The most radical departure in NBC's Law & Order: Los Angeles (Wednesday, 10/9c) isn't the new location, but the lack of a portentous "these are their stories" intro. It's not the only thing that has been lost in the transition.
The pilot episode (which includes a brief glimpse of Wanda de Jesus as the police lieutenant, replaced afterward by ...
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