Tonight at 10 pm/ET, NBC premieres Law & Order creator Dick Wolf's latest legal drama. Set inside the New York City district attorney's office, Conviction even breathes new life into a onetime Law & Order: SVU player, Stephanie March, who is reprising her role of assistant district attorney Alexandra Cabot. How will Conviction set itself apart from other procedurals including Wolf's own? And how is it that Alex was able to come out of hiding in the Federal Witness Protection program? TVGuide.com asked March those questions and more.
TVGuide.com: When you left SVU, did you ever have any inkling that Alexandra Cabot might return on either that show or another Dick Wolf creation?
Stephanie March: No, none. They were very kind in that they didn't kill me, I guess to leave the option [of a return] open, but it never seemed like one they would actually exercise. This all came as quite a surprise.
TVGuide.com: As far as the genesis of this new opportunity, how did the ball get rolling? Who called whom?
March: Dick called my agent and said, "Do you think she'd be interested?" It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I had to make a decision really quickly. By the time the turkey was cut, I had decided to do the show. It was fast.
TVGuide.com: Having lived in the Law & Order universe before, how would you sum up Conviction's difference from other procedurals?
March: Dick's been describing it as a "charactercedural." [Chuckles] I guess we're supposed to work that into conversation as much as possible, but it's a pretty accurate description, actually. It's a lot less like Law and Order and a lot more like Grey's Anatomy. That's how I would describe it.
TVGuide.com: Is there any throwaway line of dialogue addressing your character's past stint in the Witness Protection Program [which facilitated March's SVU exit]?
March: I know they do plan to address it in that kind of throwaway fashion, but they haven't done it yet.
TVGuide.com: It just seems like the elephant in the room.
March: They will address it, because it would be strange not to. [People are in that program] only six months at the most, actually. We're trying to play it in real time, as if theoretically she could have come back in two or three years and reestablished herself.
TVGuide.com: Wouldn't it be a hassle to change all the credit cards back?
March: Don't you think? Maybe she kept them in a sock.
TVGuide.com: You had a role in the film Mr. & Mrs. Smith. What do you think about ABC making it into a series?
March: Are they really? Maybe I can shoot that pilot and get cut out of half of that, too. [Laughs] If they can do it just as sexy as the first one, I think they'll have a good thing on their hands.
TVGuide.com: Lastly, my requisite Bobby Flay question. Fact or fiction: Does your celebrity-chef hubby welcome you home each evening with the best home-cooked meals ever?
March: If he's home, oh, yeah!
TVGuide.com: I thought that maybe he's too spent from cooking at work.
March: He would prefer to cook for his family, which is a very nice quality. We've only been married less than a year, so check back in 10! But so far, so good.
TVGuide.com: What are the plans for the big anniversary? [March and Flay hit the milestone on Feb. 20.]
March: We're going to the restaurant we had our reception at Daniel. And I'm going to eat until I just burst out of my dress. That's the plan.
TVGuide.com: Hopefully you can get a reservation.
March: [Laughs] We know some people....