Saturday, April 23, 2005


If NBC let Detective Munch go play outside its own sandbox, there would have to be extraordinary circumstances involved. And I think the case could be made that that's what determined the two times Munch was off-network.

With 'The Beat' on UPN, the splainin is fairly simple. Tom Fontana's company produced the show about uniformed cops in NYC, and even though Munch's original series ('Homicide') had folded and he's now involved with Dick Wolf's Wonderful World of 'Law & Order', the Munchkin still falls under Fontana's dominion.

As for 'The X-Files', I think it came down to a business decision. 'Homicide' had buzz, but not enough. It seemed like it was always dancing on the verge of cancellation.

But 'The X-Files' had HEAT. And even though Chris Carter's show was on FOX, NBC must have realized that they could only benefit if an 'H:LOTS' character was seen on such a water-cooler show.

Too bad CBS' Eye couldn't see it that way when it came to a proposed crossover between 'The X-Files' and their own 'Picket Fences'.

So even though we played fast and loose with the crossover concept when it came to NBC shows - comedies as well as dramas, - we'll have to narrow the focus when it comes to the other networks: Dramas only, cop shows preferably, and always to the advantage of John Munch and/or NBC.

Sorry, we have to exclude it. Dubya's not the President of those United States, so it's not Earth Prime Time where Munch lives.

'The O.C.'
Puh-leeze! Maybe - Maybe! - only if Seth went to NYC to track down a really are comic book, only to find that Munch snapped it up first.

Otherwise, the image of Munch on the O.C.'s beaches would make this man in black his own alien sighting.

'Jonny Zero'
Sorry. Never saw it. And I get this feeling I'm not alone in that.....

This is the only show that would have definite possibilities. Richard Belzer and Hugh Laurie as Detective Munch and Doctor House respectively - two men soured on Life, with cynical, acerbic dispositions..... Who wouldn't want to ee them come into contact with each other?

I'd buy that for a dollar!

Besides, if the episode turned out to be an expose on what makes two such mysoginists tick, I have the perfect title:


Well..... I thought it was funny.....



On 'Desperate Housewives', Alfre Woodard is moving onto Wisteria Lane. Her character, Betty Applewhite, will join Charlie Young in 'The West Wing' and Lando Calrissian of "The Empire Strikes Back" as a Triple A - African-American Afterthought.

They must be expecting that type of reaction over at ABC, and they should have done something before the show premiered to avoid it. Why couldn't one of the original five "housewives" (Edie very loosely falls into that category) have been black? Even Mrs. Huber could have been more of a Weezy Jefferson than a Gladys Kravitz.

If Marc Cherry was too in love with the social dynamic he had created for his main quintet, Lynette Scavo could have still been a black woman. The role seems to be color-blind.

I suppose some might point out that at least he had an Hispanic couple among the regulars. And that might have been considered a major stride if it weren't for the fact that the wife is a slut and the husband is a crook and practically a wife-beater.

When it gets to the point where people are accustomed to seeing plenty of Hispanics in major roles on TV, maybe then it would be fine to fall back on a stereotype still perceived by the ignorant.

Okay, I'll admit I don't really care. The only thing that interests me about 'Desperate Housewives' is trying to find the splainin as to why the late and unlamented Mary Alice lives in Beaver's old house. I don't care how sexy and scantily clad the housewives may be - that droning narration by that dead nag grates on my nerves.

But what bugs me more is that Cherry should have realized he'd get some flack about the lack of blacks (ack!) and should have included a family for balance immediately.

I hate back pedaling.


Friday, April 22, 2005


Thursday, April 21st, 2005
9:00 PM
'CSI: Criminal Scene Investigation'
"Hollywood Brass"

Captain Jim Brass of the Las Vegas Police Department suddenly dropped everything to drive to Los Angeles - his estranged daughter Ellie had called for help regarding her missing friend.

What Ellie failed to mention to her dad was that both girls were hookers working Sunset.

