Monday, March 31, 2008

Law & Order Stars – “Old” AND Likeable

The Miami Herald recently did an article about the drawing power of some of television’s “older” stars. I use the word “older” carefully, since some of these people are younger than me. But it indicates that a lot of people will still tune in to see actors that aren’t just in their 20s and 30s.

Of course, some of our Law & Order favorites are high on the list. Here’s the whole article, plus a listing showing where the top L&O stars landed. Sorry Criminal Intent fans, Vincent D'Onofrio and Chris Noth didn't make it in the top five.

“Q scores, a measure of the name-recognition and likeability of stars compiled by the New York-based company Marketing Evaluations, certainly bear that out. Prime-time TV's top Q-score personalities and their ages:


1. William Petersen, CSI (55)
2. Hugh Laurie, House, (48)
3. Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU (47)
4. Sam Waterston, Law & Order (67)
5. George Eads, CSI (41)

1. Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU (44)
2. Marg Helgenberger, CSI (49)
3. Reba McEntire, Reba (53)
4. Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy (29)
5. Jorja Fox, CSI (39)

TV's May-September romance
Networks lust after 18- to 34-year-old viewers. So why do so many successful shows star the over-50 crowd?
Posted on Sun, Mar. 30, 2008

How much do television executives lust for young viewers? Enough that they dared to ask Judy Sheindlin if she'd mind doing her famously cantankerous Judge Judy show from a Florida beach one spring break, laying down the law in a lush landscape of Jell-O shots and overstuffed bikinis.

''You laugh, but they were serious,'' Sheindlin recalls. 'They said, `You'll be in there with them all around, doing stupid things, and you can keep them in line. Judge some of their contests. It'll introduce you to a whole new audience.' I told them, 'I have a whole new audience. I have teenagers, 13-14-15, writing me fan letters.' But they wouldn't listen to me.''

They should have. Not only does Sheindlin have the top-rated daytime syndicated show in America, she often whips her competition in the 18-to-34 age group that makes TV executives -- and, even more importantly, their paymasters, the advertisers -- grow faint with longing.

In a television universe that worships youth, the 65-year-old Sheindlin is not the only heathen god. Oddly and counterintuitively, the industry's landscape is increasingly dotted with senior-citizen stars:

• When CBS, in search of younger viewers for its evening newscast, knocked 20 years off the age of its anchor by dropping Bob Schieffer for Katie Couric, ratings plummeted. ABC went the reverse route, replacing 40-something anchors Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff with Charles Gibson, who just turned 65. Result: ABC's evening news rocketed to No. 1 for the first time since 1996.

• Television's top Q score -- a rating of a star's name recognition and likeability, little known outside the industry but highly prized within it -- belongs not to any of the buff young cast members of Grey's Anatomy but to CSI's comfortable old shoe of a leading man, William Petersen, 55. At that, Petersen is a mere pup compared to the No. 4 actor on the list, Law & Order's 67-year-old Sam Waterston.

• Older stars are a formidable presence in practically every time slot and channel on television, from the relatively sedate world of morning talk shows -- where 76-year-old Regis Philbin has been the undisputed king for almost two decades -- to teeny-bopper prime time. When 54-year-old pro wrestler Hulk Hogan's reality show Hogan Knows Best premiered on VH-1 in 2005, it was the most-watched debut in the network's history. MTV's most popular show ever remains The Osbournes, whose senescent rocker star Ozzy, 59, was making records 40 years before most of his viewers were born.

Older stars say there's nothing surprising about their appeal, only that television executives give them a chance to demonstrate it.

''In movies, this wouldn't be anything new or shocking,'' says David Carradine, 71, who has a starring role in a Hallmark Channel action movie, Son of the Dragon, that debuts Wednesday. ``Spencer Tracy was working two weeks before he died. Cary Grant stopped only because he wanted to. John Wayne didn't get his Oscar until his second-to-last movie. But TV has always been a young thing.''


Since the mid-1980s, when computerized ''people meters'' allowed ratings companies to figure out not just how many people were watching a show but who they were -- their age, gender, race and shopping habits -- television has been a demographic battleground, with advertisers seeking to get their messages not just to eyeballs but the right eyeballs, especially young ones. Viewers past the age of 54 no longer count at all in TV ratings, and those over 35 are seen with increasing disdain.

The result has been an avalanche of teen soap operas and reality shows that appeal, so advertisers believe, to the self-important narcissism of a young audience that doesn't want to watch anybody who doesn't look like itself.

But a growing body of ratings data suggests that's simply not true. ''I don't believe there's any correlation between the age of your stars and the age of your audience,'' says Steve Leblang, vice president of planning and research at the FX cable channel.

