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VIDEO: Exclusive First Look at Peter Coyote on Law & Order: Los Angeles

Peter Coyote

Following in the footsteps of former senator Fred Thompson and Sam Waterston, Peter Coyote steps into the lead district attorney role when Law & Order: Los Angeles premieres Wednesday. According to the 68-year-old character actor, it did not take much to convince him to join the show. "When [series creator] Dick Wolf called me to do this, he just ran down the cast list," Coyote says. "I said yes; I mean how can you turn this crew down?"

In this video, Coyote talks about... read more

Fred Thompson Enters Race for Available Acting Roles

Fred Thompson by Randy Brooke/WireImage.com

Sam Waterston, the honeymoon may be over. Fred Thompson, the Law & Order vet/former Tennessee senator who on Jan. 22 dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, is looking to get back into acting, says the AP, and to that end has signed with the William Morris Agency.What do you say, L&O fans? Welcome the big guy back? read more

What I'm Watching: Presidential Candidate Edition

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton by Jemal Countess/WireImage.com

Apparently our presidential candidates have enough free time to be watching TV!? In any case, here's a list of our candidates' favorite shows.1) Hillary ClintonFavorite TV shows: HGTV makeover shows, Grey's Anatomy, Antiques Roadshow, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars Favorite TV show of all time: The Ed Sullivan Show2) John EdwardsFavorite TV shows: Boston Legal, SportsCenterGuilty pleasure: "Fred Thompson on Law & Order"Favorite TV show of all time: Perry Mason Favorite TV character of all time: Sam Malone from Cheers Where do you watch TV when you're on the campaign trail? "I mostly watch football and basketball games in hotel rooms in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Des Moines, Iowa."3) Dennis Kucinich Favorite TV shows: The Tonight Show, Late Show, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live. "When I get a chance to watch TV, it's usually late in the evening.... Those shows have brilliantwriters. It's just great to watch them." And you don't mind being the... read more

Which Stars Are Backing Which Presidential Contenders?

Hollywood has been generously giving to candidates making a 2008 run for the White House — and some of those contributions are coming from your favorite TV stars. The Biz recently took the data filed with the Federal Election Commission to find out where they stand before the presidential primary season begins.Senator Barack Obama has been neck and neck with Democratic nomination rival Senator Hillary Clinton in showbiz fundraising, but he's got a longer list of TV actors who've opened their checkbooks for his bid. The list includes Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy), Zack Braff (Scrubs), Melina Kanakaredes (CSI: NY), Adrian Pasdar (Heroes), Adam Arkin (Life), Rob Morrow (Numbers), Dennis Haysbert (The Unit), Isaiah Washington (Bionic Woman), Tate Donovan (Damages), Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) and Will Forte (Saturday Night Live). Chris Rock, Tyra Banks and Oprah Winfrey are also in the Obama camp along with writer-producers J.J. Abrams, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Steven Bochco, Chuck ... read more

American Idol, L&O and More Short Cuts

Melinda Doolittle, Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks by Frank Micelotta/Fox

American Idols Live! tourists Jordin, Blake, Phil, Sanjaya, LaKisha, Haley, Gina, Melinda and the Chrises will preside over NASDAQ's closing bell today at 4 pm/ET.... Former University of Florida and NFL QB (and ABC Bachelor) Jesse Palmer has joined ESPN as a college-football analyst.... CBS is expected to name former GMA exec producer Shelley Ross as the new boss of The Early Show.... TNT is sticking with Law & Order reruns featuring Fred Thompson, despite his official candidacy for president of the United States. "Equal time" rules are not imposed on cablers, anyway.... Boston Legal: Season Three arrives on DVD Sept. 18. read more

NBC to Drop Fred Thompson in Reruns

Fred Thompson by Virginia Sherwood/NBC Universal Photo

NBC announced that it plans to stop scheduling Law & Order episodes that include Fred Thompson in his role as District Attorney Arthur Branch as of Sept. 1. The network doesn't want to run afoul of the government provision that requires broadcasters to treat legally qualified political candidates equally when it comes to selling or giving away airtime. Thompson is expected to soon become an official candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. Further Law & Order airings with Thompson could put NBC on the hook to provide equal time to other candidates. The equal time requirement does not apply to programming on national cable networks. However, if and when Thompson becomes an official candidate, NBC will decide whether to voluntarily pull his episodes from cable outlets as well.Thompson appeared in 115 episodes of Law & Order. — Reporting by Stephen Battaglio read more

L&O's Thompson a Strong Second in GOP Race

Fred Thompson by Virginia Sherwood/NBC Photo

Though Fred Thompson has yet to double-secret officially announce his candidacy for president of the United States — on Tuesday's Tonight Show, he hedged, "I want to do some things that only a president can do" — the Law & Order alum is easily besting Sen. John McCain in polls, and is closing in on former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani. A new Los Angeles Times-Bloomberg survey has Rudy topping the Republican race with 26 percent versus Thompson's 21 percent. "It's amazing," a political analyst tells the New York Daily News. "We have an undeclared candidate beating John McCain... and within the margin of error of Giuliani. It shows there's a hunger among Republicans for another candidate." read more

New Law & Order DA Predicts "Fireworks"

Sam Waterston by Eric Liebowitz/NBC

Sam Waterston has officially been "promoted" to New York District Attorney on Law & Order, as longtime prosecutor Jack McCoy fills the vacancy dictated by possible presidential candidate Fred Thompson's exit from the role of Arthur Branch. Though he may, as a result, see less screen time, Waterson puts the best spin on the sitch, saying that while the career move is "a logical step" for McCoy, "politics isn't his game." As such, "There'll be fireworks," the actor predicts. "I'm looking forward to it." read more

Now that Fred Thompson is off ...

Question: Now that Fred Thompson is off Law & Order, will Jack McCoy finally get promoted to DA?


Answer: That all depends on whether Sam Waterston agrees to cut his hours (and paycheck) back. While this may be a promotion for Jack, it's anything but for Sam.

read more

Law & Order Star Quits, Hoping to Grow Up to Be President

Although Fred Thompson has yet to officially declare his candidacy, it's looking likelier and likelier that he will. Yesterday he told his L&O boss, Dick Wolf, that he wanted to leave the show, the Associated Press reports. I nominate Ed Asner as his replacement. Can I get someone to second that motion? read more

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