I spent waaay too much time trying to insert “NO” in the theme answers, even though I knew that the NO in MISSINGNO20AUnofficial Pokémon species that results from a famous glitch, or descriptor for the starred entries[---------] means “number”. Eventually figured everything out when I realized how to include IX in the 35A35AThe ninth of twelve popes sharing the same name *[---] answer.
Very very clever! I was just confused until 18A18A'Days __ ___ _____', American soap opera with over 14,000 episodes *[------] and then the themers are all real entries too? I can't imagine how you found any of these, let alone fit them in a puzzle!