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Dick Wolf's Intent? To Save Two Law & Orders

As relayed to you here over the weekend, both the original Law & Order and Criminal Intent are on the bubble as NBC ponders which shows to bring back for the fall. According to the trades, NBC has begun talks with the producers of the mother ship — whose ratings are down 20 percent versus a year ago — regarding a possible 18th season, provided the license fee paid by the network can be reduced.Though a sweeter deal could be arrived at were franchise creator Dick Wolf to cut above-the-line costs on the lagging L&Os, perhaps by reducing roles for veteran players, insiders tell Variety that may not suffice, and believe one of two will simply be axed. Via a spokesperson, Wolf tells Variety, "I'm hopeful all three shows will be back." read more

Please, please, please, tell ...

Question: Please, please, please, tell me there's no truth to the rumors that Law & Order: SVU might be canceled because of some dumb issue over paychecks!


Answer: I can pretty much guarantee you that it won't be canceled, but it could return next fall with two new leads if NBC doesn't cave into Chris and Mariska's financial demands. A Peacock source I spoke with remains confident that both stars will ultimately be taken "very good care of," but notes that Dick Wolf isn't likely to break the bank since Law & Order shows have been able to weather cast shake-ups before. However, the actors' camps will probably argue that SVU isn't like other L&O shows, where the leads take a backseat to the stories. Chris and Mariska are SVU, and the stories take a backseat to them, as their agents will no doubt contend. And on that point, I have t read more

Law Order: CI's Julianne Nicholson Sheds Her Badge and Much More

Julianne Nicholson with Justin Kirk in Flannel Pajamas

A veteran of such short-lived series as The Others, Presidio Med and last season's ADA dud, Conviction, Julianne Nicholson has finally found steady employment as Chris Noth's seemingly omniscient partner on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Before landing her breakthrough gig as Detective Megan Wheeler on the NBC stalwart, the freckle-faced beauty starred in a slew of indie flicks, including Flannel Pajamas, which opens today in New York. Reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage, the film chronicles the roller-coaster romance between Nicole (Nicholson) and Stuart (Weeds' read more

I was pleasantly surprised to ...

Question: I was pleasantly surprised to really enjoy the premiere of the original Law & Order. I liked the new additions to the cast and thought the story was also enjoyable. What are your thoughts on the new additions? Answer: I was kind of "take it or leave it" after the premiere. The new women aren't likely to help or hurt the show measurably. Law & Order fans know who they are and what they'll get, and the plot of the season-opener was reasonably strong. What's missing by replacing Dennis Farina with the show's first-ever hot female detective is that tangible aura of experience and maturity you get with a seasoned lead investigator. (I've got nothing against Jesse L. Martin as Ed Green, but this new team now has a very generic feel to it.) It would be like replacing Sam Waterston with Shark's Jeri Ryan. Not that I want to give Dick Wolf any ideas ... read more

"Law & Order: Comical Intent" for Dick Wolf

According to Variety, Law & Order uber-producer Dick Wolf is looking to be criminally funny, as evidenced by a pair of sitcom projects he has lined up at NBC. One is a single-camera, politically themed series about a bumbling congressman, and the other is a medical sitcom revolving around EMTs and paramedics ? to be called "Law & Disorderlies"? read more

Who's replacing Dennis Farina ...

Question: Who's replacing Dennis Farina and Annie Parisse on Law & Order? Answer: You'll be seeing lots more women on the set next season. Taking over from Dennis Farina as a lead detective will be Milena Govich, most recently from Dick Wolf's failed Conviction. Taking over the assistant-district-attorney slot will be Alana De La Garza, who last season had the bad luck of being betrothed to CSI: Miami's Horatio Caine for about 10 minutes before she was gunned down. Not that this role traditionally has much job security. ... read more

Big Changes Coming to Law & Order

Law & Order: Dennis Farina is out, Milena Govich and Alana De La Garza are in.

For its 17th season, the aging legal drama Law & Order will undergo an extreme makeover. The NBC warhorse moves to Fridays at 10 pm/ET in the fall and will add two new cast members, including — for the first time — a female street detective. After owning Wednesdays at 10 for more than a decade, L&O finally met its match the past two seasons against CSI: NY. Now NBC is going to see if the show will fare any better against another CBS hit, Numbers, on a night with lower expectations. Notoriously brusque creator and executive producer read more

Big Changes Coming to Law & Order

Law & Order: Dennis Farina is out, Milena Govich and Alana De La Garza are in.

For its 17th season, the aging legal drama Law & Order will undergo an extreme makeover. The NBC warhorse moves to Fridays at 10 pm/ET in the fall and will add two new cast members, including — for the first time — a female street detective. After owning Wednesdays at 10 for more than a decade, L&O finally met its match the past two seasons against CSI: NY. Now NBC is going to see if the show will fare any better against another CBS hit, Numbers, on a night with lower expectations. Notoriously brusque creator and executive producer read more

Will all of the Law & Order ...

Question: Will all of the Law & Order shows return as-is next year? Answer: Definitely not, and that brings me to this week's big-ass prattle poop. Dick Wolf sent out a memo to casting directors on both coasts last week alerting them that they will be "adding series regulars to all of the Law & Order shows for next season." Among the roles they're looking to fill: male and female cops, young and seasoned; male and female detectives, open age; male and female ADAs, young; male and female lawyers/DAs, open age. The memo went on to say that "the most important characteristic that your actors must posses is a very New York edge." Now, keep in mind that Wolf has already said that a major cast member will be leaving read more

Law & Order's Vance Is Guilty... of Love

Courtney B. Vance, Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Most actors would kill for a regular role on a series — particularly any piece of the criminally successful Law & Order franchise. But initially, Courtney B. Vance was skeptical when L&O creator Dick Wolf offered him the part of Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver on Law & Order: Criminal Intent (on NBC, Sundays at 9 pm/ET) back in 2001. Not only was Vance reluctant to tie himself down to one project, he didn't like the idea of leaving his wife, Angela Bassett, back in Los Angeles while he shot the show in New York City. Eventually Vance signed on, and this past January, L&O: CI reached a major milestone: 100 episodes. The residuals alone co read more

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