In response to my suggestion that Brian Dennehy should be considered as a retired cop now D.A.'s investigator to replace the late Jerry Orbach on 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury', my Toob buddy Hugh had this response:
"I was expecting you to pull out someone from Toobworld though --maybe a Hill Street alum."
I must be slipping. Why didn't I think of that???
That's the Toobworld way to go - find a cop from another old show and have him crossover to 'Trial By Jury'. And since Toobworld doesn't believe in the borders of network divisions, we can roam about at will to find a suitable cop.
Let's start with Hugh's suggestion of 'Hill Street Blues'. We know characters from the un-named city where the Hill Street precinct was located could go to New York City. Buck Naked, the flasher from 'Hill Street Blues', showed up twice on early episodes of 'NYPD Blue'.
But I'm not feeling the power from any of the surviving Hill Street cops. Too much of an ensemble show, perhaps. Or maybe it really was just too long ago and has lost its vitality.
Mick Belker could be the only possibility and he's too wacked to work for the D.A. - Arthur Branch would want nothing to do with him. More than likely they'd be prosecuting cases stemming from his involvement!
I don't think Frank Furillo would want to go back to actual detective work. He's probably quite comfortable in a position with some high-tech firm as a consultant by now.
And too many others from the original cast who played detectives have passed away.
Perhaps from the aforementioned 'NYPD Blue'? John Kelly might have been a possibility, but there's this lookalike of his named Horatio Caine who's working down in Miami, ('CSI: Miami'), and that might make it tough to bring Kelly back to the screens.
You don't want to go too far back; I think Adam Flint ('Naked City') is wayyyy too old to get back into a daily grind. And unfortunately, the Theo Kojak of the main TV Universe has passed away. (There's another Theo Kojak, soon to be found in the alternate Black TV dimension. Come back in February - Black History Month - for an explanation of that world.)
So here's a possibility - why does it have to be a retired MALE cop? Why not a woman?
And so I'm thinking.... why not one of the Lady Blues of 'Cagney & Lacey'?
For the same reasons mentioned in regards to John Kelly, I don't think we could get Mary Beth Lacey to take on the job with the D.A. We can blame it on a judge's mom up in Hartford, Connecticut. ('Judging Amy')
But there's always Chris Cagney.
Yes, I know. The same argument could be made because there's a waitress down in Pittsburgh who's very supportive of her gay son; she's a real broad-minded broad. ('Queer As Folk')
But the role isn't that central to the show, and if they've already got most of their latest season filmed, there shouldn't be too much of a scheduling conflict anyway. Besides, it doesn't seem as if the producers of 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury' were planning on putting too much of that show on the shoulders of Jerry Orbach. So maybe they could cut the same kind of slack for Sharon Gless while she juggled both roles.
I have no idea how Bebe Neuwirth will be playing her role as the A.D.A. on 'Trial By Jury', but even if it isn't a character as tightly wound as her brilliant portrayal of Lilith Sternin Crane on 'Cheers' and 'Frasier', I think there would still be a wonderful contrast of style with the more flamboyant and brassy Chris Cagney.
So there's another, more Toobworldian, suggestion for the new investigator for the D.A.'s office.
Hrmmm..... I wonder if Fox "Spooky" Mulder is looking for a job.....