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NBC’s Manimal aired from Sept. to Dec. 1983. Episode 2, “Illusion” involved Manimal foiling the plans of a Bulgarian ambassador hiding behind his immunity status to smuggle illegal goods into the country. Glen A. Larson produced this show and part of this episode also occurs in another Larson series, Automan, which aired on ABC in Dec. of 1983.

ABC’s Automan aired from 1983-1984. It’s third Episode “The Great Pretender” involved the hijacking of a truck load of paper the government uses to print money. Automan, with the help of Cursor, poses as a rich criminal competing to undermine the existing network of a known criminal dealing in counterfeit money. Events in this episode occur in Manimal; producer Glen A. Larson reused previously-shot Manimal footage in this episode.

Glen A. Larson also went on to adapt Malibu Comics’ Night Man for syndicated television, first airing September 15, 1997 to May 17, 1999. In Season 2 Episode 6 (series episode 28), “Manimal,” Night Man works with the shapeshifting Dr. Jonathan Chase, from Larson’s prior Manimal series, and his daughter to put an end to the homicidal rampage of a time-travelling Jack the Ripper.

Is there any authoritative source establishing that Automan, Manimal, and Night Man all exist within the same universe, or is this just Larson playing cute with Easter eggs?

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    I think you need something stronger than stock footage for a proper crossover. Though thanks I was not aware of Manimal's Nightman appearance. I was very fond of Automan I think I was 5 at the time. Nov 18, 2021 at 4:53

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In my opinion, if Glen A. Larson produced and was in charge of all three programs, the crossovers between were thus officially approved and should count as proving that they happen in the same fictional universe.

But that is not as good as a direct statement from someone in authority in those shows about the subject.

There are websites discussing which tv programs may happen in the same fictional universes as others, with spin offs and crossovers.

This website, appaarently last updated in August 2016, does not list Automan, Manimal, or Night Man among the more than 400 tv series it considers part of the Tommy Westphail Universe.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dh5d45ts5gim0k7/cross_list_2016.xlsx?dl=0

Here is a link to a crossover website article of Night Man crossovers:

https://fictionalcrossover.fandom.com/wiki/Night_Man

It says that on NOv. 15, 1998,

Manimal appears in an episode of the Night Man television show.

I haven't found any other listed crossovers for Automan, or Manimal there.

Here is a link to another crossover site.

http://poobala.com/crossoverlist.html

It has different standards than the Tommy Westphail site, for example, it lists only 100 plus shows instead of more than 400 shows as sharing a universe with St. Elsewhere. And it lists many crossovers between shows which have never been considered part of the Tommy Westphail Universe by anyone. It is not limited to the Tommy Westphail Universe.

It lists a crossover between Manimal and Night Man.

http://poobala.com/manimalandnightman.html

The site doesn't list Automan in the alphabetical list of shows. It has a section where it lists groups of linked shows. Some of those groups have only three shows in them. But Manimal and Night Man are not in any tiny two show group, or any other of the groups. And Automan is also not listed in any group.

I suggest that you read what the various sites I linked to say how they judge whether two shows share the same ficitonal universe. That may help you decide whether you think that Automan, Manimal, and Night Man are part of the same fictional universe.

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    Thanks! You just sent me down an interesting Westphail rabbit hole. Nov 17, 2021 at 20:21

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