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MMLEsq

Guest Stars on Law & Order

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I set the DVR to tape L&O on WGN this afternoon.  The show description didn't specify what episode it would be.  I just started watching and it's the episode with Philip Seymour Hoffman as one of the defendants.  [The Violence of Summer; S1, E14:  Stone temporarily dismisses rape charges against three defendants because the victim's testimony has too many holes. Greevey and Logan's subsequent reinvestigation uncovers a possible fourth assailant.] 

I just Googled it and apparently this was PSH's first screen credit.I found this on slate.com: 

For all his great movie roles and Hollywood accolades, Philip Seymour Hoffman was in many ways a quintessential New York actor. He was a resident of the West Village; his stage work spanned Tony-winning performances on Broadway and downtown projects with the Labyrinth Theater Company; and like all New York thespians worth their salt, his résumé included an appearance on Law & Order. In fact, his first listed credit on IMDb is from an episode of the long-running procedural.

In Season 1’s “The Violence of Summer,” which first aired on Feb. 5, 1991, a youthful Philip Seymour Hoffman (or Philip Hoffman, as he then was credited) plays a young thug charged with gang rape. The part is small, but Hoffman makes the most of it. (As is often the case with early episodes of Law & Order, Hoffman wasn’t the only future star to put in an appearance. Samuel L. Jackson chews some scenery as a defense attorney.)

 

 

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I recently saw the episode with Jerry Orbach as the defense attorney.  That weirded me out.   When I saw Eric Bogosian (Capt on L&O CI) show up as a defense on another episode, i wasn't really surprised. 

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I noticed a lot of actors who would later become key parts of any of the L&O shows, be it the Mothership, SVU, or CI, - or often recur in multiple guest roles in all 3 [hello, Cynthia Nixon, as one example] - would often begin in small roles as other people. I call it the Dick Wolf Casting Agency.

 

For all of his issues, at least he does seem to have a sense of loyalty in remembering folks for parts (or, more aptly, his casting directors). But, yeah, I do recall seeing Jerry Orbach as that lawyer, Frank Something, and it was a bit surreal. Also as already mentioned, S. Epatha Merkerson was great as a grieving mother who lost her baby in gunfire in S1.

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Eh, I don't give Dick Wolf credit. He got it from the people who created and ran the original Perry Mason show, which had a revolving door of the same actors returning over the course of the series to play different characters! Most of them went on to become soap opera stars, David Lewis (original Edward Quartermaine on General Hospital), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing, Dallas), Constance Towers (Helena Cassadine, GH), Frances Reid (Alice Horton, Days of Our Lives), Barbara Eden, Marion Ross, Denver Pyle, to name a few.

 

Then we had the likes of Bette Davis, Robert Redford, Gary Williams, Mary Windsor...and a whole slew of actors and actresses that I only ever saw appear multiple times on Perry.

 

One of the things that bugs me about the promo currently running on Sundance is the voice over of how famous actors who "first" appeared on Law & Order before going on to becoming famous, which is just...well not true.  When Julia Roberts appeared, she was already a Hollywood Star; same with Gary Busey.  Now, Sara Paulsen, I'll give you...she was an unknown when she appeared on this show, along with William H. Macy, Felicia Huffington, and...the others, whose names I am blanking on right about now.

 

I truly believe that once Orbach appeared early in the second season, Wolf, or rather, Kessler, who was in charge of casting, kept him in mind or thought he'd be a perfect fit once Sorvino decided to leave.

 

ETA: Okay, they're running it again, Samuel L. Jackson, Claire Danes, Roxanne what'sherface from the Highlander movies...Jeffrey Schlatter, Laura Linney...

Edited by GHScorpiosRule

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I was thinking this morning about the two episodes that Ellen Pompeo appeared in -- Savior (S6) and, especially, Fools for Love (S10).  Then a short while later I happened to check out what episodes TNT is showing today and Fools for Love is being shown at noon (EDT).  What a coincidence!

 

When we lived near NYC, my husband and I used to go to Broadway shows all the time....  we'd make a game out of seeing how many of the actors in the show listed L&O in their bio in the Playbill.  It was very, very rare when none of the actors did.

 

Because I worked in NYC, I would occasionally see L&O filming scenes near my office.  I worked far downtown, by the WTC/Stock Exchange, so it wasn't that often (there weren't many L&O scenes set in that part of the City), but when they would, you couldn't help but notice since they'd have huge trailers set up on the streets.  I never saw any of the L&O actors because I was usually rushing to or from work and wouldn't hang out.  I did, however, see Val Kilmer a couple of times when he was filming scenes from At First Sight (including one scene in the plaza of my office building) <--- complete aside that has nothing whatsoever to do with L&O. 

