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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Red Shoe: I think this is an important thingy, but I'm not sure whether it goes best under genres, formats, or meta concepts, which is why I haven't put it there yet.

I think the phrase "more closely bound than spinoffs" is somewhat debatable; it definitely varies on a case by case basis. For instance, the shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel were very closed linked, to the extent that one "previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer" prologue contained footage from the most recent episode of Angel. Meanwhile the characters from the shows CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: NY have never even referenced one another as far as I know.

Red Shoe: 'closely bound' may not be the right word, but as I tried to explain in the surrounding paragraph, what I mean is something independant of continuity. For example, the various Gundam series don't reference each other at all, but almost every incarnation features similar mecha designs and even similar characters.

Gus: "something independant of continuity" seems to be they main element. I would say that all the examples given are clearly franchises. Further, I wouldn't see a problem adding BTVS/Angel to the list, on the criterium that they are both in the Buffyverse.

Anyway, I'll float that as the defining element of a "franchise": a commonality of setting. (CSI setting: forensics squads; Law & Order setting: street detectives/prosecutors; Stargate, Star Trek, etc.: commonality of 'verse).

On entry categorization: The esteemed, highly regarded LT put it in Formats. I think it would go better in Genres. For example, an animated version of a live-action series would plainly still be in the franchise, having only jumped the format divide.

Idle Dandy: I actually would debate putting Buffy/Angel on this list. While the shows shared a universe and a continuity, they differed in tone, format, and style. The L&O shows are similar in tone, format, and style, as are the CSI shows.

Gus: Cool enough. If the Buffy animated series had gotten off the ground, would you have considered it as being within a Buffy franchise? The word 'franchise' comes to my mind when I think of things like Fray and the aftermarket books, action figures, board games, RPG's, etc.. If the the distinction in the entry is specifically for a group of series, I wonder if The X-Files/Lone Gunmen qualifies. 'Verse, tone, format, and style all match.

Red Shoe: For what it's worth, when I was writing the article, I thought about including Buffy and didn't on the basis that I didn't think 2 was enough shows to qualify. I have no scientific basis for this decision, but it's what my innate sense of it was.

Seth: I actually came to the discussion page here to see if there was a reason Buffy and Angel aren't on the list they fit all the criteria listed in the trope.

Kendra Kirai: Personally, I think that the mininum should be three series, as only two would merely be a Spinoff or Alternate Universe. It would, of course, help if those three or more series have accompanying cross-platform examples...like Law & Order and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation with their two PC games apiece.

Seth: Since the two categories are so close together i'm for using the rule of three as a cut off between them. Think it needs a mention on the tropes themselves?

Ununnilium: I think we should merge the "concurrent US"/"consecutive US" ones; the distinction doesn't seem to be particularly helpful.

Gizensha: Does the current treatment of Doctor Who count? The main series, two spin off series (Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, and an Expanded Universe which is operating in several non-televisiual media.