Help plan your favorite characters' exits from 'L&O,' 'CSI,' 'SVU,' and 'ER'!

Showexit_lIt’s a tradition as time-honored as Law & Order‘s "dun-duhn" and Horatio Caine’s sunglasses: Every now and then, network crime procedurals and/or ensemble dramas like to shake up their casts to boost ratings and revitalize their plotting prospects. And the end of the 2007-2008 TV season will prove no exception: Gary Dourdan is leaving CSI; Diane Neal and Adam Beach are exiting Law & Order: SVU; and Khandi Alexander is fleeing the ridonk world of CSI: Miami. If that’s not enough, Jesse L. Martin’s final Law & Order episode airs Wednesday, and Maura Tierney, who’s cutting way back on her ER workload, tells AOL Television that she’s been (unsuccessfully) begging the writers of her long-running hospital drama to kill off her character before the series ends its run.

I, for one, am glad to hear Tierney’s Abby won’t be paying the ultimate price for drama, because, let’s be honest here — isn’t it almost too easy for TV writers to enlist the Grim Reaper when it’s time to write off a character? Wouldn’t it be a greater (and more fulfilling) writing challenge for these scribes to tackle workplace exits the way they actually happen?

In fact, if SVU hasn’t already decided the fate of Neal’s ADA Casey Novak, how about this scenario? On a lazy Friday afternoon, Benson is catching up on some paperwork, when she hears the siren call of her email "ping," which turns out to be an announcement that Novak will be resigning in two weeks to pursue a lucrative gig at a private firm uptown. As Benson and Stabler spend the episode solving the latest "especially heinous" crime, they secretly plan a farewell pour for their coworker at a local pub. By episode’s end, the beer begins to flow. Toasts are made. A few tears are shed. Somebody makes an awkward plea to move the festivities to a nearby karaoke joint. And scene!

There, now doesn’t that sound like a fitting exit? Any other ideas for how the aforementioned actors can exit their series without ending up six feet under? By all means, get to brainstorming!

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
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  • Snarf

    Novak and Adam Beach’s charecter (I can’t remember his name) run off together.
    Wark goes to rehab for his gambling addiction.
    Alex grabs Horatio’s sunglasses and breaks them screaming “Keep them on or off but for God’s sake make up your mind and stop with the non-witty, one liners!” resulting in her banishment from the lab. And scene!

  • Sven

    The only reason I occasionally watched ER was for Maura Tierney. I have enjoyed her work going back to 1994 (although I think IMDB has that date wrong), when she co-starred on 704 Hauser (ran for all of five episodes!). Glad to hear she is departing ER, as she deserves better (and I really hated watching ER).

  • Stephanie T.

    Casey either:
    A) Is offered a DA job in Rhode Island
    B) Has ovarian cancer
    C) Is pregnant
    D) Is getting a sex change
    E) The psycho serial killer who paints pictures of his kills breaks free from prison and kills her.
    Option “E” would not be original simply because the L&O writers have to come up with the obvious. When it comes to the female lawyers,one was fired,two were killed,and one is currently in witness protection.

  • Jelana

    The black cloud over Abby’s head parts as she moves to Croatia with Luka and Joe to live happily ever after. This would be a radical departure for her character. As a bonus, her mom is put on the do-not-fly list and can’t visit her.

  • KateDFW

    Wow, for Casey’s exit, you almost went exactly as Alex Cabot’s exit. Tough case, bar/drinks with the squad but instead of karaoke, a hit man shot her as she was walking down the street with Benson and Stabler.

  • Crystal

    In a fit of slightly drunken passion, Warrick and Catherine make out one night in a beautiful Vegas bar (I’m thinking the HOB foundation room on the top floors of Mandalay Bay).
    Over the course of the next few weeks with uncomfortable tension abounding, they mutually decide that it would be better to never speak of it again.
    Warrick gives in and begins his bad gambling habit again, although he knows better.
    Therefore, when he hears about a CSI opportunity near Boston he decides to try a change of scenery away from the lights of Vegas and Catherine.
    After sharing a fabulous brotherly scene with Nick, he walks into the sunset.

  • Joanna

    I want something big to happen to Novak. She’s been ignore enough on the show, her exit has to be huge.
    As for Abby, as long as she’s happy with Kovac and the baby, I’ll be happy.

  • Miranda

    Fade in on Eliot’s cluttered desk. Just to the left of a stack perp reports lies a card. Halmark. On the cover of the card is a cartoon drawing of several barnyard animals in business suits, the words “Good luck from the whole gang!” float above.
    Eliot thoughtfully reaches for the card and opens it. As the camera pans over the inscriptions we see they all start, “Dear Casey,”. Eliot chuckles absently at Munch’s conspiricy theororist comment. He leans back in his chair pensively, holding a ballpoint pen in his mouth as if to draw inspiration from the tip. After a moment of rumination, a flash of glee flickers in his eyes and a smile of knowing satisfaction breaks on his face. He’s writes, “Casey, it was great working with you. Keep in touch. Eliot.”
    He rises, tosses the card on Olivia’s desk, and saunters away knowing he has hit hust the right note.
    End scene.

  • terrafirma

    Chester Lake’s secret life is revealed. He’s not an insomniac, but a late night swinger who’s been engaging in various illegal acts with his wife and other couples. Caught by Fin with his hand in the uh… cookie jar, he quits the SVU before they fire him, gets a quickie divorce from his wife, and runs off to California with his pregnant girlfriend to start a new life as an internet talkshow host in a land where his alternative lifestyle will not only be accepted but celebrated. Strangely, no one notices he has left except Novak. Realizing she has misjudged Lake so completely, Novak marries her long time secret lover – former Detective and widower Rey Curtis – and accepts a lucrative job as New Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel. She never looks back.

  • Nix

    I wish to put in my vote for longstanding characters to occasionally just move/quit/get promoted etc., instead of having terminal illness, KIA, or go nuts. Occasionally.

  • Coolmasterie

    Anybody else totally hooked on carter and Abby back in the day? I’d like it if on ER Abby remembered those days in her exit.
    Don’t die Abby! think about Joe.

  • DeeDreamer

    Love Maura Tierney…….Abbey deserves to finally have some happiness. I would have her exiting after she does a major job saving someone’s life…then goes to the staff room and starts thinking of her career..she tells Lukus that although she is able to save lives……the life she has to save first is her own. She has spent her whole life running away from herself….afraid that she would become what her mother was. She wants to become a stay at home mom to be there always for Joey and Lucas like her mother never was for them. She says it is a matter of setting priorities and for her life to be complete she has to make her family priority one.

  • Elizabeth

    Casey: goes into private practice; Beach’s character is transferred to another unit.
    Abby, Luca & Joe: move to the suburbs and start a private practice
    Warrick: hired by the state to teach CSI classes
    Yes: abandon the public and do something for themselves!

  • Silv

    ER: After watching yet another “life isn’t fair/valiant child dies/family in turmoil” situation unfold in the ER, Abby finally cracks. She walks out of the ER in bloody scrubs and goes out into the pouring rain, where she falls to her knees and sobs her heart out as the rain washes away her bloody hands. Luka comes out and wraps his arms around her while she shouts that she just can’t take it anymore. After some work-related counseling, they starts a new life in private practice in sunny suburbia, where the sirens are rare and usually announce the end of small-town parades.

  • step

    Casey and Adam Beach ride off into the sunset on his horse after they realize their love and the SVU cannot co-exist.

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