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Interview with Executive Producers Warren Leight (Law & Order: SVU) & Matt Olmstead (Chicago Fire & PD)

chicagosvucall1111smallLast week, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD Executive Producer, Matt Olmstead, along with Law and Order: SVU Executive Producer, Warren Leight, spoke to the press about the new crossover event between the three shows. There were some great questions and really interesting answers. Check out my question first and then read on to see the rest.

Based on the previous “crossovers” we’ve seen on not only these shows, but a lot of others on other networks, they aren’t usually real crossovers. They are one or two characters having one or two short scenes, just a couple of lines. (Take the recent Scorpion/NCIS: LA “crossover event”… Hetty was in two scenes on Scorpion, but no one from that show was on NCIS: LA, and none of the story lines crossed over at all.) So I had to ask if this was a more intensive, interactive, ACTUAL crossover.

Warren Leight: We have participated in disappointing crossovers where there is just one scene. We are guilty of that. But this is…it is so much the case that it made production and scheduling very difficult.

We had Kelly, Danny, and Mariska in Chicago for four days, four days, and two days. Which meant our next episode was a legal one just to allow for scheduling. And we had Halstead, Lindsey, and Voight here for, I guess, two days for Lindsey and four and four for Halstead and Voight. So I think this is less of a cheap tawdry gimmick than is usually the case. Matt?

Matt Olmstead: Yes, absolutely. You know, last season in the crossovers [you might be] referring to, we had a substantial amount of time with the Fin character and the Rollins character. There was a bit of…to kind of light the fuse, so to speak, we had our Lindsey character appear for one scene at the end of SVU the prior hour, which some people might have interpreted it as a crossover. We didn’t want to sell it that way, obviously, because it really wasn’t a true crossover. [Note from Jenny: Maybe they didn’t, but I seem to recall NBC touting it as such!]

But now the characters are really engrained in the storytelling throughout the whole hour.

Warren: I also think one thing very interesting about this is Lou Taylor Pucci is a guest star in both episodes and links it to also in a very interesting way. But to see one guest occur heavily in both episodes is an interesting way of linking them as well.
Jump with me to read more from Warren & Matt. Continue reading

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