I think Craftsman/AC/Mission is just insanely popular right now, and TV and films are reflecting this rather than driving the trend.
Why is it so popular? I have no idea but I think about it a lot. I think they are very versatile styles – they all overlap with each other, first of all, and you could do a house in Craftsman style and have a few pieces of other stuff (colonial, for example) and it would blend right in.
I think one of the things that might be driving it is that there is no shortage of Craftsman-era homes. They are all over the place, in various states of repair and in all different income levels of neighborhood. You could spend a TON of money for lovingly restored Craftsman style in a ritzy area, or pick one up dirt cheap in a so-so neighborhood, or your parents might still be living in their original one. In terms of time, it is a lot more likely that people have their grandmother’s mission style sideboard as opposed to their great great great grandmother’s (authentic) colonial sideboard. In terms of location, you could get a modern condo and decorate it AC style and it would seem okay, as opposed to going with high Victorian, which might seem demented. Plus, a person could realistically purchase all the AC looking stuff at Pottery Barn, and high Victorian is most likely going to out of budget range for most. In terms of authentic stuff, as opposed to simply retro-looking, it was mass produced at all price levels, so you can collect (even with inflated prices) on a reasonable budget, and it’s still entirely likely to find it at garage sales.
One of the things about the TV appearances is that it is like your stuff, but usually better. (Not you specifically, but the average public person.) The Numb3rs house (which is so awesome that it sometimes distracts me from following the plot) is supposed to be this house that the parents got long before it was trendy, but in reality, I can’t imagine you could have it restored and furnished to that level of perfection without seriously investing in your home decor. Still, it’s close enough that it seems like it could be like my stuff. So it’s that TV thing, where viewers like seeing average but better. It might not be realistic to aspire to the exact Numb3ers house, but it’s certainly possible to get something along those lines.
The next big thing is going to be that “googie” style (hate the name, I don’t understand why it all of a sudden popped up, I like the look but for years have been calling it atomic style, which I like much better). Is that anywhere on TV yet?