In all the years it was on NBC, 'Third Watch' never had a crossover with 'Law & Order', nor with either of its spinoffs ('Special Victims Unit' & 'Criminal Intent'). This is especially odd as both shows had so much in common, being about law enforcement in Manhattan. (Well, at least 1/3 of the cast for 'Third Watch' were cops. Having firefighters and EMT paramedics make up the balance of the cast, they had other areas of focus as well.)
I get the feeling it was all Dick Wolf's decision as to whether or not there should have been a crossover. I'm sure NBC must have pushed the idea, and 'Third Watch' could certainly have used the resulting publicity.
The 'L&O' team had no problem stretching credulity with four crossovers with 'Homicide: Life On The Street', which was set in Baltimore. And yet there was no love left for the first responders of 'Third Watch', who were just uptown.
And it's not like it had to be any major crossover jumping from one show to the other. The first crossover between 'L&O' and 'H:LOTS' was just a quick scene on 'Homicide' with Frank Pembleton and a small cameo by Mike Logan.
The same could have worked with 'Law & Order' and 'Third Watch'.
You know those opening scenes on 'Law & Order', just before the credits, where the two detectives arrive on the scene and get briefed by a uniformed cop? Why couldn't that have been Sully or Bosco just once? So what if they were in a different precinct; the Dynamic Duos of the 2-7 apparently work the whole island.
And just for variety, what if a fire had been started to cover up a murder? Then it could have been Jimmy Doherty who would have consulted with Briscoe and Green. And if there was one survivor in a massacre, maybe Doc Parker could have urged the cops to leave off the questioning until they could get the vic to the hospital (preferably Manhattan General for a 'Kay O'Brien, Surgeon' & 'Naked City' link).
Of course, that would have to be before Doc's breakdown and incarceration.. Otherwise, Carlos Nieto would work just as well.
But nooooo, there was to be no spreading the love when it came to Dick Wolf's warhorse.
Even so, 'Third Watch' did manage a couple of full-blown crossovers with two other NBC series, and even then the connection was made to shows in two other metropolises (metropolii?) - Chicago for 'ER' and Atlanta for 'Medical Investigations'. (Although 'MI' always went to wherever the outbreak occurred.)
And it was one character from 'Third Watch' who proved to be the common factor for all three shows' crossovers - Officer Faith Yokas.
With the 'ER' crossover, Faith and her partner Bosco helped Dr. Susan Lewis track down her drug-addicted sister in NYC in order to get help for her and her son.
And when there was the threat of a virulent blood contagion transmitted from animals smuggled in from Africa (which infected paramedic Nieto), Dr. and his 'Medical Investigations' team had Yokas work as their liaison with the NYPD in tracking down the carriers.
Usually with the birthday honors list, we induct a character who just misses the requirements for inclusion. But Faith Yokas meets the criteria fully:
But this time, the Birthday Honors is being used to tweak our year-long salute to 'Law & Order' for not showing the love to 'Third Watch'.
Here's an open message to Dick Wolf: it's still not too late for that 'Third Watch' crossover. Just as you resurrected Detective John Munch from the cancellation of 'Homicide' to come to NYC and work on the 'Special Victims Unit', you could have done the same thing with Faith Yokas.
And yet you missed a golden opportunity! With Detective Joe Fontana leaving the 2-7, there was the perfect moment in which to introduce Detective Faith Yokas as the new partner for Detective Ed Green. Instead, you're pulling in an actress from the recently cancelled 'Conviction' who is fresh off of playing a young ADA.
Must be a twin sister?
Oh well. At least I can make up for the sleight in my own small way. Even though they never allowed a Third Watcher into their midst on their show, the 'Law & Order' gang will now have one in their ranks forever in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.
Here's to you, Yokas. Keep the Faith!