What a week for fans of crime dramas that try to raise the bar. Two winners premiering this week are set in USA's midsection — one rural, one urban (which I'm thinking you might have heard about on Super Bowl Sunday) — and they're so good it makes you wonder why Law & Order never took its act to the heartland.
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We'll be discussing the second season of FX's spectacularly entertaining Justified (returns Wednesday, 10/9c) later this week. Inspired by an Elmore Leonard character, this Kentucky-fried caper sneaks up on you, its laid-back attitude punctuated by shocks of grisly mayhem.
By contrast, Fox's muscular new The Chicago Code — from The Shield's Shawn Ryan — grabs you by the collar as it plunges headlong into a treacherous labyrinth of big-city corruption...
NBC's Law & Order: SVU has conjured up one wicked guest star for an upcoming spring episode. Former Charmed witch Rose McGowan, who played the bewitching Paige on the long-running WB hit, has been cast as another kind of temptress.
"Our episode is called Bombshell and Rose McGowan is the ultimate bombshell," SVU executive producer Neal Baer told me this past weekend at the Writer's Guild Awards. "Rose plays a grifter named Cassandra who strikes swinging men who frequent sex clubs. And we're very excited to have her."
The 37-year-old beauty...
Law & Order: SVU
Are Law & Order: SVU stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni going to make it to a 13th season? "We're in discussions," Mariska told me at the SAG Awards. "I love the show so deeply. I can't imagine not doing it anymore."
Plus, there's one thing she still hopes for Olivia Benson before calling it quits ...
The Black Eyed Pea
At least the Packers and Steelers brought it. If only the advertisers had fought as hard to be worthy of the Super Bowl hype.
In recent years, the cliché of saying "I only watch for the ads" has been supplanted by a new Super Bowl truism: The game on the field somehow upstaged the jousting from Madison Avenue. Even this year's most memorable and charming ad — a bit of wordless magic involving a child in a Darth Vader outfit tricked into thinking he had self-started the family Volkswagen — stole some of its own thunder by being leaked and disseminated online days before Sunday's showcase. For Volkswagen, this extra exposure is likely considered a win. It's the sort of ad you're happy to watch and re-watch — and online it even runs longer. But the surprise factor was gone by Sunday night, robbing the ad of its "event" status...
Law & Order: Los Angeles
Question: I thought Law & Order: Los Angeles was a fairly good replacement of the legacy L&O franchise. Recently, I read that it was changing gears and removing Skeet Ulrich's character and moving Alfred Molina's ADA back to being a cop and Terrence Howard's character as the full time ADA. What are your thoughts as to why this is? And isn't it a bit odd that a Senior ADA like Alfred Molina's character would be "demoted" back to being a cop? — Teresa
Matt Roush: Have you ever heard the phrase "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?" That's how these desperation moves look to me....
After having fun at the Sundance Film Fest with a Three's Company-themed art installation, unpredictable Oscar host and Lead Actor nominee James Franco is getting more serious about plans for his favorite '70s sitcom.
"When we were accepted to Sundance, we didn't have the series rights, but then the Three's Company estate contacted us," James reports. "At first they were opposed to it, but then ...
Shelley Conn and Jason O'Mara
Fox treated its Super Bowl viewers to an early glimpse of the dinosaurs that will be terrorizing the new residents of Terra Nova when the prehistoric time-traveling adventure series premieres May 23.
Though the dino looks pretty similar to the creatures that ripped apart Terra Nova executive producer Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, his colleagues promise that the full spectrum of creatures they are conceptualizing will be unlike anything seen before.
"Steven Spielberg was very adamant about this," says executive producer Rene Echevarria. In place of the overused T-Rex, which has played the villain in nearly every prehistoric representation on film, the show's big bad will be ...
Michael J. Fox
The Chicago Code (Monday, 9/8c, Fox)
Perking up what has been a pretty dismal midseason so far, this tough, brisk police drama from The Shield's Shawn Ryan is set and filmed in Chicago, where the city's brash first female police superintendent (Jennifer Beals, cast against type) clashes with a corrupt alderman (Delroy Lindo, savoring his smooth villainy) who holds her department's purse strings. Colvin's eyes and ears on the mean streets is reckless local-legend detective Jarek Wysocki (Brotherhood's Jason Clarke), who's just been saddled with a young, earnest partner (Friday Night Lights' Matt Lauria) who's not as green as he looks. The show weaves each of their points-of-view into a compelling, muscular narrative. Please watch...
When Gwyneth Paltrow's substitute teacher, Holly Holliday, returns to Glee's McKinley High on March 8, she'll be instructing the students in sex education. "All the kids are lost in their sexual knowledge," teases Heather Morris (Brittany).
Expect Holly to enlighten both Brittany — who "still thinks a baby comes from the stork," says Heather — and Finn, who "may finally learn that you actually can't get girls pregnant in a hot tub without intercourse," says Cory Monteith. That stunner could harm Finn's renewed romance with Quinn, who once told Finn that was how she got knocked up...