S. Epatha Merkerson appeared on two episodes of 'The Closer', but as Doctor Rebecca Dioli, not as Lt. Anita Van Buren whom she has portrayed on 'Law & Order' since 1991.
Now, normally I would have bemoaned this as a missed opportunity to get a great crossover, one that would cement the place of 'The Closer' in the TV Universe. (For Toobworld, it's already a given, but the Westphallians need the confirmation that can be traced back to 'St. Elsewhere'.)
However, I used to be an actor and on a limited basis I know what it's like to be playing the same role for way too long. I'm sure that after 16 years, Ms. Merkerson jumped at the chance to play anyone else but the Lieutenant, especially when the show has such a high profile as 'The Closer' enjoys - being one of the top cable shows on the air.
But I'd still like to see a link made between 'The Closer' and some other series more firmly entrenched in the TV Universe.