Edited by MMLEsq
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I recently saw the episode with Jerry Orbach as the defense attorney.  That weirded me out.   When I saw Eric Bogosian (Capt on L&O CI) show up as a defense on another episode, i wasn't really surprised. 

 

I wasn't surprised by Eric Bogosian himself.  I was surprised by his hair, however.

 

I truly believe that once Orbach appeared early in the second season, Wolf, or rather, Kessler, who was in charge of casting, kept him in mind or thought he'd be a perfect fit once Sorvino decided to leave.

 

If I recall correctly, by that point Orbach had already been a finalist for the part twice, being passed over for Dzundza and then again for Sorvino.  The third time around, they finally gave it to him and he of course went on to be more memorable than either of the other two.  That said, all three played different takes on the senior detective role, and each one did a pretty good job, IMO.

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I've had the pleasure of seeing them shoot a scene close to work and then seeing that show in the original airing.   SUV shot outside my bedroom window a couple of times.   I am beginning to notice the judges more and more.  There is that judge who used to be an ADA who seems to have a hate on for McCoy.  He was the one who threw out the guilty verdict for the rape of the girl who was mentally handicapped.  He had also f-ed up when he was a prosecutor and had the detectives bury evidence in a murder trial.  He just seemed uber slimey.  

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  There is that judge who used to be an ADA who seems to have a hate on for McCoy.  He was the one who threw out the guilty verdict for the rape of the girl who was mentally handicapped.  He had also f-ed up when he was a prosecutor and had the detectives bury evidence in a murder trial.  He just seemed uber slimey.  

That sounds like Mark Blumberg, but to my recollection, he's never played a judge before. Just sleazy ADAs and defense attorneys.

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I wasn't surprised by Eric Bogosian himself.  I was surprised by his hair, however.

 

Thanks for the laugh. I needed it!

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This guy was definitely a judge.  Too bad I don't remember episode names. He is on at least 4 of them.  He was on the episode where Jamie had tipped the police off that they guy they had on death row was not guilty.  She went before the bar association for it.  I think it was the first time Jamie met Claire.  

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Hmmm...I think it might be Peter McLarty. ThoughI don't think he's ever played an ADA before. Just sleazy defense attorneys. Since I haven't quite mastered how to post external links, mebbe someone here more tech savvy than I could do it?

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This guy was definitely a judge.  Too bad I don't remember episode names. He is on at least 4 of them.  He was on the episode where Jamie had tipped the police off that they guy they had on death row was not guilty.  She went before the bar association for it.  I think it was the first time Jamie met Claire.  

I think you're talking about Richard Masur, although per IMDB, he was only on 1 episode of L&O.  The episode was called Justice.  (A lawyer's murder is related to a case involving a death row inmate's innocence. Former prosecutor Jamie Ross represents the lawyer's accused killer, and faces an ethical dilemma involving an "anonymous" tip and her attorney-client privilege.)

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0557956/?ref_=tt_cl_t7

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I think you're talking about Richard Masur, although per IMDB, he was only on 1 episode of L&O.  The episode was called Justice.  (A lawyer's murder is related to a case involving a death row inmate's innocence. Former prosecutor Jamie Ross represents the lawyer's accused killer, and faces an ethical dilemma involving an "anonymous" tip and her attorney-client privilege.)

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0557956/?ref_=tt_cl_t7

Oh yeah! He was originally the ADA that prosecuted said case that was reopened or something, and was now a judge. D'OH!

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Thanks!  I thought he was also the judge on the episode where the boys raped the girl and her sister shot the teacher. They look the same! 

 

Now I'm watching Pride and Joy from season 3, and the girl that was raped in that episode is now the daughter of the victim. Ah, L&O....

Edited by roseslg

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I've seen about half-a-dozen episodes he's been in, and I've just now realised (watching S13's "Tragedy on Rye") that one of the CSU tech guys, Beck, is played by the "autistic reporter" from Onion News Network.

 

I miss Onion News Network.

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I was thinking this morning about the two episodes that Ellen Pompeo appeared in -- Savior (S6) and, especially, Fools for Love (S10). Then a short while later I happened to check out what episodes TNT is showing today and Fools for Love is being shown at noon (EDT). What a coincidence!

