On the pilot of a new spinoff
, characters and settings from the original series will show up to give the new series a sendoff. Doing this has multiple advantages. For one, it provides the connection between the two shows making the second one canon to the first. For another, it increases the viewership from the original series as they tune in to see their favourite characters. In addition, doing so gives it some legitimacy in the eyes of the audience.
Compare Poorly Disguised Pilot
, where the new characters start off being introduced on the original series.
See also: Passing the Torch
- For Beneath the Planet of the Apes Charlton Heston was only in it as a favor to the director. He wanted to die in the first reel, but they comprimised; he disappeared in the first reel and died in the last reel.
- Star Trek gets one of these with Leonard Nimoy showing up to guide everything into place.
- Star Trek: Generations acts as a bridge between TOS and TNG.
Live Action TV
- Several Star Trek novel series, just like the various TV series.
- Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-E feature heavily in the first Starfleet Corps of Engineers novella; Geordi La Forge hangs around for a few stories more, until the new characters are established enough to carry the series.
- Picard and co are also heavily involved in the first Star Trek: New Frontier novel.
- Kirk and company play this role in the first Star Trek: Vanguard novel.
- Each of the Star Trek spinoff series has one.
- Stargate Atlantis starts with a visit to the arctic expedition by SG-1's Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson.
- A variation: Teal'c shows up in Sam's first Atlantis episode to wish her well.
- Stargate Universe - O'Neill picks up Eli, Jackson's on the info discs and Carter shows up commanding the Hammond.
- Connor McLeod on the pilot of Highlander: The Series.
- It wasn't during the pilot of NCIS: Los Angeles, but somewhere early in Season 1 Abby from NCIS dropped in on the Los Angeles team.
- Abby was also in an ad for NCIS LA before it first aired: "Are you guys following me?"
- Director Vance also made several appearances in the first season. Which is understandable, as he IS the Director of all NCIS.
- Bud Roberts from JAG was also in a first season episode of NCIS.
- The Jeffersons: as Louise is packing the kitchen Edith Bunker comes over from next door to wish them luck in their new place.
- Years later The Jeffersons would produce its own short-lived spinoff, Checking In featuring Florence as the main character. George drops by to wish his ex maid good luck in her new job as executive housekeeper for a hotel(and to make sure she gives his dry cleaner the hotel's cleaning buisiness).
- In one of the pilots for The Muppet Show, Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street show up to perform a skit, where Bert worries that their little kid's show comedy wouldn't cut it on the new show meant for older audiences.
- Prison-based Brit Com Porridge was followed by Going Straight; in the first episode the protagonist Fletcher, freshly paroled from the original series' eponymous jail sentence, is escorted home on the train by prison warder McKay who had been a Porridge regular since the pilot episode.
- Inverted when Benson left Soap for his own show; he came back to help Billy escape from the Sunnies. Jessica made him a going-away cake, they shared some tears, and he left.
- The trailer for the pilot episode of The Flash shows Barry Allen meeting with Oliver Queen, with Oliver giving Barry some helpful advice.