouble with a mysterious syndicate of east coast magicians. Just please let Detective Peralta interview the Bluth family, we the viewers can only win in this scenario. Nine-nine!

East Northeast West Division (Sketch Comedy)

Bracket One:

I Think You Should Leave x Key & Peele

leave-key-27mar20.jpg(Netflix/Comedy Central)

It’s absurdism versus social satire, a match up that pits the East West Bowl against Chunky. I actually really want this to happen now because it would combine some of the best sketch writers working today into one powerhouse show that I would pay real human money to see (as opposed to skeleton money, which as we all know is just bones and worms).

Review x SNL

Set indefatigable review guy Forrest MacNeil loose on SNL to review the whole experience for us—what’s it like to write a sketch? Host the show? Build the sets? Be the musical guest? Do a monologue? Somehow, inevitably, reviewing the SNL experience from top to bottom would end with Forrest getting divorced.

Bracket Two:

Kids in the Hall x In Living Color


I just really want to see two of my favorite 1990s sketch shows mashed up, that’s all. Kids in the Hall is coming back so it’s NOT TOO LATE.

The State x The Kroll Show

Every generation gets the too cool for school sketch show they deserve. Gen X got The State, Millennials got The Kroll Show. This would be like a battle of the bands but with sketches, and at the end Monty Python would emerge and destroy them both because in the end, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. (In this scenario, everyone involved are Highlanders.)

North Southern East Division (Dramas)

Bracket One:

The Walking Dead x Zoo


The Walking Dead has WAY overstayed its welcome, but the characters on this show are absolute killing machines, and that is what the world of Zoo needs. Zoo, if you haven’t seen it, is about the animals of the world turning against humanity and attempting to wipe out people. There are lion attacks, wolf prison breaks, invisible snakes, earthquake sloths—look, you just need to watch Zoo. I have been trying to explain this show for years but it’s so completely batsh-t insane it defies explanation. Just know that the honed zombie slayers of The Walking Dead would fit right into Zoo without missing a beat.

Stranger Things x Twin Peaks

Which town is weirder: Hawkins, Indiana or Twin Peaks, Washington? And which would be better, seeing Dale Cooper investigate the goings-on in Hawkins, or the Stranger Things kids try to cope with the Black Lodge? This would have to be a two-night event, one set in Twin Peaks and one set in Hawkins. It would not take much to connect the Upside Down and the Black Lodge and get two of television’s best horror shows working together for an undoubtedly deeply strange cross-over event.

Bracket Two:

Game of Thrones x The Crown

Chaos is a ladder, and who doesn’t want to watch the faux-Windsors plummet off it like lemmings running off a cliff? I don’t know which is the more entertaining option, injecting Lannisters and Targaryens into The Crown and watching them dethrone Queen Elizabeth and take the commonwealth for themselves, or sending the fake royal family to Westeros and watching them all flail around helplessly when the royal stakes are literal life and death. Either way, Littlefinger would have a field day with Elizabeth and Margaret.

The X Files x Buffy the Vampire Slayer

xfiles-buffy-27mar20.jpg(FOX/The WB)

This is such an easy pitch. OF COURSE Mulder and Scully would turn up in Sunnydale, home of the hellmouth and many mysterious deaths and disappearances. Mulder would jump right off the deep end and embrace slayer lore, but Scully would remain skeptical, though she would appreciate Buffy’s directness, even if she doesn’t believe a thing Buffy says. Their investigation would be inconclusive, though Mulder would be convinced Buffy Summers is a slayer of monsters and Scully would suggest they’re just a bunch of stoned SoCal teens.

Let us know your favorite match-ups!


(Lainey: if you’re in Canada, many of these shows are available on Crave – along with new movie releases – and there’s a 30 day trial happening right now too. Crave is also running its own bracket challenge with daily voting and a prize giveaway. You can also watch the first season of my show, Cravings: The Aftershow, which recaps The Outsider. Yes, that was a shameless promotion.)