OMG those are two of my favorite episodes. Ellen Pompeo plays such a sick little psycho in both of them. First she hires her boyfriend to kill her mother for NO REASON WHAT SO EVER! Then we catch up a few years later and she's drugging and pimping out her little sister for her boyfriend's sex and death games. I've never thought that much of EP as an actress, but her tendency to have a kind of flat, whiney, line reading really worked in both of those episodes. She was super, duper creepy.

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I have L&O on in the background while I'm working from home today.  I'm watching (listening to, really) "Wager" (S4, E18) (A chiropractor accused of being a bookmaker is charged with killing the father of a professional baseball player over his son's gambling debts. However, Stone and Kincade soon suspect during the trial that the son is hiding something.)  I happened to look up at one point and I realized Keith Hernandez (former NY Met) is in it -- he surprisingly had quite a bit of dialogue. 

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her tendency to have a kind of flat, whiney, line reading really worked in both of those episodes. She was super, duper creepy.

Heh. I always get the two Pompeo episodes confused because she looks so the same in both. 

 

I recently watched the season 4 episode "Nurture," which was a little bonanza of guest stars -- Camryn Manheim, Christine Baranski, and HeyIt'sThatGirl! Lisa Eichhorn, whom I recognized from a bunch of other episodes.

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Heh. I always get the two Pompeo episodes confused because she looks so the same in both.

I recently watched the season 4 episode "Nurture," which was a little bonanza of guest stars -- Camryn Manheim, Christine Baranski, and HeyIt'sThatGirl! Lisa Eichhorn, whom I recognized from a bunch of other episodes.

That's a great one. Is Lisa Eichhorn the actress who plays the crazy child saving lady? She's in another one where she convinces someone (brother? Father?) to have her abusive husband killed. It's got one of my favorite L&O lines, "You know the church and divorce..."

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She is the crazy child-saving lady, FozzyBear.  She's also the supposed rape victim/mob hitwoman, the ex-wife who doesn't want the current wife/widow to implant her fertilized eggs, and the ME who botched an investigation into the death of a black boy.  So she's been busy.

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My TV worlds collided this morning ("My worlds are colliding, Jerry!"  - TM George Costanza).

 

I stayed up 'til 4:00 am on Wednesday night finishing up season 2 of Orange is the New Black, then I put on a DVR'd episode of L&O this morning while I was getting ready for work.  It was "The Brotherhood" (S15, E03) -- Det. Rivera was played by Selenis Leyva who plays Mendoza on OITNB.  I just looked her up on IMDB--she was on 22 episodes of L&O, plus a couple of episodes of L&O Criminal Intent.

 

Also the defense attorney was played by Giancarlo Esposito (who plays the Magic Mirror on Once Upon a Time).

 

Edited because Mendoza and Mendez are two very different characters.

Edited by MMLEsq
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Also the defense attorney was played by Giancarlo Esposito (who plays the Magic Mirror on Once Upon a Time).

 

I like that you think that's what Giancarlo Esposito is best known for. :)

 

He was on a regular on Homicide late in its run too, but I don't think he was in any L&O crossover episodes.

 

If anyone else is looking for more Lorraine Toussaint after watching OITNB S2, the Shambala Green episodes of L&O are well worth watching. It's a shame she mostly disappeared after the first few seasons.

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Esposito was also the victim's parents' attorney in "Good Girl", which was either Season 7 or 8.

 

The victim was a Black college kid, who was the boyfriend of the White girl, who said that he'd roofied her, so that no one would know that she was dating him. Because all her friends and especially her father, were racists.

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I like that you think that's what Giancarlo Esposito is best known for. :)

That was just the first thing of thought of for him.  We're big OUAT fans in our house.  :-)

 

I saw this article (You'll Never Believe How Many 'Orange Is The New Black' Actors Were On 'Law & Order: SVU) this morning....it mostly relates to L&O SVU, but mentions some appearances on L&O (original series) as well...   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/13/oitnb-svu_n_5488235.html?utm_hp_ref=orange-is-the-new-black

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@Apathy Monger I will always carry that picture of Gus straightening his tie. Damn! 

 

It has been so fun seeing so many good actors on OITNB that I knew from L&O! Shambala was always such a good foil for Ben Stone. I thought she expressed all the rage at the system that he kept locked up. 

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EEEEP! How could it have slipped my mind that David Canary guest starred on this show?

 

Only for a minute, but he played the husband of the gunshot victim in Season 9's "Venom."

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I didn't remember David Canary on L&O, but that's pretty cool! I know Catherine Hickland, the ex-Mrs. Michael Knight AND ex-Mrs. David Hasselhoff, who PLAYED Michael Knight (spooky!) was a victim on CI.