Brass got help from an old friend on the LA force whom he knew when they both worked back in New Jersey. And he also got assistance from CSI Warrick Brown who was attending a convention out there.

After the investigation into the friend's disappearance turned into a murder case, Brass stirred up a hornet's nest among the City of Angels' most powerful - judges, lawyers, councilmen, and a former TV actor with designs on becoming the mayor.

Like Warrick cautioned him, it was "Chinatown" all over again.....

Was this episode of 'CSI' feeling out a possible pilot for Paul Guilfoyle as Jim Brass? It certainly felt like that kind of character showcase and this is the time of year to pitch new shows. And since everything went back to business as usual by the end, there's no risk Guilfoyle would be out of a job if the series didn't get a pick-up.

I'll bet Stanley Roper wishes he had that kind of assurance back when 'The Ropers' were spun off from 'Three's Company'! (I don't think Norman Fell cares much anymore one way or the other......)

So how would such a series play out? Most likely, Jim Brass would have to resign/retire from the LVPD and move to LA to become a private investigator. As an outsider, he'd probably stumble along the way but he would also be bullheaded enough to avoid getting entangled too deeply in the local scene.

He'd work closely with Detective Annie Hutchings (played by Donna Murphy), and have forensics help from Matt Glave as Matt Glazer. And all the while Brass would be keeping a close eye on his hooker "daughter". (Genetically, they weren't even related, but she didn't know that.)

If "Hollywood Brass" did go to series, it would at least be able to shake off the cooke-cutter feel of the 'CSI' shows from the Bruckheimer empire.

Just so long as it didn't play out like 'Beverly Hills Buntz', this show might have a shot.

And since James Garner made a few TV movies for CBS which revived his second most famous TV character, Jim Rockford, perhaps he might be persuaded to show up and help out Brass as he ventured forth in Toobworld. Rockford could show up during the November sweeps, or even better, he could guest star on the premiere to really kick things off!

At the very least, 'Hollywood Brass' could do a very nice in-joke tip o' the hat to 'The Rockford Files'.....

"This is Jim Brass. At the tone, leave your name and message and I'll get back to you."


Thursday, April 21, 2005



For the first batch of options regarding new shows for Detective Munch to appear in (and thus raise his all-time high from six - seven if you count 'Homicide: The Movie'), we're not going to stray any farther than his own backyard.

And that means the lineup of shows on NBC. We might even send him off to beautiful downtown Burbank!

'Fear Factor'
Um..... no thanks.

'The Apprentice'
Screw Trump.

Let's stick with shows that are more believable......

Scenario: The Dubois Family heads east to spend their vacation in the Big Apple. And while there, Allison has a vision which only Detective Munch believes in, skeptic though he may be.

'Las Vegas'
This time, Munch goes on vacation and he heads out to Nevada to investigate one of his favorite conspiracy theories, and maybe even get close enough to explore Area 51. But while there he decides to check out the action at the Montecito.

They would probably ask him to leave, however. In the glitzy world of Vegas, Munch's jaundiced attitude would bring down the room.

'The West Wing'
Off limits!

This show is in another TV dimension entirely, where Jed Bartlet is President and George W. Bush probably is still an owner of a baseball team.

We know Munch must have a counterpart in that universe, like Fidel Castro, Jay Leno, Penn & Teller, and Professor Lawrence Lessig do. After all, we know from 'St. Elsewhere' that Josiah Bartlet became a surgeon in Earth Prime Time's Boston.

But it would be too much to ask of an audience to accept this John Munch has a dimensional doppelganger. And it would push 'The West Wing' into territory best left to 'Stargate SG-1'.

'Crossing Jordan'
This could be part of a full-blown crossover, the whole two-episode job. It doesn't have to be a stealth cameo.

It would begin on Sunday night with 'Crossing Jordan' as the Boston medical examiners try to determine the identity of their corpse. The trail would lead them back to New York where they work with the 'Special Victims Unit' on Tuesday.

And that's when Munch is reunited with Garrett Macy with whom he once butted horns over a woman.

