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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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...
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 wouldnt 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 didnt 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...
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
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...
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
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.
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 ...
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,...
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."
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.