So, basically, I watched way too much television as a kid. I've since remedied this and am now television set free (and would be tv show free if it weren't for Hulu ... damn you accessible, advertiser-driven premium content), however, my mind is indelibly stained with seemingly innumerable hours of 80's television programming (and 70's shows through reruns).
All of that is to relay why it ought not to be terribly surprising that it suddenly occurred to me, while detailing some project or another on a white board that Charlie's Angels may have been incredibly ahead of its time in presenting a model for project development. That spark sent my mind racing for other shows that might offer glimpses of insights into this crazy world of programming. The result was the discovery of three models that I think are representative of freelance software contracting. Definitely not exhaustive, just three that struct may as worth considering.
I latched onto investigation shows as they really fit the model of independent development: Presentation of a problem, exploration of a solution, execution of the solution and finally, payment, though sometimes not. I skipped police shows (Hawaii Five-0, Hill Street Blues, etc), family investigation firms (Hart to Hart, Simon & Simon, etc) and the inane (Scooby Doo, The Fall Guy).