An added bonus - in an attempt to one-up Macy, Munch could mention that he once worked on a case with the legendary Dr. Quincy.

'American Dreams'
This is probably an exercise in futility; I think we've seen the last of Meg and her family and her friends at 'American Bandstand'.

Even so, we could still make a claim for Munch's presence during that time period in Philadelphia. And we wouldn't even need Richard Belzer to pull it off.

(We couldn't use him even if there were to be fresh episodes next season; he's too old now. They would have to cast a young actor to play Munch as a teenager, as they did once in an episode of 'Homicide: Life On The Street'.)

But let's say the show is officially dead. All that's needed is a little detective work and perseverance. Somebody willing to do the work could look through all the "atmosphere people" to find a gangly, gawky teen with glasses and a bad complexion. So long as that teen geek was never identified by name, we could claim it was Munch.

Forget it. Why bother? Not because it's set in Chicago - I'm sure Munch would make the trip just for the chance to meet Carl Kolchak!

No, I wouldn't want Munch to appear on this show because I hate 'ER'.

Besides, if the creators of 'Homicide: Life On The Street' were really interested in a crossover with 'ER', they would have done so in the episode "Doll's Eyes". Instead, the heart which was harvested for transplant was sent to 'Chicago Hope' (on another network!), where it was received by Dr. Jeffrey Geiger. (Geiger will one day join Munch in the Crossover Hall of Fame!)

And we don't have to limit Munch to just the dramas......

'Will & Grace'
This aging sag-hag of a sitcom has been renewed for next season, so anything goes by now. Munch's love life has always been a battlefield, and the situation should not be any different when he goes out on a blind date with Karen in a cameo appearance.

I have a feeling next season 'Will & Grace' is going to be the official embarrassment which the network will finally realize. So if Munch did appear on that show it should just be a cameo. A quick get-in and get-out......
Karen's used to those.

I like the idea that Munch and the Janitor may have gone to high school together. (Janitor probably put the Munchkin through the same kind of hell that JD now suffers.)

Munch might run into him accidentally while visiting Sacred Heart Hospital and end up going mano a mano with Dr. Cox in a battle of sarcasm.

I suppose Joey could go back east, visit the rest of the family, and tag along with Munch to study him for a movie role. But again, I'd rather turn to Munch's "love life". What I'd like to see would be Belzer teamed up with Jennifer Coolidge as man-hungry Bobbi.

However, Joey's slut of a creepy sister Gina might be a more logical choice. Who knows? Maybe Munch is the father of her son Michael.......

I suppose having a dying clown in your closet might be investigated by the 'Special Victims Unit'.......



When I posted to the Inner Toob on Monday morning, I threw in a shout-out to Lee Goldberg, producer and writer for 'Diagnosis Murder' and many other shows. He's also the author of the current series of novels based on 'DM', and has just announced he will be writing a series of novels based on 'Monk' as well.

Lee Goldberg also contacted me with some nice words about the blog.

I thought of him while writing about the Crossover of the Week between two 'Law & Order' shows, because 'Diagnosis Murder' was such a great series for TV crossovers. Spun off from 'Jake And The Fatman', 'DM' also crossed paths with Joe 'Mannix', Ben 'Matlock', and Cinnamon Carter of 'Mission: Impossible'. So that show was a natural when thinking about crossing Detective John Munch over to other shows.

But that tossed-off salute to Mr. Goldberg got me thinking about what shows currently on the air would be good places for an appearance by the "Munchkin". He's already covered every corner of Dick Wolf's 'Law & Order' franchise, and if any more shows join the line-up, he could appear on those in his sleep.

I'm a firm believer in Television Without Borders, and what Richard Belzer would need now to secure his position for posterity would be to stretch beyond his own bailiwick. Not just crime dramas, but sitcoms as well; and not only on NBC but the other networks as well.

Munch is the perfect standard bearer for the foray around the dial. After all, he did it twice already - on FOX ('The X-Files') and on UPN ('The Beat'). But we'll start off (and finish up) this list in his own backyard, with NBC shows.

