Dick Wolf

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I don't get it. How can ...

Question: I don't get it. How can Criminal Minds be such a hit? I would like to know your theory on how this show, which is not nearly as good as any other procedurals, attracts more than 12 million viewers each broadcast. I understand that on a quiet night some mediocre shows could succeed. However, Minds is against Lost, and that does not seem to pose a problem. Do you think America is taking this crime trend a little bit to far? I mean, when will the audience say "enough" to procedurals. I enjoy Without a Trace, Cold Case and CSI (with all of their spin-offs), but Criminal Minds is just setting a very low standard. Answer: I swear I did not plant this question, but I couldn't agree more. Not so much the Minds-vs.-Lost situation. I totally get why people who resist getting caught up in a show as dense and unusual as Lost would rather watch something as pat and self-contained as Criminal Minds. That's called effective counterprogramming. But from the mannered acting to the pretentious ... read more

SVU Star Returns with Conviction

Stephanie March, Conviction

Tonight at 10 pm/ET, NBC premieres Law & Order creator Dick Wolf's latest legal drama. Set inside the New York City district attorney's office, Conviction even breathes new life into a onetime Law & Order: SVU player, Stephanie March, who is reprising her role of assistant district attorney Alexandra Cabot. How will Conviction set itself apart from other procedurals — including Wolf's own? And how is it that Alex was able to come out of hiding in the Federal Witness Protection program? TVGuide.com asked March those questions and more. TVGuide.com: When you left SVU, did you ever have any inkling that Alexandra Cabot might return on either that show o read more

Is it just me or are TV ...

Question: Is it just me or are TV critics taking schadenfreude in seeing NBC's slipups and misses for the past few seasons, especially now, during the Olympics, and with Joey's dismal ratings. While it's true that success does breed some sort of contempt from advocates of rival networks, TV critics should always have an objective approach. However, highlighting and then further underlining NBC's failures borders on playground teasing. Answer: Maybe it looks like critics are kicking a network when it's down, but really, NBC has been a juicy target ever since it fouled its airwaves with Fear Factor, failed repeatedly to find an adequate comedy to replace Friends (most notoriously with the ill-fated Joey), cloned Law & Order to the point of absurdity, failed to adequately promote and protect gems like Ed and American Dreams through their multiseason (and still too brief) runs — again, the list goes on. And lately, with the The Book of Daniel debacle, the twice-a-week Apprentice disaster ... read more

What's this I'm hearing about ...

Question: What's this I'm hearing about someone leaving Law & Order?


Answer: It's true. Dick Wolf told Newsweek that he's planning another major cast change next season. My guess is it's either Sam Waterston or Jesse L. Martin, mostly because their characters are rumored to be closeted lesbians and well, we know what happens to them on L&O.

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I'm a big fan of the Law & ...

Question: I'm a big fan of the Law & Order franchise (more of Law & Order: SVU than the original), but I was wondering what the chances are that the new series Conviction will survive on Friday nights. Trial by Jury didn't do very well in that time slot, and, speaking as a future prosecutor, I'm very optimistic about this show. I was just wondering if you think it will do well or not, and if you've seen more than just the previews of the show in order to form an opinion about it. Thanks. Answer: Hard to know if it will survive on Fridays. Special Victims Unit did very well there, but that was before CBS found a winning formula for the night. I know I would much rather watch Numbers than Conviction, which seems to me a very clumsy effort by Dick Wolf to try to make a David E. Kelley-style series. (My review of Conviction will appear in the next issue of TV Guide, out later this week.) It may depend on how well Las Vegas survives the transfer to Fridays. If Vegas boosts NBC's Friday ... read more

The fun (and confusion) never...

The fun (and confusion) never stops as the networks continue scrambling their schedules, with a new wave of mid-season changes kicking in the instant the Olympics and February sweeps conclude. As a helpful guide to get you through the exhausting month of March, here's a night-by-night rundown of what to expect (until the next changes are announced): March 1: After a 90-minute American Idol, Fox airs a preview of quasi-improvised slacker sitcom Free Ride (it will regularly air on Sundays starting March 12, replacing American Dad for a while). Invasion is preempted for the annual Oscar-themed Barbara Walters Special, which for the first time is not airing on Oscar night. March 2: read more

DICK'S CRAZY

Prolific producer Dick Wolf, who already has three Law & Order flavors on the tube and has a new NBC series, Conviction, premiering March 3, is now at work on a fifth legal drama. Power, a pilot unlikely to be ready in time for fall 2006, will follow a task force of federal agents and U.S. attorneys sniffing around major Hollywood movers and shakers. read more

SVU CRASH

Actor-rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, a part of Crash's SAG- and Critics Choice Award-winning ensemble cast (as well as a costar of the also-acclaimed Hustle & Flow), will guest-star on NBC's Law & Order: SVU on March 28, playing a nephew of Ice-T's Detective Fin Tutuola. "I have been a fan of Dick Wolf's Law & Order for a long time," Bridges says in a statement. "There was no way that I could turn down this amazing opportunity." read more

With Stephanie March starring ...

Question: With Stephanie March starring in Dick Wolf's new show, Conviction, will they reintroduce her character on Law & Order: SVU first?


Answer: Nope. Alex Cabot will go directly from witness protection to Conviction — although the specifics of her release will not be a major plot point. "We're not going to dwell on something that happened three years ago on [SVU]," says Dick Wolf. "Will it be mentioned? I mean, we would be brain-dead if we assumed that nobody who was a fan of SVU is going to watch [Conviction]. So, we're not going to ignore it."

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SVU CRASH

Law & Order: SVU's Ice-T and Christopher Meloni

Actor-rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, a part of Crash's SAG- and Critics Choice Award-winning ensemble cast (as well as a costar of the also-acclaimed Hustle & Flow) will guest-star on NBC's Law & Order: SVU on March 28, playing a nephew of Ice-T's Detective "Fin" Tutuola. "I have been a fan of Dick Wolf's Law & Order for a long time," Bridges says in a statement. "There was no way that I could turn down this amazing opportunity." read more

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