Former 'LA Law' star Corbin Bernsen will appear on February 28th episode of 'Boston Legal'. Unfortunately for those of us who are fans of TV crossovers, his character's name will be Eli Granger, not Arnie Becker.
Had Arnie been a character that David E. Kelley created when he worked on 'LA Law', perhaps he might have had the muscle to get the right to bring the character over from another network, as he did with Chi McBride's character from 'Boston Public'. But he joined the Bochco-Fischer production when it was already in progress and Arnie was already established.
Some fancy maneuvering and sleight-of-hand writing skills might be able to come up with a proper reason why we should assume Arnie Becker was now working in Boston under an alias. After all, 'LA Law' has been off the air for over a decade. Look at your own life - lots of things have happened to you in ten years, am I right? (Me? Nah, my life's frozen in amber.)
Perhaps he was forced to go into the witness protection program because he represented (and eventually bedded) the ex-wife of a powerful mobster. To keep it topical, maybe Arnie helped the wife of a Muslim diplomat sever the marital ties to her abusive husband, and now he has a fatwah declared against him.
Of course, that type of speculation gets shot down in a hurry. If he was under federal protection, they never would have put him into a high-profile city like Boston; nor would they let him continue to practice law, especially divorce law!
My way of thinking is to go the traditional route - the Patty-Cathy Option. Arnie Becker and Eli Granger are cousins, identical cousins.
Or to bring it closer to home, DNA-wise, if the acorn didn't fall far from the tree, maybe Arnie's dad got his nut off (to keep that metaphor going) with Eli Granger's mom.
Half-brothers, growing up on opposite sides of the country, natural aspects of aging (i.e., Corbin Bernsen's hairline) making the physical dissimilarities just distinct enough to put the concept into play, and both following the same line of work (and probably the same lascivious relationships with their clients)..... We've seen stranger things happen in Toobworld.
Somehow, I'll bet there will be at least one in-joke made in reference to 'LA Law' during the course of that 'Boston Legal' episode this Tuesday night.....