‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ star headed to another show in the same universe, but as different character

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

Dylan McDermott is leaving “Law & Order: Organized Crime” to another show in the Dick Wolf universe, CBS’s “FBI: Most Wanted.”

McDermott’s character Richard Wheatley played a prominent part in the first season of “Organized Crime” but then got moved to the back burner as Elliot Stabler, played by Christopher Meloni, battled the Albanian mafia.

Wheatley did manage to pop back into the storyline later, offering up his expertise in the underworld to help the Organized Crime Control Bureau, though how much he was helping and what his ulterior motives may was a big part of the storyline.

Now, it appears that the Richard Wheatley storyline will be getting shelved, at least for now, as McDermott has signed on to play an FBI agent on the CBS crime drama.

He’s replacing “Nip/Tuck” star Julian McMahon, who is exiting the series. Details about a character name, how McMahon’s Jess LaCroix will be written off and other particulars haven’t been released.

Yes, that means McDermott is doing something other actors in the Dick Wolf universe have done, not only jumping around shows but also changing characters (for example, Kelly Giddish played two separate guest roles in the universe before signing on as a full time cast member on “SVU” as Amanda Rollins).

While the “FBI” and “Law & Order” franchises air on separate networks, it’s still clear that they take place inside the same fictional universe, along with a trio of fellow NBC and Dick Wolf produced shows set in Chicago. Former NBC show “Homicide: Life on the Street” also has some interesting ties to the universe because Richard Belzer’s character John Munch appeared on both “Homicide” and “SVU.”

Many of the Wolf NBC shows have had crossover plots where actors from one show make guest appearances on others as part of a storyline that spans multiple disciplines or even cities.

The fact that the same actor appears in multiple roles in the universe is ignored in the scripts, but it’s also not uncommon given that the shows often pull from the same cluster of actors based in the city where they are shot (“Law & Order” shoots in the NYC metro area and “Chicago” shows shoot in the Windy City).