Diagnosis Murder and Promised Land

Diagnosis Murder (1993-2001)
Promised Land (1996-1999)
Type: Crossover
Group: 18

   This is one wacky crossover. That's mainly because of the shows it connects as part of the same reality that should never be so connected. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

   First a very quick recap of what both these shows were about. Promised Land was a show about the down to earth Greene family who traveled around America in a trailer helping people wherever they went. They were real people doing God's work.

   Diagnosis Murder was a show about Doctor Mark Sloan, a doctor who also had a wacky habit of solving crimes. You know, like how the couple in Hart To Hart were millionaires who happened to solve crimes or how Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote was a novelist who solved crimes... it's a common hobby of TV characters.

   Anyway, Promised Land was scheduled right before Diagnosis Murder on the CBS schedule. While such different shows seemed to have nothing plotwise in common, my guess is someone figured they both shared a common audience. Say, nice logic. The same audience which watches CHiPs might also watch Star Trek, that doesn't make a crossover a good idea. Ah well.

   The crossover was a two parter starting on Promised Land. Gerald McRaney's character Russell Greene takes a job as a mall security guard only to discover trouble between his boss Ryan Matthews and Ryan's daughter Tess Matthews. It turns out that dad sort of told his daughter a little white lie. See, wayyyy back when Ryan was a vice cop he discovered that his wife, Tess's mom, Kate Matthews was in fact a former con woman. She told him she had gone straight but he lovingly threw her ass to the curb. He threatened to put her away if she didn't beat it and never come back. Then good old dad moved, became head mall cop and told his daughter... well he sort of told Tess her mom died. What a guy.

   One guess what Gerald McRaney helped with? Maybe dragging the ugly truth to the surface for the enjoyment of the home viewers? You betcha. And as an added plus, Tess doesn't handle the news all that well. Gee... I'd think discovering your dad was a blackmailing nut and your dead mom was actually alive and a con artist would put a smile on a young girl's face. If I need God's help, um... can I not get the Greene family helping me? Help like that I'd like to avoid.

   Well, the episode ends with mom once again disappearing. That leads to Diagnosis Murder where good old Ryan is asked to come and identify a dead body as being his ex-wife's. See, ya need to get that murder in there. Oh why oh why? It was such a wholesome uplifting concept up till this point. Yeah right. It turns out it isn't Ryan's ex's body. Its one of mom's good old con woman buddies. Nice. There is some trouble with mom and her buddy being suspected in a scam and good old "holier than thou" Ryan runs a scam all his own to try and help his daughter. Yikes! Somebody get Tess away from BOTH her parents already. The Diagnosis Murder cast basically takes up a supporting role so that was also a good way to piss off fans of that show.

   Here's the worst part of this crossover: THERE IS NO FULL CROSSOVER!!!! Its a bunch of supporting dweebs bopping between the shows without the regular cats members of the show crossing over at all! So what if Kate Matthews was played by Pam Tillis! The casts of the two shows don't get to hob nob which is half the fun. Not that this is unheard of. The same sort of stuff happened between The Love Boat and Fantasy Island and between Murphy Brown and Love And War. But in both those cases there was something cool to grab hold of. The Love Boat and Fantasy Island at least acknowledged each other with characters from each show wishing they could visit the other. And on Murphy Brown and Love And War, the shows shared a common plot but on both shows the main cast was still center stage. Oh yeah, one more thing: in both these other cases, the premise wasn't quite so icky.

   Oh... I did mention at the start that this crossover causes some shows to share a joint reality that probably shouldn't? Well if you haven't looked at the master crossover list page, let me explain. As I said Promised Land was a spin off of Touched By An Angel, a show about real sent-by-God angels traveling the Earth and helping people. Diagnosis Murder did a lot of other crossovers with other shows including stuff like the tough-guy cop show Mannix and the super spy show Mission: Impossible. So it would be technically feasible for Touched By An Angel's angels Tess (different Tess from the one mentioned earlier) and Monica to, say, lend a hand to Mannix or, even more bizarrely, show up and lend a helpful hand to Tom Cruise's character in the Mission Impossible theatrical films which have linked their continuity to the original series. That... that's just weird!

Other Diagnosis Murder Crossover Links
Diagnosis Murder and Jake And The Fatman
Diagnosis Murder and Mannix
Diagnosis Murder and Matlock
Diagnosis Murder and Mission Impossible

Other Promised Land Crossover Links
Promised Land and Touched By An Angel

Click here to return to main Crossover List

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