Thursday, April 6, 2006


Because of the sad events in my family toward the end of March, it totally slipped my mind that I needed to post the April inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

For the last few years, there has been a general theme to the "ceremonies" each month, and for 2006, it's no different. We're celebrating the characters from the original 'Law & Order', sort of as a tip of the fedora to the late Jerry Orbach and to his character, the late Lennie Briscoe.

This month usually has a theme - that of the April Fool. So who better among the cops of the 2-7 to be considered a real card but Detective Mike Logan, as played by Chris Noth?

Logan is the character from 'Law & Order' who first kicked off the series' history of crossovers with his cameo appearance on 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. He was transporting a patently obvious "villain" (played by filmmaker John Waters) to Baltimore. There he was to hand off his prisoner to Detective Frank Pemberton.

But the two cops got into a territorial pissing match over whose city was better, until the collar himself grew sick of it.

After Logan was banished to Staten Island for punching a city councilman, it looked as though Noth's connection to the series was finished. Instead, the actor came up with the premise for a TV movie that centered on Logan's attempts to escape "Exile" on Staten Island and get back to serving on the mean streets of Manhattan.

A couple more years passed and then Mike Logan resurfaced again - this time on one of the spin-offs from the original warhorse in the franchise, 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'. Even if the episode didn't have such a topical story as detainee abuses in Brooklyn's version of Abu Ghraib, the team-up between Noth as Mike Logan and Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Robert Goren was fascinating to watch.

Logan's bull in the china shop demeanor and Goren's odd behavioral quirks like that tilting of his head played well off each other; so much so that when D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe as Detective Eames needed a break because too much of the show rested on their shoulders, it was Chris Noth as Mike Logan (with Annabeth Sciorra as his partner) who was brought in to take up half the load for the following season.

I'm hearing that 'Criminal Intent' is "on the bubble", meaning that there is a chance it won't be renewed.

If so, then Mike Logan will once again fade into the broadcast ether. But he's such an epitome of the New York Cop, that I have no doubt the character will rise again in a guest appearance on some other procedural.

And it doesn't have to be one of the 'Law & Order' siblings either. Like Detective John Munch before him, Mike Logan could easily fit into any other cop show, even on shows dealing with spies and homeland security, private eye shows, lawyer/courtroom dramas, and maybe even shows with that 'X-Files' finesse.

Whatever may come for 'Criminal Intent', we have not seen the last of Mike Logan. But we have certainly seen enough of him to justify his entrance into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.


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