Mariska Hargitay, Joel McHale
First, the good news: Mariska Hargitay will be back for another season of Law & Order: SVU, and Community will "definitely" return to the lineup this spring.
Hargitay delivered the news Friday — via a pre-taped clip with just-announced SVU guest star Harry Connick Jr. — to reporters gathered for NBC's winter TV previews. "I'll be back," Hargitay told Connick. "I can't leave this show. I'm having too much fun."
Was Whitney must-see TV? Did you think the Charlie's Angels remake was heavenly? Was Person of Interest interesting? Did you find Prime Suspect arresting?
We want to know to know your thoughts — and what you think of...
Maria Bello, Prime Suspect
It's hard to imagine that a female TV detective in 2011 would face sexism — Mariska Hargitay's Det. Benson seems to be doing just fine on SVU — but NBC's reboot of the BBC's Prime Suspect will still show Maria Bello's Det. Jane Timoney taking some harsh criticism from her male peers.
NBC boss: SVU's Hargitay will remain in "every episode," Voice returns post-Super Bowl
The original series, which ran sporadically between 1991 and 2006, starred Oscar winner Helen Mirren as a female detective thriving in the world of male policemen in England. Producers say the sexism won't come off as strongly in the reboot. "Obviously it's...
Tina Fey, Rob Lowe
As if convening a 12-step meeting, NBC executives began their presentation at the Television Critics Association fall TV previews by reciting some of the basic truths of their network's current situation.
"We recognize some of the mistakes we've made over the last few years. We put more money in development and we believe in our projects," Jeff Gaspin, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, said Friday.
Among the session's news tidbits:
Helen Mirren's star turn in Prime Suspect is turning out to be a hard act to follow.
Production on the pilot for a U.S. remake has been pushed back by NBC because of difficulties...
David E. Kelley
Now that NBC's 10 o'clock timeslot may be opening up, the network is loading up on new dramas.
The network has reportedly picked up pilots from...
Speaking to her embarrassment of riches from the Oscars to the Emmys Mirren notes, "I [also] have had a few losses, so I am very familiar with that feeling as well. It's always down to the writing, and, of course, the direction. The writing is where the role springs from and I was lucky to have some beautifully written roles."Updating us on the matter of ever meeting up with the queen, whom she portrayed to Academy Award-winning perfection, Mirren says, "The queen and I havent hooked up yet. She very graciously invited me to dinner, but [I wasn't able to go]. I felt mortified, but there was nothing I could do." A royal rain check, perhaps? "I dont know, only time will tell! I certainly hope so."
9:50: Sally Field looks freakin' terrific. And she and winner Helen Mirren are wearing two of the nicer, more creative colors of the night. Unfortunately, Helen's dress looks a little like a safety harness. But at least a pretty-colored one!9:51: Helen is asking the conductor to Muzak her off. "I'm going on and on," she notes. But she's British, so it's charming.9:52: Lewis Black is sorta yelling at us now. He's like Gilbert Gottfried, only less greasy. But he's spot-on with his gripe: Enough with the teasers during a show for a show that will come on later! No wonder he's yelling. That stuff ticks me off, too.9:53: Oh dear. Lisa Edelstein can't quite fill in her frontless dress. I'm 200 percent against boob jobs, and Edelstein's a knockout, but as Britney recently taught us, packaging is everything.9:55: They run one of those annoying ads under Black as he is plugging Fox's fall schedule. They lost me there. The ad wasn't nearly as garish as the ones they normally run, and it only ...
Helen Mirren, Prime Suspect: The Final Act
Question: The final Prime Suspect has been shown here in London, and it was sensational. There was a bit of swearing in it, which added to the show. Do you think, though, that the swearing will be edited or dubbed over on the U.S. version? It would be a shame, as the swearing is used rarely and at the right moment to cause impact. The FCC and Parents Television Council don't seem to understand that sometimes sex and swearing increase the dramatic quality of a TV show. Can you imagine Tony Soprano using the word "friggin'" all the time? It just wouldn't ring true.
Answer: There were, according to WGBH, "a few small edits to bring the program into our usual length and editorial standards." But never fear. The integrity of this brilliant program shines through, at least judging from the review copy I saw. (I'm not sure if the edits were in that version; I didn't notice any gratuitously foul language, but then, I wasn't looking for it and don't always notice it.) As I noted in my review of
As the great Prime Suspect crime-drama franchise airs its final chapter (Sunday, Nov. 12 on PBS, check listings), terrible grief and emotional turmoil await fans — not to be confused with our despair over this being Helen Mirren's last turn as the tough, troubled Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison.
There's not a wrong note, no concession to sentiment or vanity, in Mirren's brilliant swan song. The case that will cap Tennison's career, as she faces unwelcome retirement, is a shattering doozy, involving the disappearance of a teenage star pupil. But the real suspense in the two-part Prime Suspect: The Final Act is whether Tennison can hold it together long enough to solve the case and salvage her own pro