'Homicide: Life On The Street'
('Law & Order')
'Homicide: The Movie'
You do know the deal with our TV Crossover Hall of Fame by now, don't you?
To qualify, a character must have appeared in at least three separate showcases. These could be any combination of series, TV movies, specials, even commercials and cartoons. A good example is Dr. Frasier Crane - supporting actor on 'Cheers', star of 'Frasier', and guest appearances on 'Wings' and 'The John Larroquette Show'.
Occasionally, there will come along a character who doesn't exactly fulfill these minimum requirements, but whom we think is deserving of merit. For example, Susie MacNamara - as played by Ann Sothern - was the main character of 'Private Secretary' and she was a life-long friend of Lucy MacGillicuddy (later known as Lucy Ricardo). Susie appeared in the flashback story of the first episode of 'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour'.
But that's it. There were no other outlets where Susie MacNamara showed up.
However, it's generally regarded that her appearance with Lucy in that flashback in Cuba was the first crossover in TV History. As such, she deserves to be memorialized for that.
For these characters, we have honorary inductions on my birthday in June. Sort of like the Queen's Birthday Honors List.... But without the queen connotations, thanks.
This year, I hit the half century mark, and to celebrate (?), I've turned the monthly induction ceremony into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame into a year long honors roll. All of these new members are only eligible due to some kind of technicality, but since I'm celebrating the big "5-O", my mantra is "Whatever I say, goes".
This being May, traditionally we honor the ladies - the May Queen and all that. And so for this special edition, the accolades have been accorded to former Baltimore detective Kay Howard on 'Homicide: Life On The Street'.
As played by Melissa Leo, one might think that her eventual inclusion would be assured. After all, there were several crossovers with 'Law & Order' and of course there was the reunion of 'Homicide: The Movie'.
But Kay Howard was only a regular character through the fifth season of 'H:LOTS' and there was only one crossover with 'Law & Order' by then in season 4. It began on 'L&O' episode "Charm City" and ended back in Baltimore with "For God And Country".
Only Munch (of course!), Bayliss, and Pemberton showed up in the NYC segment. But at least she did get to interact with Briscoe, Curtis, and ADA Kinkaid when they came down to "Bal'mer".
So that's a technicality. There's an even dicier one that's purely theoretical......
Many years before she moved to Baltimore, while still a little girl, Kay Howard was known as Katie. She was with her older brother, a famous tennis player who was under pressure to lose an upcoming match at the Desert Inn in 'Vega$'. In order to insure that he did, Katie was kidnapped and it was up to Dan Tanna to rescue her.
11. Serve, Volley and Kill
gs: Randolph Mantooth (Bobby Howard) Pamelyn Ferdin (Katie Howard) Dawn Wells (Millie Farmer) Red Buttons (Tommy Cirko) Don DeFore (Sid Green) Philip Abbott (Harry Snyder) Christopher George (Nicky Trent) Lynda Day George (Sandra Wells)
An obnoxious and tempremental tennis player is about to have a grudge match with a rival at the Desert Inn. Now he has been receiving phone calls threatening him unless he throws the match. His manager hires Dan to protect him but he feels that his manager is overreacting. And Dan doesn't want to work for someone as obnoxious and inconsiderate as him and was about to quit when some men beat him up.
Dan decides to look into it further and discovers that his girlfriend is involved with the man behind everything. When they try to get her he lets her go away. Later, his sister is kidnapped and he agrees to throw the match.
Dan deduces that either the manager or the promoter is connected to the man, so when he goes to his office to find the sister, he subdues the man and his henchmen and discovers that it's the promoter. He finds the sister and arrives just in time to let her brother come from behind.
It's traditional in Toobworld that different actresses can play the same character at different ages, so there's no problem in my mind because she would have been played by Pamelyn Ferdin back then, and not Melissa Leo.
And if you think about it, it' s not much of a stretch to see a Pamelyn Ferdin character growing up to become one portrayed by Ms. Leo.
As for the fact that there was never any mention of her famous brother during her run on 'H:LOTS', it could be that they had a falling out after that incident. Perhaps she moved back home to Maryland, or moved there once she came of age to make a new life for herself. And changing her first name slightly from Katie to Kay marked her personal growth.
And it could be that, based on that trauma, she was influenced to become a cop herself.
So welcome back, Katie, er, Kay. You took off for the Fugitive Squad, but now you can be reunited eventually with others from your old precinct - beginning with Crossover King John Munch!