Law And Order and Law And Order: Special Victims Unit


Law And Order (1990-    )
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-    )
Type: Spin Off
Group 2

    Law And Order has long been a strong and solid show for NBC. Hell, as I write this its in its 10th season and it seems to have just hit its stride! Part of the show's success probably stems from its being very story driven with the characters important but secondary. Because of this the cast has changed regularly over the years. You don't watch the show and see the same faces from when the show first began (although folks coming back for guest spots are common). It just sort of keeps refreshing itself. The show today almost feels like a new show spun off from the old with an all new cast even though it IS the same show.

    But in point of fact they did actually spin off a couple of brand new shows including Law And Order: Special Victims Unit. This show featured constant crossovers from the original show's cast. It also brought back as a lead former Law And Order regular Dann Florek to reprise his role as Captain Donald Cragen.

    Even more surprising, it also brought on as a regular Richard Belzer playing Detective John Munch. Munch was a role Belzer had originated on the series Homicide: Life On The Street which NBC had cancelled the season before Special Victims Unit premiered. Homicide and Law And Order had a long history of crossovers so this was not totally out of left field. But it still is a pretty unusual move. I mean, bringing in a character from a non-Law And Order show to star in a Law And Order spin off? Not something you see every day. But you see, this is Munch we are talking about. This character has appeared on more shows than maybe any other in TV history. Many of the Law And Order: Special Victims Unit crossovers listed below are due to crossovers made by Munch's character while he was actually still appearing on Homocide.

    Special Victims Unit focuses specifically on violent crime cases. It was supposed to be a harsher grittier show than Law And Order. That translates into harsh often downer plots. Law And Order I normally walk away from feeling justice got done or at least that the good guys fought the good fight. Special Victims Unit often just left me feeling depressed even when justice is done. For example...

   One episode had a rape victim strong arming the police into catching her attacker before the statute of limitations on the case ran out. Just to be clear here, even though she was a rape victim, her character was highly unsympathetic and abrasive. In the course of the show the good guys were forced to violate the privacy of a church to catch the rapist. Another of the rapist's victims who was fully over what had happened to her knew who the rapist was but, knowing he was now a changed man, refused to help the police. So they charged her with obstruction of justice and threatened her (the victim!) with jail. Then they catch the guy. It has been years since the crime and he has not only fully reformed but has also become a rape victim himself and been crippled in a car accident. So the good guys get to threaten one rape victim with jail, violate a church and then throw in jail a guy who has learned the horrors of his crime the... hard way... and who is now a parapalegic. Hardly left me yelling, "Hooray! The good guys win!" Saying it was a downbeat resolution would be an understatement. A lot of the episodes went dark like that.

   Following this show, Law And Order also spun off another series: Law And Order: Criminal Intent. I swear, if Law And Order keeps thriving and spinning off other shows, it's gonna be the Star Trek of cops and lawyer shows!

Other Law And Order Crossover Links
Law And Order and Crime And Punishment
Law And Order and Homicide
Law And Order and Law And Order: Criminal Intent
Law And Order and Law And Order: Trial By Jury
Law And Order and New York Undercover

Other Law And Order: Special Victims Unit Crossover Links
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Arrested Development
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and The Beat
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Conviction
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Homicide: Life On The Street
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Law And Order: Criminal Intent
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Law And Order: Trial By Jury
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and The Lone Gunmen
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and New York Undercover
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and The Wire
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and The X-Files

Click here to return to main Crossover List

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