So let me put on my thunkin' cap and come up with a few more possibilities for Munch to conquer as the Crossover King....

As Cousin Steve would say: "To be continued!"



Here's a TV cliche for the new age.....

Why is that gay black men in law enforcement on TV shows, whether police officers or as private investigators, are bald?

Chris Didion of Judd Risk Management on 'Eyes' is the latest example.

Here are a few others:

Officer Julien Lowe - 'The Shield'
Keith Charles - 'Six Feet Under'
Sgt. Roger Fisk - 'Homicide: Life On The Street'

All of these shows are set in the main TV dimension. The new version of 'Kojak' is definitely off in another dimension, but it kinda makes you wonder if the trend applies to Ving Rhames' interpretation of Theo Kojak.

Is he suppresssing forbidden desires?

It would certainly be the splainin for the lollipops.......


Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Fixated on the Conclave of Cardinals as a lapsed but still interested Catholic, and viewing it all from a Toobworld perspective, I think my brain might have wandered a bit too far from the Sistine Chapel.

It might have been the special brand of incense I bought down in Tompkins Square Park......

In Toobworld, it's possible for food to be alive. Think of that ham sandwich in those orange juice commercials; the chorus of singing raisins in the Post Raisin Bran cereal bowl (not to mention the California Raisins). Arte Johnson played a pickle in a Heinz jar and there was Big Fig Newton. And you could eat most of the Fruit Of The Loom boys but not Charlie the Tuna, as he would never be chosen as a tuna that tastes good.

Sorry, Charlie.

So if the food is alive and can reason, couldn't that food pursue a spiritual path? And couldn't such a religious foodstuff become a Catholic in that substrata of TV Life?

This is where I got that wacked idea - in trying to talk about some of the papal contenders, I mangled one cardinal's name and instead called him Cardinal TIramisu.

I guess if living food formed their own sect, perhaps the leader of their church might be Pope Eggs Benedict.

Okay, I'll go lie down now......




And now that the Conclave of Cardinals has accomplished their task in choosing a new leader for the world's 1.1 billion Catholics, it is time for the Conclave of Casting Agents to find the man to replace Eugene Greytak as Toobworld's representation of the current Pope.

And after they've made their choice, they burn the other resume head-shots so that the smoke signifies we have a new Tele-Pope.

I had a long night.......

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany has been chosen and he has taken the name of Pope Benedict XVI. Personally, I was hoping that whoever was chosen as the Pontiff, that the name chosen would be "Sixtus".

I'm a big fan of 'The Prisoner', you see.

Pope Benedict XVI is a tall, stately and seemingly vital for a man of 78 years of age. If you're going for a man to play the Pope mostly as a visual figure, as Gene Greytak did, then I'm sure there are plenty of older actors who would be happy for the chance to play such a highly visible part, even if it is a supporting role and probably a recurring role at best if not just a one-shot.

But if you need to cast for a TV movie, as happened for Pope John Paul II, you want a name actor like Albert Finney had done for the former Karol Cardinal Wojtyla.

Since Pope Benedict XVI is from Germany, it could be a safe assumption that his accent would be... British.

I'm not going to go mucking about in all those stories about Ratzinger's past, but most of your best TV and movie Germans were played by English actors. (Although Ted Knight was a VERY convincing officer in an episode of 'Combat!'.)

But there are also a few American actors who might be a good choice for the role. For some reason, I look at the new Pope and I'm thinking I've seen someone who resembles him playing an alien in the 'Star Trek' franchise.

There are two American actors who came to my mind. They should be recognizable for those who watch plenty of TV, even if you only watch a handful of shows.

Best known would be Steven Gilborn. His most recognizable roles in Toobworld would be ADA Gavin Bullock on 'The Practice', Uncle Rory on 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', and as Harold Morgan, the father of 'Ellen'.

