Crossing Jordan

Crossing Jordan

Cast members Miguel Ferrer, Kathryn Hahn, Jill Hennessy, Ken Howard, Steve Valentine, and Ravi Kapoor (left to right)
Created by Tim Kring
Starring Jill Hennessy
Miguel Ferrer
Ravi Kapoor
Kathryn Hahn
Steve Valentine
Jerry O'Connell
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 117 (list of episodes)
Running time 42–44 minutes
Production company(s) Tailwind Productions
NBC Studios (2001-2004) (seasons 1-3)
NBC Universal Television Studio (2004-2007)
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Original release September 24, 2001 (2001-09-24) – May 16, 2007 (2007-05-16)
Related shows Las Vegas

Crossing Jordan is an American television crime/drama series that aired on NBC from September 24, 2001, to May 16, 2007. It stars Jill Hennessy as Jordan Cavanaugh, M.D., a crime-solving forensic pathologist employed in the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The show used an ensemble cast approach that featured a group of Jordan's co-workers and police detectives assigned to the various cases. Its roster of central characters was created by Tim Kring, who also developed its core format. The title refers to both the name of the main character, who is commonly shown as "crossing" others—especially authority figures—to learn what she wants to know, and the biblical metaphor of the ancient Hebrews crossing the Jordan River, commonly used in spiritual songs to represent death and passage to the afterlife.

During the first two seasons, the series used a gimmick whereby Jordan and her retired police detective father Maximilian "Max" Cavanaugh (Ken Howard) role-play the events leading up to that episode's murder, which were depicted by showing Jordan playing the part of the victim or suspect in a recreation of the scene, the idea being that such role-playing would help Jordan to figure out the circumstances of the crime, like a criminal profiler. This element of the series was mostly dropped when Howard left the series as a regular; however, there were instances of Jordan role-playing with other characters, such as Woody and Macy.

After six seasons and 117 episodes on May 16, 2007, the series was canceled by NBC.[1]

Cast and characters

Top billed

Role Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6
Medical Examiner Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh
(Jill Hennessy)
Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Garret Macy1
(Miguel Ferrer)
Medical Examiners Dr. Mahesh "Bug" Vijay
(Ravi Kapoor)
Dr. Trey Sanders
(Mahershalalhashbaz Ali)
Dr. Elaine Duchamps
(Lorraine Toussaint)
Dr. Peter Winslow
(Ivan Sergei) 2
Grief Counselor Lily Lebowski 3
(Kathryn Hahn)
Forensic Technician Nigel Townsend
(Steve Valentine)
Detectives Det. Woody Hoyt
(Jerry O'Connell) 4
Det. Tallulah "Lu" Simmons
(Leslie Bibb) 5
Family Maximillian "Max" Cavanaugh
(Ken Howard) 6

1 Promoted to the position during the first season.
2 Introduced during Season 2 and added top-billing in the first episode of Season 3.
3 Promoted to the position during the second season; during the first, she was an intake administrator.
4 Began appearing in the opening credits beginning with the fourth season.
5 Began appearing in the opening credits in the middle of the fifth season; left the cast early in the sixth..
6 Became a recurring guest star for the third and fourth seasons.

Main characters

Other top-billed characters

Recurring characters

Minor characters


Crossing Jordan was created by Tim Kring and was produced by Tailwind Productions in association with NBC Universal. Singer-songwriter duo Wendy and Lisa scored the music for the show. Eric Rigler's pipes and whistles can be heard in most episodes. The scientific aspects of the show are comparable to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, but Jordan is more character-driven and less graphic than the CSI franchise.

In the first season, Hennessy was the only cast member visible during the opening credits, which featured Eric Rigler's arrangement of a traditional Irish tune "My Love Is In America" ("Reels Part Two: My Love Is In America" from the Bad Haggis CD 'Trip'). Starting with the second season, the credits showed all the major players and used a more rock-like, less Irish-sounding opening theme.

Crossing Jordan is set in the same fictional universe as fellow NBC series Las Vegas. In the Season 4 episode "What Happens in Vegas Dies in Boston", a case takes Jordan and Woody to Las Vegas, where Woody became very well-acquainted with the Montecito's casino host, Sam Marquez (Vanessa Marcil). They maintained a long-distance relationship for a while, O'Connell appeared in five episodes of Las Vegas and Vanessa Marcil appearing as Sam in two Crossing Jordan episodes.


USA Today gave the show a two star review and said "What truly strains belief — and your viewing patience — are the absurd quirks Jordan adds to its plot and its characters to try to set itself apart." [2] The New York Times called it "engaging and entertaining" and "Hennessy gives Jordan an appealing, loose-cannon attitude." [3]


Crossing Jordan premiered in 2001 on NBC; originally scheduled to debut on September 11, its launch was pushed back due to the terrorist attacks on that date. It has aired on Monday, Friday and then Sunday, its air date throughout the 2005–2006 season.

The show was put on hiatus for most of the 2003–2004 season to accommodate Hennessy's real-life pregnancy. The series returned on March 9, 2004 with a shortened 13 episode season. Due to the season being broadcast out of order the cliffhanger plotline from the season two finale was aired as the last episode of the season instead of the first, instead the first featured an unrelated story with a humorous subplot that paid homage to Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film Rear Window.

