Sam Waterston

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Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Special Guests Rally for Sanity in D.C.

Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity and Stephen Colbert's competing/companion March to Keep Fear Alive was refreshingly free of the usual liberal-vs.-conservative rhetoric and instead pointed a finger at a different adversary: the country's mass media.

"We live now in hard times, not end times," The Daily Show host told the crowd during his "keynote address" Saturday at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert to host dueling rallies in D.C.

Stewart said the rally was not "to suggest that times... read more

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

Mega Buzz: Cristina's Grey's Breakdown, Mitchell's Hidden Past, and CSI: NY's New Face

Sandra Oh, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sela Ward

Every week, senior editors Mickey O'Connor and Adam Bryant satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to mega_scoop@tvguide.com.

What's Cristina up to when Grey's Anatomy returns? — Jenni
ADAM: She won't be great. While Cristina is usually the rock the other docs lean on, her reaction to the traumatic season finale rampage takes longer to sort out than some of the other surgeons. In fact, when she is finally cleared to go back into surgery, an accident in the OR freaks her out so much that she collapses into a sobbing mess on the floor.

Can we get some more Modern Family scoop? — Rusty
MICKEY: If you were as tickled as we were to discover that Mitchell and Claire were once an figure-skating duo named Fire and Ice, you're going to love the next nugget... read more

'Blinded'

I really like how this one started. I think the cops looking for the missing girl in the car impound was different and dramatic. Smashing the windows to open the trunks fast was great TV.I've never had the cops show up at my home (not that I'd admit it here), but if one of them did ask to use my bathroom, the first thing I would think is that they want to snoop around. Since Picard knew they would find nothing, I guess he wouldn’t mind. Crazy or not, best not to look suspicious. (Note to self: Let the police use my toilet if they ask. Flee later). Who else remembers Ayre Gross as one of the original cast members on Ellen DeGeneres’ sitcom? He was pretty charming and funny on that show and I was sorry when he left. Truth be told, I stopped watching soon after, as I didn’t like Jeremy Piven or the other additions nearly as well. He was also great in Minority Report as the man who didn't murder his wife. This guy is an unappreciated character actor. In this episode alone... read more

It was my understanding that ...

Question: It was my understanding that when The West Wing was first going into production, the role of the president was somewhat peripheral to the activities of his staff: that he would be sort of an unseen (or infrequently seen) presence. But when Martin Sheen got the role, it shifted the gravitational center of the show so that President Bartlet was at the center. The staff then orbited the president, as it would be in the real West Wing. I'm wondering if you think, as I do, that Sam Waterston is capable of similarly "pulling rank" as the new district attorney on Law & Order. Answer: You may be right. At the very least, it will be refreshing to see a real actor in the DA role again. Here's what Dick Wolf had to say at the TCA press tour when asked about Jack McCoy (aka Sam Waterston) getting promoted for the new season: "Sam is not going to be the pragmatist that the elected politicians have been. He is also going to be somebody who goes through changes in his own attitude because he ... read more

"A Clean Escape"

Well, as John Kessel (the author of the short story adapted for this first broadcast episode of the series) advised us, the acting by Judy Davis and Sam Waterston in "A Clean Escape" was excellent; it was particularly good to see Waterston away from the harness of Law and Order (and he even got to be the U.S. president in this one, as opposed to district attorney or ADA for NYC). Good performances are crucial in this kind of context; as several have noted elsewhere, this was largely a two-character drama, one which with not much revision could be nearly as powerful as a "legitimate" theater/stage play, particularly given the stark and sweeping ethical dilemmas involved: personal responsibility, the (necessary?) abuse of (always corrupting or at least reason-distorting?) great political and military power, real and metaphorical losses reinforcing one another as the drama plays out. Literary sf (along with other forms of fantastic literature, such as fantasy and surrealist fiction) an... read more

I'm baffled. Why would a ...

Question: I'm baffled. Why would a seasoned actor like Sam Waterston essentially accept a demotion to be the DA on Law & Order? It makes no sense for a veteran actor like Waterston to be reduced to a minimal role. The DA, even when the excellent Steven Hill was on the show, usually has only a few scenes, if that, discussing the case and advising on strategy or when to cut a deal. As DA, Waterston won't have his usual scenes bickering with defense lawyers, grilling hostile witnesses and suspects, and making courtroom appearances to argue arcane points of law, much less trial scenes with juicy cross-examinations. It strikes me as absurd for Waterston to agree to be relegated to a walk-on role. It would be like making Dennis Franz lieutenant prior to the end of NYPD Blue. Franz would never have agreed to such a move. So why did Waterston? Answer: You're assuming he had a choice. The show is going through what Dick Wolf calls "one of its major renovations of the past 10 years." Earlier this ... read more

Batman's Dad Is Law & Order's New Crusader

Sam Waterston by Virginia Sherwood/NBC Photo, Linus Roache by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com

NBC and Law & Order executive producer Dick Wolf announced on Tuesday that British thesp Linus Roache (Kidnapped, Thomas Wayne in Batman Begins) will join the long-running procedural this season in the capacity of executive assistant district attorney — the office formerly held by Sam Waterston's Jack McCoy, who is now the full-on DA. "I've known Linus' work for several years. He is an actor who totally gets inside his roles," Wolf says in a statement. "I think he and Sam are going to raise the bar and add intellect and passion in the back half of the show." RELATED: Law & Order pulls reruns featuring Fred Thompson. read more

I just read an interview with ...

Question: I just read an interview with S. Epatha Merkerson in which she was asked about being the senior cast member of Law & Order. Has Sam Waterston been removed? It's bad enough to lose Fred Thompson, but if Sam Waterston goes, I will no longer watch, in spite of the other good cast members. He is the show! Answer: I don't think she was talking about age. She was referring to the fact that she has the most longevity of any remaining cast regular. She joined L&O a season before Sam Waterston, although I agree it's almost hard (repeats aside) to remember a time when either one wasn't on it. For the record, Waterston is staying on the job, but he's taking over Thompson's DA position. There's more casting to be announced, clearly, but they have time, since the show isn't scheduled to return until after football season is over in January ... read more

ABC's Science Fiction Series Finally Materializes

Anne Heche and Russell Porter by Bob Akester/ABC

ABC's Masters of Science Fiction anthology series, announced what seems like light-years ago, will finally hit the airwaves during the dog days of August. The lineup — slashed from six installments to four — is as follows:August 4: "A Clean Escape," based on Nebula Award-winning author John Kessel's short story about a postapocalyptic psychiatrist (Judy Davis) determined to solve a man's (Sam Waterston) apparent memory lapse.August 11: "The Awakening," based on a short story by Howard Fast, starring Terry O'Quinn, Elisabeth Rohm and William B. Davis, and concerning Baghdad-based soldiers' discovery of a "mysterious casualty."August 18: "Jerry Was a Man," based on the Robert Heinlein story about an affluent couple (Anne Heche and Malcolm McDowell) who acquire an anthropoid.August 25: "The Discarded," based on the short story by seven-time Hugo Award winner, three-time Nebula Award winner, and Science Fiction Grand Master Laureate Harlan Ellison, directed by Jonathan Frakes,... read more

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