To kick off the new season for Toobworld, 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' launched a crossover with the mothership of the Dick Wolf franchise. Nothing revolutionary in this; after all, 'Law & Order' shows are all very well meshed. There have been so many crossovers, that the characters from the main show will be the core of the weekly inductions into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame next year.
[That's right, True Believ- er, True Viewers! For 2006, we'll be going weekly for the Hall of Fame!]
Here's the TV Guide recap for Part One ("Design"):
Originally aired: Tuesday September 27, 2005 on NBC
"After Benson talks a pregnant woman off a ledge, it's discovered that she's the daughter of a scam artist and a controversial scientist."
On the following night, the story continued on 'Law & Order':
Originally aired: Wednesday September 28, 2005 on NBC
" 'SVU' detectives Olivia Benson and Fin Tutuola help in a murder investigation that involves a scam artist and her daughter."
TV.com described the combo this way:
'LAW & ORDER: SVU' - "DESIGN"
Benson saves April Troost from committing suicide, but feels responsible when Troost dies during the trial of the man she accuses of raping her and getting her pregnant. It isn't long before detectives learn that Barclay Pallister wasn't the only man April picked up in a bar who has no recollection of sleeping with her, and the squad realises that Troost was no victim. Their search takes them from prospective parents looking to adopt her child to the men she drugged and accosted to the sperm center she used to work at, which ends up at the center of the case.
'LAW & ORDER' - "FLAW"
When the body of Patrick Sullivan is found with one of Olivia Benson's business cards in his pocket, Green and Fontana call on SVU to help them with their case. Although not initially clear, the detectives soon realise that Patrick Sullivan is connected to Lorraine Dillon and April Troost, career criminals that Benson had previously been unable to catch. Lorraine confesses to the crime and claims she did it to protect her daughter, but when April ends up on the stand she tells a different story, and McCoy and Benson disagree on which of the two is telling the truth.
These crossovers might be considered safe and maybe even a bit of the ol' "same old, same old". (It's not like pulling off a crossover between 'Medium' and 'My Name Is Earl'.... although I think it could be done!)
But the power in these crossovers lie in the guest casts. Last season's May Sweeps crossover featured Alfred Molina and as his mother, Angela Lansbury, who was nominated for her performance.
This year, in the first hour alone, the cast featured Ronny Cox, Peter Reigert, Julian Sands, and Lynda Carter and Estella Warren as a mother/daughter duo of con artistes.
Date/rape, baby-snatching, genetic experimentation, and a con worthy of the movie "Heartbreakers" - there was more than enough there to spread out over the two shows! It was quite a burst out of the starting gate for the season's crossovers, and we'll N-B-see the next one on the Peacock Network as well.
So we're off and running!