POITIER RIP — The term trailblazer is IMO vastly overused. Sidney Poitier, who passed Friday at 94, was indeed a trailblazer. I first saw him in the movie Lillies of the Field (1963) and was galvanized by his performance. 1967’s To Sir With Love was just an amazing performance and movie and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (also in 1967) was another high point in popular culture. His sparring with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn was awe-inspiring. In The Heat ofthe Night another milestone.
Never met him, always wanted to. Poitier had it all: talent, dignity, and style. He will be much missed. Huge, huge loss.
RUNNING WITH THE WOLFF — (Via Cinema Blend) FBI returned to CBS with a mid-season premiere that provided a window into Tiff’s past when it began to clash with a case in the present, and she teamed up with Maggie more than her usual partner. They did solve the case, although not without some more collateral damage to kick off the second half of Season 4.
Based on this episode as well as the promo and episode description for next week, however, I think that FBI is ready for a crossover with none other than Law & Order: SVU over on NBC.
FBI and SVU both exist within the same TV universe under the Wolf Entertainment banner even though they air on different networks, and one star even recently weighed in on a potential crossover between the CBS and NBC branches of that shared universe. So, let’s dig into why I think the time is right for the FBI team to cross paths with the detectives over on SVU.
The CBS show may not open every episode with a narration about sexually based offenses that are considered especially heinous, but it does sometimes handle the kinds of cases that SVU does. FBI’s cases are of course federal while Special Victims under Capt. Olivia Benson is centered in Manhattan, but it stands to reason that a case could bring the agents and the cops together. In fact, an FBI/SVU crossover might be the one that makes the most sense for FBI when it comes to the kinds of stories it tells, even more than FBI: Most Wanted or International.
The two halves of the Dick Wolf TV universe are connected thanks to Chicago P.D.’s Tracy Spiridakos crossing over from NBC to CBS in 2020, guest-starring on FBI to partner OA while Missy Peregrym was out on maternity leave. That managed to connect not only the FBIs to the One Chicago shows, but also any Law & Order show. It would be a bit of a stretch for FBI to cross with a Chicago-set show on a regular basis, but that’s not the case with the Law & Order shows set in New York, and SVU seems like a natural fit.
FBI and SVU are arguably the most procedural of the eight current shows in the Dick Wolf universe (although that number will soon increase to nine), so sharing characters between them could feel natural, particularly considering that both shows sometimes cover the same kinds of cases. Chicago P.D. had to come up with a fairly complicated reason to send Upton to FBI for it to make sense that she would leave the Windy City (and her partner); that wouldn’t be the situation for the FBI and SVU teams mixing for a case.
A crossover could be a one-off for everybody involved in a way that might not work for any of the other shows, including the other two FBI shows and even Law & Order: Organized Crime, which is far more serialized than SVU. If both of these series aired on the same network, it would be downright bizarre that they hadn’t already shared a crossover.
With SVU going strong in Season 23, any new show might have a hard time holding its own with the likes of Olivia Benson in the mix. Organized Crime was able to pull it off from the very beginning really only because of the strong preexisting ties between Benson and OC’s Stabler. Now, FBI is halfway through its fourth season with a strong cast of established characters. FBI isn’t so new that it would pale in comparison to SVU. In case you missed the promo that made me start thinking that Maggie and Co. could use some help from Special Victims, take a look:
So, will FBI cross over with SVU in the 2021-2022 TV season? Well, that’s hard to say. The FBIs don’t cross over with each other much, with Most Wanted tackling cases all over the country and International set overseas. Plus, some of the other Dick Wolf shows have had to drastically cut down on crossovers due to pandemic production complications. The two Wolf shows that have managed some regular character-sharing have been SVU and OC, both filmed in New York. It’s not impossible for Maggie and Co. to cross paths with Benson and her unit, and hopefully fans can look forward to that happening some day on at least one of the networks.
Dick Wolff, whose hit career really began with his role on Miami Vice is one strange cat.Wolff is essentially printing money with all his shows as well as the ones in repeats. I’m quite sure NBC wasn’t at all thrilled that he began to have shows on CBS, but what could they say? He really is NBC’s cash-cow.
For my money and I’ve said this before, his Criminal Intent with Vincent D’Onofrio was really my favorite. That said, I’m really waiting for the original Law & Order, with Sam Waterston to re-appear next month on NBC. The mother ship-as it’s begun to be called- was really the standout of all these shows. Believe me, if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s the Wolff-man!
As we go to press, Vincent D’Onofrio has stated he’d love to go back for 10 episodes of Criminal Intent. If I were Wolff, I’d immediately take him up on that. He was simply magnificent. His take on the character Detective Bobby Goren was instantly a classic. Yes, a stone-cold classic.
SHORT TAKES — One of the best ink-stained wretches ever, Richard Johnson, is back in the saddle – now at the much-beleaguered New York Daily News. If there was an official announcement, I missed it, but in surfing the net I saw his name and a column called SNYDE – which is a great moniker for sure. In the column-page there were several items, much like his Page Six-missives (which he did for 25 years) and they were all just terrific. I’ve known Richard for what seems likes decades and I’ve never known a fairer, more respected journalist. Here’s an official welcome back and a recent missive from Vanity Fair on him: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/09/09/richard-johnson-is-getting-back-in-the-gossip-game … Speaking of columnists, Cindy Adams’ last two columns were about Jeffrey Epstein’s cellmate. Veering more closer to something you’d see on Dateline; I really didn’t know what to make of it. But, as Cindy frequently tells us, only in New York kids … only in New York …
I stared watching Justified originally on FX, with Timothy Olyphant and am really enjoying it. With its tongue firmly in cheek, it’s a rowdy romp with a U.S. Marshall with the improbable name of named Raylan Givens. Canadian-Graham Yost who was involved in the movies Speed and Broken Arrow way back, has a way with words. I remember when an artist we were highlighting, Adrian Niles, had two songs on the soundtrack. I’d highly recommend it … The NYC-Palladium Felix Cavaliere/Micky Dolenz date has been postponed till Friday, June 3 …Look for guitarist extraordinaire Sean Harkness to appear at NYC’s Birdland in March … Happy BDay Michael Jensen and Ami Dolenz!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Claudia Hayden; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Emily Smith; Neal Travis; Charles Rosenay; Plastic EP; Race Taylor; Jodi Ritzen; The Oxfords; Ivan Taub; Steve Walter; Jacqueline Boyd; Anthony Noto; Eva Mueller; Gail Parenteau; and, ZIGGY!