Gilborn also got some experience under his belt by playing a priest once on 'Golden Girls'. And he also played a congressman on 'The West Wing', where my other choice comes from.

Charles Noland is best known, probably by face only or at least by his character name of "Steve". Steve is one of the regular reporters in the White House Press Corps.

Let me toss out just a few other possible ideas.....

Tom Baker
Patrick Stewart [He needs some make-up work.]
George Baker
Arthur Hill
Daniel J. Travanti

Wait a few weeks. Maybe even by the next issue, Entertainment Weekly will have come out with their casting suggestions for Benny Sixteen. (Hey, it's the 21st Century, baybeeee!)


"All faith must have a little doubt mixed in...
Otherwise it's just flabby sentimentality."
Dr. Miguelito Loveless
'The Wild, Wild West'

Monday, April 18, 2005


First off, I'd like to apologize for being so late in posting the Crossover of the Week tie from the week before. Sometimes even I am amazed that I might just possibly have a life! (I was up in Connecticut, getting in some fun time bonding with my four month old nephew.)

Anyway, this week's top crossover began on 'Law & Order' and finished up on 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury'. This is something that will be happening at least one more time before the season ends, probably with either 'Special Victims Unit' or 'Criminal Intent' (if not both), as a means to pump up interest in the latest member of Dick Wolf's 'Law & Order' franchise.

In the first episode, Detective Ed Green was shot and nearly killed while escorting a witness for an upcoming trial. During the second show, his assailant was identified and prosecuted, but Green will be out of commission through the end of the season.

(Outside the box, this is to let Jesse L. Martin, the actor who plays Green, time off in order to film the movie version of "Rent". In his absence, Michael Imperioli will be appearing - no! Not as "Christuphuh" from 'The Sopranos', but as Detective Fontana's temporary partner. And from what I've heard, his character is Fontana's nephew.)

This turned out to be a triple crossover, because during the 'Trial By Jury' episode, the DA's investigation brought them into contact with Detective John Munch of the 'Special Victims Unit' who had pertinent information on the other shooting victim. And that's what made this crossover not only the top crossover of the week, (Okay, so it was the only one!) but also a milestone in TV History.....

Richard Belzer's character of Detective Munch is now the most "traveled" character in all of Toobworld. The Munchkin has now appeared in six different TV series, - two of those on other networks! - and in one TV reunion movie.

And it shouldn't be long before he finally catches up to Sam Drucker of 'Green Acres', 'Petticoat Junction', 'The Beverly Hillbillies', and 'Return To Green Acres' fame for the quantity of crossover episodes as that character. (For alls I know, he may have already exceded that mark.)

Here's the rundown for Munch's appearances:

'Homicide: Life On The Street'
'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'

'Law & Order'
'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'
'The X-Files' (on FOX)
'The Beat' (on UPN)

'Homicide: The Movie'

I think most critics and TV observers are counting the reunion movie as an extended finale for 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. If so, then up until this appearance, Munch was tied with five shows with Norm Petersen, Cliff Clavin, and Ray Barone. There may be others, but I'll have to look into that.

Without counting TV shows that moved part and parcel from one network to another, Munch probably stands alone in another distinction - that of the most networks as the same character, with three.

Exciting, isn't it? David Letterman tried to get a phrase popularized on his show and I think it's apt for this situation.

"I'm moist!"


Hey, Lee Goldberg! How come you couldn't work him into 'Diagnosis Murder' while it was still on the air? Bwahahahaha!

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Dick Wolf only has a small section of the TV Universe to tend, despite the fact that he's got four weekly hour-long shows currently in production in which to do so. Whoever he's paying to be his continuity overseer needs to keep an eye on all the details. Otherwise, Chaos will get a foothold in 'Law & Order'.

Sure, casting is a big bugaboo - NYC has a deep and fantastic pool of actors to draw from, but it is finite and so there are plenty of repeat appearances in different roles. In fact, there's a website dedicated to all of the recurring actors:


This reminds me of the time John Mahoney played a piano tuner on 'Cheers' and then went on to play the father of 'Frasier'. How come so many characters look alike in all those 'Law & Order' shows? How come nobody noticed that Detective Lennie Briscoe looked just like a lawyer who showed up the year before?

