Law And Order: Criminal Intent and Law And Order (ALL Of Them)


Conviction (2006)
Law And Order (1990-    )
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-    )
Law And Order: Criminal Intent (2001-    )
Law And Order: Trial By Jury (2005)
Type: Spin Off
Group 2

    You can never have too much of a good thing I guess. And big ratings are about as good a good thing as you can get on television. Law And Order had started out as a cop/legal drama on NBC and had turned into a mega-franchise.

   When the first Law And Order was put on the air the idea was to do a one hour drama where the first half showed the police catching a criminal and the second half showed the prosecutors office taking that criminal to trial. The concept actually came from a practical concern on the part of the producers. Repeats of one hour dramas were not selling well in syndication and this format meant if the show wasn't huge it could still potentially be cut in half and syndicated as two half hour dramas, one about cops and one about lawyers.

   Fools. One hour dramas don't do well in repeats. Ha! Repeats put this show on the map. Law And Order did okay for NBC but didn't really become huge until people started catching repeats of the show on cables A&E channel. Then suddenly, a good deal into its run, the show became a gigantic hit! A freaking powerhouse! A ratings grabber that demanded spin offs.

   In 1999 the first spin off hit the air. Law And Order: Special Victims Unit introduced more cops to TV viewers. This time they were cops specializing in sex crimes. It was darker, creepier but it still work well enough to get viewers and to prompt a third series, Law And Order: Criminal Intent.

   If the original Law And Order was an update on Dragnet (cops looking for just the facts with little to no attention paid to their personal lives) Criminal Intent was the Law And Order take on Columbo. On most detective shows the whole point is reaching the end to find out "who done it". Columbo flipped that idea on its head. The start of the episodes showed the viewers the crime being committed and the rest of the show became about the unlikely hero Lieutenant Columbo catching the criminal.

   Criminal Intent similarly showed both sides of the case. The start of the episode would focus on the criminals, showing either the actual crime itself or at least enough for it to be clear who the bad guy was. Then the show would flip flop between the cops trying to solve the crime and the criminals trying to make sure that didn't happen. Vincent D'Onofrio's Detective Robert Goren wasn't nearly as disheveled or as likely to be underestimated by his prey as Columbo but just like Peter Falk's classic detective Detective Goren and his partner Alexandra Eames - played by Kathryn Erbe - always ended up getting their man.

   Clearly sharing a common title meant this show and the other Law And Order shows shared the same reality. In addition though they also freely shared casts and regular guest stars. Among others Law And Orders District Attorney Nora Lewin, Detective Ed Green and Detective Leonard Briscoe all popped up as supporting players. Likewise judges, psychiatrists, etc from one series could easily pop up on the others.

   In addition to these three shows a Law And Order reality series called Crime And Punishment also popped up. Repeats of all the Law And Order series ended up airing on multiple cable channels (A&E, TNT, USA.). At this point its. inescapable. While I enjoy the shows, might I ask the makers of these shows. please stop. No really. Keep going with what is on the air but no more new shows until at least one goes off the air. It's just too everywhere. So help me if a Saturday morning animated version pops up I'm going to cry. Uh oh. probably just gave them an idea. Damn.

Other Law And Order Crossover Links
Law And Order and Crime And Punishment
Law And Order and Deadline
Law And Order and Homicide
Law And Order and Law And Order: Special Victims Unit
Law And Order and Law And Order: Trial By Jury
Law And Order and New York Undercover

Other Law And Order: Criminal Intent Crossover Links
Law And Order: Criminal Intent and In Plain Sight
Law And Order: Criminal Intent and Deadline
Law And Order: Criminal Intent and Law And Order: Trial By Jury

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 Deadline
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Homicide: Life On The Street
Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and Law And Order
Law And Order 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

Buy these shows on Amazon.com and support this site at the same time! Check out ALL the Law & Order shows on DVD!








Poobala.com Main Page/Thom Holbrook's Hollywood Homepage/ Email Me