First off, I'd like to apologize for being so late in posting the Crossover of the Week tie from the week before. Sometimes even I am amazed that I might just possibly have a life! (I was up in Connecticut, getting in some fun time bonding with my four month old nephew.)
Anyway, this week's top crossover began on 'Law & Order' and finished up on 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury'. This is something that will be happening at least one more time before the season ends, probably with either 'Special Victims Unit' or 'Criminal Intent' (if not both), as a means to pump up interest in the latest member of Dick Wolf's 'Law & Order' franchise.
In the first episode, Detective Ed Green was shot and nearly killed while escorting a witness for an upcoming trial. During the second show, his assailant was identified and prosecuted, but Green will be out of commission through the end of the season.
(Outside the box, this is to let Jesse L. Martin, the actor who plays Green, time off in order to film the movie version of "Rent". In his absence, Michael Imperioli will be appearing - no! Not as "Christuphuh" from 'The Sopranos', but as Detective Fontana's temporary partner. And from what I've heard, his character is Fontana's nephew.)
This turned out to be a triple crossover, because during the 'Trial By Jury' episode, the DA's investigation brought them into contact with Detective John Munch of the 'Special Victims Unit' who had pertinent information on the other shooting victim. And that's what made this crossover not only the top crossover of the week, (Okay, so it was the only one!) but also a milestone in TV History.....
Richard Belzer's character of Detective Munch is now the most "traveled" character in all of Toobworld. The Munchkin has now appeared in six different TV series, - two of those on other networks! - and in one TV reunion movie.
And it shouldn't be long before he finally catches up to Sam Drucker of 'Green Acres', 'Petticoat Junction', 'The Beverly Hillbillies', and 'Return To Green Acres' fame for the quantity of crossover episodes as that character. (For alls I know, he may have already exceded that mark.)
Here's the rundown for Munch's appearances:
'Homicide: Life On The Street'
'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'
'Law & Order'
'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'
'The X-Files' (on FOX)
'The Beat' (on UPN)
'Homicide: The Movie'
I think most critics and TV observers are counting the reunion movie as an extended finale for 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. If so, then up until this appearance, Munch was tied with five shows with Norm Petersen, Cliff Clavin, and Ray Barone. There may be others, but I'll have to look into that.
Without counting TV shows that moved part and parcel from one network to another, Munch probably stands alone in another distinction - that of the most networks as the same character, with three.
Exciting, isn't it? David Letterman tried to get a phrase popularized on his show and I think it's apt for this situation.
Hey, Lee Goldberg! How come you couldn't work him into 'Diagnosis Murder' while it was still on the air? Bwahahahaha!