Civil Wars and L.A. Law


Civil Wars (1991-1993)
L.A. Law (1986-1994)
Type: Crossover
Group 2

   I just love these crosses. Not a spin off and not a quick one shot crossover but regular characters from one show just migrating over to another unrelated show to be a regular there. Warren Coolidge went from high school basketballer on The White Shadow to being an orderly on St. Elsewhere. Why bring the character over to play such a minor role? Dunno, but it was cool. Homicide's Detective Munch after doing various crossovers with Law And Order became a regular on Law And Order: Special Victims Unit with the cancellation of Homicide. Again, just funky neat.

   And if you can do it with cop shows and medical shows, why not throw in a couple of law shows.

   L.A. Law was a huge hit show for NBC. For years cop and doctor shows had been trying to become more and more realistic in feel with more and more success. L.A. Law was the first show to do the same for lawyers and it was so successful that it spurred other networks to want their own kick ass lawyer dramas. ABC's attempt was Civil Wars.

   Civil Wars was a drama about New York divorce attorneys. It went realistic but also grittier than L.A. Law. I mean L.A. was set in Los Angeles, home of the pretty people and glamour. But Civil Wars was set in The Big Apple, home of the gritty people and speaking your mind no matter what. Maybe that grit and the depressing nature of divorce in general was just too much. Despite starring Mariel Hemingway the show just never got a huge audience and disappeared after a couple of seasons.

   But the show was good and it did have really strong characters. Seemed a shame to waste those characters I guess because L.A. Law, the show that started the whole legal show fad, decided to adopt a couple of them when Civil Wars was cancelled. By its final season L.A. Law was no longer the original and exciting drama it had started out. It was showing its age and needed any help it could get. That being said, Civil Wars lawyer Eli Levinson and his secretary Denise were brought on board to spice things up. It worked. The show might have ended that year but it wasn't their fault. As transplanted New Yorkers in Lala Land the two of them added a lot of fun to the show. Eli was a charming, low key and stressed out guy trying to calm his life down a little - thus maybe the move to L.A. Denise was an all New York broad - and I mean that as a total compliment. Played by Debi Mazar, Denise was sexy, intelligent and brassy.

Other L.A. Law Crossover Links
L.A. Law and Cop Rock

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