Wednesday, July 05, 2006

You Can't Have Your Namesake and Meet It Too

Have you read Matt Roush's Mon/Fri "Ask Matt" columns lately? I ask only because two of his recent installments inspired today's trivia question.

In Matt's column on June 9, Betty thought that "the two more popular docs on the two most popular shows (Lost and Grey's Anatomy) are both named Shephard." Matt reminded her that "their surnames are spelled differently. Jack's is Shepard, Derek's is Shepherd."

Then on June 16 Jodie wondered whether "anybody noticed the two Fox network characters with the same name. Both That 70s Show's Topher Grace and House's Omar Epps play(ed) Eric Foreman." Not quite, according to Matt: "First off, officially Fox's Erics spell their last names differently: Forman (70s Show) and Foreman (House)."

So close, but yet so far.

Has it ever happened? Have two network TV characters (lead or supporting) ever shared the same name on unrelated series during the same season?

Yes, they have.

Oh, you want the list too? So selfish. Do I have to do everything around here? Here ya' go:
  • Sam Beckett (''China Beach'' & ''Quantum Leap'')
  • Matthew Brock (''NewsRadio'' & ''Picket Fences'')
  • Ed Brown (''Chico & the Man'' & ''Ironside'')
  • Annie Cooper (''Family'' & ''Hizzonner'')
  • Charlie Davis (''Davis Rules'' & ''Going Places'')
  • James Hunter (''Hunter'' & ''James at 15'')
  • Jack Malloy (''LA Firefighters'' & ''Unhappily Ever After'')
  • Michael Mancini (''Melrose Place'' & ''Feds'')
  • David Silver (''Beverly Hills 90210'' & ''Temporarily Yours'')
This list is probably not complete since I did not check all first-name variations (Jim vs. James), but it's a good start.

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