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July 25, 2014

Richard Burgi, Lena Olin to Guest on 'Law & Order: SVU': Bad News for 'Desperate Housewives'' Karl?

by Gary Susman, posted Dec 9th 2009 4:45PM
The sleuths of NBC's crime drama 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' may have inadvertently solved a mystery on another network. NBC announced yesterday that Richard Burgi (pictured, right) and Lena Olin (below) will be guest stars on an upcoming 'SVU' episode - casting news that may answer the question of who died on Sunday's plane-crash episode of 'Desperate Housewives.'The sleuths of NBC's crime drama 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' may have inadvertently solved a mystery on another network. NBC announced yesterday that Richard Burgi (pictured, right) and Lena Olin (below) will be guest stars on an upcoming 'SVU' episode -- casting news that may answer the question of who died on Sunday's plane-crash episode of 'Desperate Housewives.'

In the 'SVU' episode, entitled 'Confidential' and slated to air in February, a woman's kidnapping leads the detectives to a wealthy investment banker (played by Burgi), who owns the building where the abduction took place. Olin plays the financier's hard-charging lawyer.

The role marks Olin's first television acting appearance since 'Alias' ended four years ago. But what does it mean for Burgi? Inquiring 'Housewives' fans want to know, since Burgi's Karl and Kyle MacLachlan's Orson are the two likeliest mystery casualties of the Wisteria Lane plane crash. (All viewers saw was a bloody, well-manicured hand that could have belonged to either man, both of whom had been fighting over Marcia Cross' Bree when we last saw them. For that matter, it could have been Bree's hand.)

'Housewives' won't reveal the identity of the dead until it returns with new episodes early next year. Meantime, fans have been speculating. Series creator Marc Cherry has revealed that at least three characters would die in the crash -- a minor character, a central character, and someone who's been on the series since the beginning. That last clue seems to point to Karl or even Bree.

But the NBC press release announcing Burgi's casting on 'SVU' says, "Burgi currently stars as Karl Mayer on ABC's 'Desperate Housewives,' opposite Teri Hatcher." Note the present tense, "currently stars." Does that mean Burgi is still on the show after Sunday? Or does his casting mean Burgi now has enough free time on his hands to do guest work on another network? We don't know, but we'd urge Burgi's 'SVU' character to watch out for low-flying planes.

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