To spare myself as a televisiologist that headache, I just have to assume there is something that differentiates those characters played by the same actor which is not visible to the audience viewing at home. (I doubt that it's because we're all so tightly packed here while living together in the Naked City that we alll started looking alike as if we were one big old married couple aggregate.)

But even so, more care should have been taken with one particular actor and the roles he's playing on the various shows in the 'Law & Order' franchise.

David Lipman is a character actor who would have found plenty of work back in the days of the old movie studios; in the mold of S.Z. Sakall, John McGiver, Gene Lockhart, or Guy Kibbee. Pudgy, bald, and bespectacled, Lipman can be counted on for a great delivery with his tort retorts issued from the bench while playing a judge.

Actually, while playing judges.

Since at least 1992, Lipman has been playing Judge Morris Torledsky on the original 'Law & Order'. But when the empire began to grow and now there was 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit', suddenly he's appearing as a judge on that as well - but going by the name of Arthur Cohen.

Both shows are supposed to be in the same universe. Even if we disregard all the other shows out there in Toobworld, at least the 'Law & Order' shows should all be inter-related. After all, they've had crossovers of their main characters, and you don't see Dann Florek joining the cast of 'L&O:SVU' as anybody else but his Captain Donald Cragen.

And David Lipman is notable in his appearance. I don't think there's a toupee in the world that might fudge his facial features enough to make you think: maybe he's a different person. And they're not even trying with the toupee defense! As both Judge Torledsky and Judge Cohen, Lipman has that same bald-pated, tubby owlishness about him.

Somebody should have told the 'SVU' prop man that the judges' nameplates were NOT interchangeable!

So how to splain it away? The 'Law & Order' corner of the TV Universe is grounded in reality; we can't go looking for trekkian technobabble regarding cloning or alien doppelgangers to provide the excuse.

(I was pushing it when I banished the one episode "Gov Luv" to the evil mirror universe, and by suggesting that a philanthropic organization known as the Kent Foundation had been established in memory of the late Clark Kent, a journalist from Metropolis who passed away several decades before......)

Well, there is a possible splainin. It's an old chestnut that we've had to trot out in the past, but it's a fail-safe. Established by a classic TV theme song, this splainin has roots too deep to just brush off. Once broadcast, everything becomes part of the Toobworld Dynamic and can be called upon for use anywhere within the TV Universe.....

"Still they're cousins,
Identical cousins and you'll find
They laugh alike, they walk alike,
At times they even talk alike.
You can lose your mind
When cousins are two of a kind."

That's my story, your Honor, and I'm sticking to it!

Here's a rundown of David Lipman's episodes in the 'Law & Order' universe, as listed by the