 

The L&O franchise supplemented a lot of income for soap actors.  :-)

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Yep. David Zaslow was on tiwice on the mothership.

 

Assuming you meant Michael Zaslow? He was a great actor. So sad that ALS took him.  :-(

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Assuming you meant Michael Zaslow? He was a great actor. So sad that ALS took him.  :-(

 

D'OH! Yes! I fixed it. I knew something was off with the name. It didn't look right.

 

Yes, very sad.

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Last night 70th Tony Awards host James Corden did a great bit pointing out how many Broadway stars have appeared on Law & Order:

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I wonder if they are still getting residuals.   As long as you are were not in a Greevey/Cerrrata episode, the rest are in fairly regular rotation.   If you are in one of the "popular" ones, then you could make some nice change every year.

And yes, I hate the Julie Roberts episodes.   She was trying way too hard.   But then I never thought she was a great actress.

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6 hours ago, AnnieBananie said:

Bless them for leading off with Claire Danes - that episode must be 20 years old! (And one of my favorites.)

Twenty-four, actually, which.....Jesus. Danes was only thirteen at the time, and it was her second acting credit.

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On 6/14/2016 at 7:09 PM, AnnieBananie said:

Bless them for leading off with Claire Danes - that episode must be 20 years old! (And one of my favorites.)

 

On 6/14/2016 at 11:28 PM, merylinkid said:

I wonder if they are still getting residuals.   As long as you are were not in a Greevey/Cerrrata episode, the rest are in fairly regular rotation.   If you are in one of the "popular" ones, then you could make some nice change every year.

And yes, I hate the Julie Roberts episodes.   She was trying way too hard.   But then I never thought she was a great actress.

Clare Danes has always been a great actress--and her mannerisms and facial expressions were the same then as they are now. 

And I'll admit to liking Julia Roberts although I agree that she isn't a great actress. But there's always been something intangible about her that screamed "Big Star!"

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I think she was dating Benjamin Bratt at the time and that's why she was in an episode. She had already been a big star for a couple of years. It wasn't a pre-fame appearance like when she was on Miami Vice in 1988.

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2 hours ago, VCRTracking said:

I think she was dating Benjamin Bratt at the time and that's why she was in an episode. She had already been a big star for a couple of years. It wasn't a pre-fame appearance like when she was on Miami Vice in 1988.

Yes, Julia & Benjamin were a couple when she did her guest spot on the show. They were a couple at least until after she won the Oscar for her role in Erin Brockovich, as I remember, then broke up after that. They eventually went on to marry & have families with others.

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A couple of my favorites were Vera Farmiga in the ep "Expert" from 1998. She played the daughter of a guy who got sent away for a murder and she thought he'd get off on a psych defense only to have the expert blow it on the stand. She ends up trying to kill the expert and gets someone else instead. This was her third credit, and it also featured probably the most heinous hairdo on any charactor, with these awful bangs plastered to her forehead.

I also loved Jean Louisa Kelly, who was the conniving trophy wife trying to get a piece of her rich dead husband's estate by having his child from fozen embryos in "Scrambled" also from 1998. She hit just the right note of sleezy without being too over the top. I loved her as Rowena in Mr. Holland's Opus, so it was nice to see her do something a bit different on L&O. 

Much like the episode Claire Danes was in, I also liked the episode the wonderful Sarah Paulson appeared in, "Family Values" from 1994. It was her first credit, and she was just terrific, as a misguided teenager who falls for her stepfather and she kills her mother to keep him. She showed a ton of range and it's no surprise how well she's done over the past 20 years. 

I also like Chris Cooper in 1996's "Blood Libel" where he plays a Klan lawyer trying to get some kids off on a murder changer claiming it was all a jewish conspiracy. He was so slimy and greasy you need to take a shower after watching it. He is such a versatile actor, it was great to see him chew the scenery on the mothership.

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On 6/19/2016 at 7:51 PM, KHenry14 said:

I also like Chris Cooper in 1996's "Blood Libel" where he plays a Klan lawyer trying to get some kids off on a murder changer claiming it was all a jewish conspiracy. He was so slimy and greasy you need to take a shower after watching it. He is such a versatile actor, it was great to see him chew the scenery on the mothership.

Funny, I'd just watched "The Bourne Identity" a few days before I saw this episode again. Yes, Chris Cooper is good. 

On "Cradle to Grave," I saw a young Chanda Wilson play a teen-aged babysitter. She looks basically the same but was much younger, of course. And her voice still had that Texas twang. 

