It'll come as scant surprise to anyone who knows me that one of my all-time top broadcast television series is "Law & Order" (NBC 1990-2010), and while I never missed a first-run episode, I'm still a sucker for re-runs ever since the mid-'90s when it went into syndication on cable, first on A&E, then Sundance, TNT, WE tv and WGN America.
I've likely seen each of the 456 "L&O" episodes five-six times, and am so familiar with them that if I doze off during one of the late afternoon showings, upon awakening I immediately know exactly where I am in the narrative and, effectively, nothing has been missed.
Here's the rub, though... three of the shows airing between 1996 and 1999, were the first part of "crossovers," two-hour stories begun Wednesday and concluded Friday on "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC 1993-1999), a show set in Baltimore.
Coordination of the casts was seamless, having established early on that that "NYPD Detective Lenny Brisco" (the late Jerry Orback) had had a sexual relationship with the first ex-wife of "Baltimore Detective John Munch"1 (Richard Belzer).
(Their banter together about their shared sexual history and Jewish heritages, were high points of hilarity whenever they shared a scene together.)
And while "L&O" has been in continuous syndication since 1994, "Homicide" has not, Unfortunately whatever cable system has licensed the former series, has never arranged to license even the three crossover episodes to complete the two-hours.
And that bites, because in truth, I don't remember much about how "Charm City" (Season VI, Episode #13), "Baby, It's You" (VII, #6) and "Sideshow" (IX, #14) resolve once the setting changes to Baltimore!
C'mon! Show the beginning? Show the conclusion!