Since Toobworld Central is celebrating 'Law & Order' all year in the Toobworld Crossover Hall of Fame, I've been giving a lot of thought to possible expansions for the franchise - not in actual spin-offs, but rather in crossovers. And I think I have one that just might work......
'Law & Order' has been particularly beneficial for TNT. The joke is that you can turn on TNT at any point during the day and you'll land on an episode of 'Law & Order'. (For me, it's usually the episode about the defective pacemakers.)
As such, the deal with TNT has been quite lucrative for Wolf Films, and I would think it's in the best interests of both parties to make sure the arrangement continues. And I think they should also find a way to make their collaboration grow.
One way would be through an original crossover, from one network to the other; a crossover that involved 'Law & Order' on NBC and TNT's own 'The Closer' starring Kyra Sedgwick.
'Law & Order' has been on the air for a long time, and there's been quite a revolving door when it comes to the cast members over the years. Because of this, I think the best solution to overcoming any production stumbling blocks between the two production companies would be to make this a one episode crossover which would be part of the scheduled lineup for 'The Closer' and featuring characters from 'Law & Order' who are no longer part of the regular cast.
This solution would eliminate any contrived shuttling of characters back and forth between Los Angeles and New York City which has hobbled crossovers between 'Las Vegas' and 'Crossing Jordan' in the past. The case would be in LA's jurisdiction, and any characters from 'Law & Order' who are involved would already be out there, perhaps having retired from practicing law in Manhattan or serving as a detective there.
But if they're out in Los Angeles for nonprofessional reasons, then how can they become involved with an official police investigation into a high-priority murder by Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson's team?
That's easy enough - make the 'Law & Order' character the initial suspect.
I'm not a fanfic writer; I'm just a fanfic enabler. So here's my idea of how to do the storyline so that it could work......
'Law & Order' did a three-part story back in its seventh season which had the characters shuttling back and forth between the Big Apple and the City of Angels. They were investigating the murder of a film studio executive, whose dismembered body had been fished out of the river. (They traced her identity through her breast implants. It has nothing to do with my idea, but I wanted to mention that because I have the mind of a 14 year old Catholic school boy and it makes me giggle.)
At first they suspected the exec's personal trainer and when he fled back to LA, they followed right after. Once out there, however, the investigation took a new turn and they focused instead on a movie director who was the ex-husband of the victim.
During all of this, Detective Rey Curtis began a flirtatious friendship with another executive at the studio, Lisa Lundquist. Previously, Curtis had apparently had an extramarital fling and when his wife found out, she tossed him out.
But even though Lisa was not only receptive to the idea of romancing the NY cop, but actively pursuing it by kissing him, Curtis retreated from spending the night with her. Still, she kept up the pressure on him, following him to New York (although on official company business) and inviting him out on her yacht when he had to return to LA. There she dangled before him not only the chance to have a relationship with her, but also a cushy job in security which would include trips around the world and the chance to rub elbows with some of Tinseltown's brightest and biggest stars.
But Rey Curtis still had hopes of making things right with his wife and reuniting with her and their daughters, so he not only turned down the job but also broke off things with Lisa before they even had a real chance to get started.
It didn't help much as his relationship with her was dragged into the trial and twisted during testimony to look worse than it really was. And when Lisa called Rey at home while he was trying to reconcile with his wife, it nearly caused a permanent rift in his marriage.
But all worked out well for the Curtis family, with only his wife's MS ailment still casting a shadow over their home life. It finally progressed to the point where he had to take a leave of absence from the force to care for her and raise his daughters.
And that's how it stands for the status of Detective Rey Curtis and 'Law & Order'. Benjamin Bratt, who played Curtis, returned to NBC last year with 'E-Ring'; but since that series failed, perhaps he might be receptive to the idea of bringing back Rey Curtis for a one-shot on 'The Closer'.
To make him a possible suspect in a murder case to be investigated by Chief Johnson's team, I think the most obvious choice for victim should be Lisa Lundquist. The main reason, from a real-world standpoint, is that the role had been played by Lauren Graham, who at this time is pretty much occupied with 'Gilmore Girls' over on the new CW. Since 'The Closer' begins after the fact of the murder, we wouldn't need her participation at all. (If she was found suspiciously drowned near her abandoned yacht, the effects of submersion in the ocean would pretty much demand the use of a dummy to mimic the decay of the body.)
Motive could certainly be supplied - perhaps after all these years, maybe Rey did once again pick up on the opportunity to have an affair with her; and accepted the security position as well. (And so as not to make a former hero on 'Law & Order' look like a sleazeball, let's assume his wife has passed away from the MS. So his relationship with Lisa could be seen as acceptable.)
But when he finally decided to end the affair, maybe she threatened his job which he needed to support his daughters. So on the surface, Rey Curtis would look like a good candidate for a suspect.
There could be a small scene perhaps where Chief Johnson calls back to the 27th Precinct in New York and talks to Lt. Anita Van Buren; getting details on Rey Curtis as a cop and as a person. That would then solidify the crossover aspects with 'Law & Order'. Or failing that, perhaps Lt. Van Buren could make mention of the case in passing during a later episode of her own show.
Eventually, Rey Curtis should be eliminated as a suspect. (God forbid I should ever suggest he turns out to be the actual murderer! Besides, Chris Noth beat me to that idea with the tele-movie "Exiled"......)
Perhaps in his capacity as a security officer at the studio, he could offer his services and expertise to Brenda's team; eventually helping them collar the real killer. This could lead to the type of scene where Brenda Leigh offers Rey the chance to join her high priority team. But since he has to put his daughters first, he'll stick with the security job. "More pay, less hours" type of reasoning.
One thing they would have to do to keep the reality of the crossover intact - make sure that Rey Curtis never shares a scene with JK Simmons as Chief William Pope. Otherwise the audience viewing at home would wonder why Curtis doesn't mistake him for Dr. Emil Szoda!
It's just an idea, yet another Toobworld Wish-craft, that I'm throwing out for consideration.
Thank yew. Thank yew ever so much......