Writers Make Television Its Own Universe

“Inside the Mind of Tommy Westphall or “St Elsewhere’s Law and Order In Plain Sight of Homicide: Life On The Streets”

Law and Order has been on the air for 18 years, can you believe that? It’s grown to 3 shows and is becoming an ever expanding universe. One where good looking detectives and hard boiled DAs fight for justice in NYC. There has been plenty of character crossover in that time. They share characters Coroners, Cops, Lawyers, Psychiatrists and so on.
 

Recently I caught an episode of Law and Order: CI and in the episode there was a cameo by Mary McCormick of In Plain Sight on it playing her character from that show (which I’ve never seen but am told its not bad) I like to think now that the Law and Order universe has just expanded a little and now includes the characters of this show.
 
But there’s more Richard Belzer who plays “Detective Munch” was originally from Homicide Life on the Streets and came to New York to work the Special Victims Unit after that show was canceled. There were actaully a couple of crossover episodes as well before the cancellation.
 
Now Homicide was created by Tom Fontana who also created the 1980’s Hospital Drama St Elsewhere. In one episode of Homicide Alfre Woodard guest stared as Dr. Roxanne Turner her character on St Elsewhere. The interesting thing about that is that in the end of St. Elsewhere was it was reveled that everything was all in the imagination of a Autistic boy named Tommy. So that means that this boy Tommy who is likely 30 something at this point if not older has been creating years of your favorite television in his head.
 
Its sounds a little perverse but I actually like to picture Tom Fontana and Dick Wolf going to this poor kid every year with a box of chocolates and some baseball cards trying to get more and more ideas for new shows. Like he’s some sort of golden calf for television.
 
I’m not the creator of this theory or anything I remember hearing about this years ago with that first Alfre Woodard cameo, its an actual theory out there in the ether that has existed for years, I was just reminded of this with this most recent crossover bringing yet another character into this universe.
 
When I went to look up Tommy’s name I found some more info on this stuff if you want to see….
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_WestphallThe_Tommy_Westphall_Universe_Hypothesis
 
and
 
http://home.vicnet.net.au/~kwgow/crossovers.html

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