As part of the year-long salute to 'Law & Order', this month we turn our attention to one of the recurring characters on the show, Dr. Elizabeth Olivet (as played by Carolyn McCormick). Having appeared in 61 episodes of the flagship of the franchise, Dr. Olivet would hardly be called just a recurring character in any other series. But then this is 'Law & Order' which has been a powerful warhorse since 1990. (And only now is it beginning to show signs of age and vulnerability.)
Dr. Olivet is a psychiatrist who has often worked for the City, testifying in cases against the defendant for ADAs Ben Stone and Jack McCoy. But increasingly, her own viewpoints and mission in life has put her at odds with McCoy, so that he's come more to rely on getting the assistance he wants from Dr. Emil Szoda. (We'll be meeting him here in the halls of the Crossover later this year.)
The character of Elizabeth Olivet has appeared in a handful of episodes of 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' and once on the short-lived 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury'. I didn't watch 'Conviction', Dick Wolf's latest attempt to expand the franchise, but from what I've been able to see of guest cast lists, she never made it to that show. And she has yet to make an appearance on 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'.
But here's what makes her ultra-special and worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame: in the third season of Dick Wolf's contribution to the FOX network, 'New York Undercover', Dr. Olivet appeared in the episode "Smack Is Back". Thus, like Detective John Munch, she has crossed networks to appear in different TV shows.
If Dick Wolf was willing to loan her out, this could lead to her becoming not only the female version of the Munchkin as she already is, but she could even rival him some day for the number of shows in which he appears.
And it wouldn't have to be only court cases and police procedurals, such as 'CSI: NY' and 'Without A Trace'. Her skills in counseling could do wonders down at the firehouse in 'Rescue Me'. And I'm not just talking about Tommy Gavin in this case, even though - God knows! - he needs it. No, there's also Lou and Probie, and maybe even Jerry the Chief who could use somebody to listen.
Being more realistic, Dick Wolf should look into getting her on 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'. Detective Goren could use a little help sometimes as well, and I'm not speaking of any case he might be investigating........
And Mike Logan would be another one, which seemed evident while he was "Exiled" to Staten Island. But after meeting with him and his partner, Detective Carolyn Barek, Dr. Olivet might not know which one needed the help......
She certainly could have been helpful on sister NBC show 'Third Watch' while it was on the air, especially with Doc and maybe Bosco. And an appearance by Dr. Olivet might have helped break the ice for a potential crossover between the two series; one which would have made more sense than the multiple crossovers with Balto-based 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. It's almost as if there was some kind of enmity between the two productions.
Ah well, what do I know? I'll at least try to make up for that omission with my Birthday Honors salute in a few days.....
So here's to Dr. Elizabeth Olivet, the latest member of the 'Law & Order' team to grace the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.
'Law & Order'
'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'
'Law & Order: Trial By Jury'
'New York Undercover'