"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Forty-One Shots" (episode # 1.2) 4 March 2005
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" playing "Judge Arthur Cohen" in episode: "Contagious" (episode # 6.11) 11 January 2005
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" playing "Judge Cohen" in episode: "Brotherhood" (episode # 5.12) 6 January 2004
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Floater" (episode # 14.7) 12 November 2003
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" playing "Judge Cohen" in episode: "Abomination" (episode # 5.8) 11 November 2003
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Smoke" (episode # 13.24) 21 May 2003
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Kid Pro Quo" (episode # 13.20) 30 April 2003
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" playing "Judge Arthur Cohen" in episode: "Futility" (episode # 4.22) 25 April 2003 "Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Absentia" (episode # 13.13) 12 February 2003
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" playing "Judge Cohen" in episode: "Waste" (episode # 4.8) 15 November 2002
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Hitman" (episode # 13.6) 13 November 2002
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Tragedy on Rye" (episode # 13.4) 30 October 2002
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" playing "Judge Cohen" in episode: "Chameleon" (episode # 4.1) 27 September 2002
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" playing "Judge Arthur Cohen" in episode: "Greed" (episode # 3.20) 26 April 2002
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Possesion" (episode # 12.5) 31 October 2001
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "School Daze" (episode # 11.22) 16 May 2001
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Burn, Baby, Burn" (episode # 11.6) 22 November 2000
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Black, White and Blue" (episode # 10.17) 22 March 2000
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Juvenile" (episode # 9.18) 14 April 1999
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Faccia a Faccia" (episode # 8.15) 25 February 1998
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Harvest" (episode # 8.4) 29 October 1997
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Double Down" (episode # 7.19) 16 April 1997
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Legacy" (episode # 7.10) 15 January 1997
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Corpus Delicti" (episode # 6.11) 17 January 1996
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Performance" (episode # 5.14) 8 February 1995
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Virtue" (episode # 5.8) 23 November 1994
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Old Friends" (episode # 4.22) 25 May 1994
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "The Pursuit of Happiness" (episode # 4.10) 1 December 1993
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Mother Love" (episode # 3.15) 24 February 1993
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Self Defense" (episode # 3.7) 11 November 1992
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "Intolerance" (episode # 2.20) 14 April 1992
"Law & Order" playing "Judge Morris Torledsky" in episode: "The Fertile Fields" (episode # 2.19) 7 April 1992



Miss Jane Marple has returned to the airwaves, but her village of St. Mary's Mead is not located in the main Toobworld of Earth Prime Time. Instead, when she investigates "The Murder At The Vicarage" tonight on PBS, Miss Marple will be ensconced in that TV Land of remakes, Earth Prime Time-Delay.

For this new installment of mysteries, Jane Marple is being portrayed by Geraldine McEwen, hence the need to remove her to another TV dimension. Plus, there's always the fact that she has already solved this first case regarding the Vicarage murder and I don't think St. Mary's Mead would be the focal point for a time loop.

(But wouldn't that be a fantastic crossover? The Time Lord of Gallifrey known as The Doctor lands his TARDIS near Miss Marple's cottage! Or The Doctor could team up with Dame Agatha Christie's other creation, Hercule Poirot.)

Miss Marple is best known as being portrayed by Joan Hickson over a decade ago on PBS; that is the Miss Marple who is accepted as occupying Earth Prime Time, the main Toobworld.

And now for something completely different.

In keeping with the current practice of inserting new characters into established scenes, the following is a reprint from earlier in the week with pertinent substitutes.

There was another version of the story told just a few years ago. It was actually two TV movies - 'Murder With Mirrors' and 'A Caribbean Mystery'. It starred Helen Hayes as Miss Jane Marple. But it was only those two TV movies, so I'm inclined to toss them into yet another TV dimension.

Since this version of the Agatha Christie tale didn't involve orgies among the populace of St. Mary's Mead, or Miss Marple going off her nut and drowning puppies, I'm forced to abandon the attempt to stick them into the evil mirror universe. But I gotta tells ya, it was tempting.....

This version was only a limited time offer; just the two TV-movies. Therefore, by the powers invested in me by me, I'm going to put it into the alternate dimension known as Earth Prime Time-MOW.

"MOW" stand for "Movie Of the Week". This is the dimension which has the line of succession among the American presidents based on the various TV movies that had fictional presidencies depicted.

Among these would be:


'Washington: Behind Closed Doors'
'The President' Plane Is Missing' (not to be confused with the 'Saturday Night Live' sketch "The President Has Mustard On His Chin" which starred host Charlton Heston.)

They may have all had a fictional timeline but that chronology had to be based on the real one at some point in prime time.......

And we're back.....

One final thought - when talking of Miss Marple, I can't help but think of Dame Margaret Rutherford in several movies based on the Miss Marple stories. And I wish that there had been some great TV role with which the grand dame would have been forever, indelibly, associated.

Margaret Rutherford would have been perfect for a special guest appearance on 'Bewitched'. And picture (if you will) her teamed up with the aforementioned Doctor back in the Patrick Troughton years of 'Doctor Who'!