A crossover episode of Las Vegas in which the Crossing Jordan cast appears was aired on November 17, 2006 even though NBC was not airing new episodes of Crossing Jordan in the autumn of 2006.

Originally, the sixth season was going to appear on Sunday nights after the football season ended in January, but it was then scheduled to premiere on October 20, 2006 and to be on Friday nights with Medium being put into the after-football Sunday night slot. It was scheduled to air at 8 pm Eastern/Pacific and 7 pm Central/Mountain, but NBC decided to avoid showing scripted programming at that hour. The season premiere was preempted in favor of 1 vs. 100, a game show hosted by Bob Saget.[4] The season premiere ran on January 14, 2007 at 10 pm Eastern/Pacific and 9 pm Central. Beginning March 7, 2007, the show moved to a new time slot, Wednesday 9/8C.


NBC tried syndicating Crossing Jordan during its second season.[5] Reruns are often shown on A&E in the United States and Canada. Currently airs in syndication on CIN (Crime & Investigation Network).


Originally, the finale for the sixth season was promoted as a cliff-hanger. A plane crash which left all of the main characters (with the exception of Lily) stranded atop a mountain with little hope of being discovered was reported to end with no resolution, as the story would pick up at the onset of a subsequent season. But, once NBC decided against renewing Crossing Jordan for a seventh year, fans were treated to a different ending. Medical examiner Jordan ultimately confronted her held-in feelings for police detective Woody and finally professed her love. Furthermore, all of the characters were rescued in the final moments of the series. The ending provided fuel to rumors that producers recorded two endings to the finale: one in case the series would be renewed, and another in case the series would not be.

The show was cancelled on May 14, 2007, two days before the finale episode of season six aired.[1]

Episodes, DVD releases, Netflix streaming, and US ratings

Episodes and ratings

Season Episodes First aired Last aired U.S. ratings
viewers (millions)
1 23 September 24, 2001 May 13, 2002 12.8[6] 28[6]
2 22 September 23, 2002 May 5, 2003 10.6[7] 44[7]
3 13 March 7, 2004 June 6, 2004 12.3[8] 24[8]
4 21 September 26, 2004 May 15, 2005 11.7[9] 30[9]
5 21 September 25, 2005 May 7, 2006 10.9[10] 40[10]
6 17 January 14, 2007 May 16, 2007 7.2[11] 81[11]

DVD releases

NBC announced in January 2007 that it was making progress securing music rights to allow the show to be released on DVD. (Crossing Jordan relies heavily on pop music in its soundtrack.)[12][13] The first season was released on DVD on May 6, 2008[14] and there is no notice of substitution of music on the DVD packaging.[15] However, as of January 2015, the latter seasons were still not available via DVD in the US. In Germany, the second season was released on DVD and Blu-ray via Koch Media on September 10, 2015.[16][17] Koch Media already re-released a remastered version of the first season in May 2015.[18][19]

DVD nameRelease dateEp #Additional information
The Complete First Season May 6, 2008 23
  • Featurette: A Conversation With Tim Kring and Allan Arkush
  • Featurette: Jill Hennessy and Allan Arkush talk about Jordan
  • Commentary on Select Episodes
  • Deleted Scenes

Netflix streaming

As of March 2012, all six seasons have been available via Netflix streaming video.


  1. 1 2 "2007 Cancelled Shows: Several NBC Cancellations". May 14, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  2. "'Jordan' crosses over to the dull side". USA Today. September 23, 2001.
  3. James, Caryn (September 24, 2001). "Two Tough-Minded Gals, a Sleuth and a Lawyer". The New York Times.
  4. Johns, Anna (September 28, 2006). "NBC bumps Crossing Jordan for new game show". Retrieved November 6, 2006.
  5. Rice, Lynette (October 18, 2002). "'Crossing' Over?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  6. 1 2 "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  7. 1 2 "Rank And File". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #713. June 6, 2003. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  8. 1 2 "I. T. R. S. Ranking Report FROM 09/22/03 THROUGH 05/30/04". ABC Medianet. June 2, 2004. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  9. 1 2 "Primetime series". The Hollywood Reporter. May 27, 2005. Archived from the original on May 19, 2007. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  10. 1 2 "05/06 series". The Hollywood Reporter. May 26, 2006. Archived from the original on December 8, 2006. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
  11. 1 2 "06/07 series". The Hollywood Reporter. May 25, 2007. Archived from the original on May 28, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
  12. Crossing Jordan on DVD
  13. Lacey, Gord (February 2, 2007). "Crossing Jordan – Universal to release season 1 in May?". Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  14. "Crossing Jordan – Season 1". May 6, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  15. Lacey, Gord (May 7, 2008). "Crossing Jordan – Season 1 Review I See Dead Bodies". Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  16. "Details - DVD - Koch Media Film". May 10, 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  17. "Crossing Jordan - Season 2 [6 DVDs]". Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  18. "Details - DVD - Koch Media Film". May 10, 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  19. "Crossing Jordan - Season 1 [6 DVDs]". Retrieved September 12, 2015.

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