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On 5/22/2016 at 2:11 AM, Cobalt Stargazer said:

Random, but is it weird that I was both annoyed and upset that Melissa Leo played one of the lawyers that were helping the guy sell the dogs and knew they were dangerous? I know that at that point the Mothership was long past doing crossovers with Homicide: Life on the Streets, but it was such an unwanted (by me, anyway) juxtaposition that I can never watch that episode without being irrationally aggravated.

 

This is from the favourite quotes thread, but I thought I'd reply here.  Whenever they'd re-use actors in guest roles, or in a situation like the one above, I'd always create a back story in my head wherein the two characters played by the same guest were 'identical cousins' and then the Patty Duke Show theme song would play in my head.

Somewhat related: I always wanted a crossover w/ Crossing Jordan, just so McCoy could say to Cavanaugh "you know, you look just like..."  (I don't even know if they were on the same network, but anyway.)

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11 hours ago, fastiller said:

Somewhat related: I always wanted a crossover w/ Crossing Jordan, just so McCoy could say to Cavanaugh "you know, you look just like..."  (I don't even know if they were on the same network, but anyway.)

Crossing Jordan was also an NBC show, so it would have worked from the network standpoint.  That would have been interesting!

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2 minutes ago, Moose135 said:

Crossing Jordan was also an NBC show, so it would have worked from the network standpoint.  That would have been interesting!

Even more ironic since Jill Hennessy does have an identical twin sister!

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On August 18, 2016 at 7:37 PM, Moose135 said:

Crossing Jordan was also an NBC show, so it would have worked from the network standpoint.  That would have been interesting!

Yeah, but for some reason NBC decided to cross Las Vegas & Crossing Jordan. I'm pretty sure they did it at least twice, but I've never understood why. L&O, or another procedural, made more sense as a crossover partner for CJ to me.

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1 hour ago, BW Manilowe said:

Yeah, but for some reason NBC decided to cross Las Vegas & Crossing Jordan. I'm pretty sure they did it at least twice, but I've never understood why. L&O, or another procedural, made more sense as a crossover partner for CJ to me.

I'm betting it was because Jill Hennessy was the lead of Crossing Jordan. They didn't want the soap opera trope of "Hey, you look just like a dead ADA I once knew!" and decided to avoid it altogether.

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32 minutes ago, WendyCR72 said:

I'm betting it was because Jill Hennessy was the lead of Crossing Jordan. They didn't want the soap opera trope of "Hey, you look just like a dead ADA I once knew!" and decided to avoid it altogether.

You could be right there.  I do think that Waterston could've sold it with humor and passed right on over it.  Or, in my head, they'd've been in just the one scene together and the last line would've been "you know, you look just like..." and cut off at the end.

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Can't speak for anyone else, but it would be too much of a distraction for me if they tried to play it straight because I wouldn't be able to stop expecting an "Aren't we clever!" attitude to the casting enough to get into the story. And if they went with treating it like a meta-type joke, to me it would be a "jump the shark" episode which would make it hard to take the show seriously from that point on.

René Balcer did manage to do sort of an L&O crossover episode on one of his other shows. If you ever get to watch Jo, a French detective drama where Jill Hennessey was a regular, it's near the back half of the series. I would not call it a success but I'm prejudiced against the guest character.

Edited by CoderLady
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1 minute ago, CoderLady said:

Can't speak for anyone else, but it would be too much of a distraction for me if they tried to play it straight because I wouldn't be able to stop expecting an "Aren't we clever!" attitude to the casting well enough to get into the story. And if they went with treating it like a meta-type joke, to me it would be a "jump the shark" episode which would make it hard to take the show seriously from that point on.

René Balcer did manage to do sort of an L&O crossover episode on one of his other shows. If you ever get to watch Jo, a French detective drama where Jill Hennessey was a regular, it's near the back half of the series. I would not call it a success, but I'm prejudiced against the guest character.

Well, they have played it straight. Regina Taylor appeared on season five's "Virtue", and she and Sam Waterson were on I'll Fly Away

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5 minutes ago, CoderLady said:

René Balcer did manage to do sort of an L&O crossover episode on one of his other shows. If you ever get to watch Jo, a French detective drama where Jill Hennessey was a regular, it's near the back half of the series.

I've seen that show, and it's odd if just because it isn't in the same universe (as the L&O guest actors played other roles) and then did become part of the same universe (via history from CI) in the last episode.

Seemed like Rene Balcer didn't have a clear vision for this show, but I do agree it should be checked out, just for the surreal factor and the fact that, for being set in Paris, even the police spoke flawless English in the precinct!  :-P

ETA: I believe Hulu had Jo at one point. I don't know if that's still the case.

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