Leblang's network has amassed one of the youngest adult audiences in television with shows peopled largely by characters in various stages of middle-aged burnout. Among the most popular: Rescue Me, starring 50-year-old Denis Leary as a fireman whose mid-life crisis was triggered by the Sept. 11 attacks. Median age of its viewers: 37. Even more pronounced is the age gap between the star of cranky-old-man sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 63-year-old Danny DeVito, and his audience -- more than half of it under 35. Concludes Leblang: ``There is something to be said for the idea that people of any age want to watch compelling television, no matter who it stars or what it's about.''

That's certainly supported by the rankings of Q scores among television personalities compiled by the New York-based Marketing Evaluations. Of the top five men in prime time, the youngest is CSI's George Eads, 41. Even among actresses, where the conventional wisdom is that age is a curse, the top three are Law & Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay (44), CSI's Marg Helgenberger (49) and sitcom star Reba McEntire (53).

''You can have olderleads attracting younger audiences,'' argues Henry Schafer, Marketing Evaluations' executive vice president. ``Age doesn't necessarily matter for some of these people. It's the type of programs they've been associated with over the years that, in some ways, dictates the potential for their future success.''


Nowhere is that more apparent than in television news. The ratings flops of younger anchors include not just the highly publicized cases at ABC and CBS but the cable news networks as well. If you judged from the number of glossy magazine covers and the chatter on inside-media gossip websites like Media Bistro and Gawker, the new face of CNN is soulful stud-muffin Anderson Cooper, 40.

The ratings, however, say otherwise: CNN's top show is hosted by craggy Larry King, 74, whose broadcasting career began when Dwight Eisenhower was president and Elvis Presley was on top of the record charts. And the only CNN show to beat its head-to-head competition at industry leader Fox News is Situation Room, hosted by the determinedly unglamorous Wolf Blitzer, 60. And when AOL recently polled TV viewers about which anchor they'd prefer to see as president, Comedy Central's terminally hip Jon Stewart, 45, finished a distant second to ABC's 61-year-old Diane Sawyer.

CBS' Schieffer, who has continued to host the Sunday-morning Face The Nation since stepping down as anchor of the network's evening newscast in 2006, says viewers not only don't mind a few wrinkles around the eyes of their anchors, they find them reassuring.

''Familiarity is the first step toward credibility,'' says Schieffer. ``If people know who a correspondent is, they'll put trust in that person more than a stranger. . . . Being around a while and establishing a reputation is a good thing in TV news.''

Convincing advertisers, the people who really run television, may take a while. ''If advertisers were putting together a forum on who should be the next president,'' fumes Sheindlin, ``they'd want Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera and Nicole Richie, instead of Diane Sawyer, Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters.''

But many TV executives believe a change is already underway. The single-minded pursuit of younger viewers, they say, runs counter to the nature of not just television but demographics themselves. With 80 million baby boomers -- more than a quarter of the U.S. population -- moving inexorably toward old age, the median age of television viewers is going along with them. It's 36 now, up from 28 in 1970 and will climb to 38 in another decade. Meanwhile, the 18-to-34 segment of the TV audience has actually declined, from 67.5 million in 1990 to 67.3 million today.

''Television is an aging medium,'' says David Kenin, programming chief for the Hallmark Channel and its new sister network, the Hallmark Movie Channel. ``Look at the top shows -- CSI and Law & Order and Dancing with the Stars. They're all older-skewing; they all appeal to baby-boomer audiences. And that's good -- these are audiences that have money and assets, instead of allowances.''

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Law & Order New Episodes Begin in April

Law & Order has been working on three new episodes which begin airing in April. All I have for now are the titles for the most part. They are: Righteous Shoot, Bogeyman, and Strike.

TV Guide says the next new episode for L&O (which returns on April 23) is Jesse Martin’s last and he leaves with a story line that is “troubling and disturbing” according to executive producer Rene Balcer. Rene continues to say that Ed “may wish he were dead, but he’ll be alive.” Ed’s replacement, Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) will come from Internal Affairs.

In one episode (I assume it’s the one titled “Strike”), Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) switches sides when the Legal Aid lawyers go on strike. She’ll represent a poor defendant, opposite Michael Cutter (Linus Roache). Balcer says “They’ve got an “Adam’s Rib” thing going on.” (Adam’s Rib being an old movie with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.)

It all sounds interesting, but I hope that the scenario surrounding Jesse Martin’s leaving the show will not be so traumatic and disturbing as to overly upset the viewers. That would not make me a happy fan.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Law & Order SVU New Episodes for April

The episode names and information for some new April SVU episodes have been released by NBC. Here’s what’s coming up:

Law & Order SVU “Undercover”, air date April 15:
When Ashley Tyler (guest star Shareeka Epps) is found raped and beaten in a local community garden, Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) initially suspect her drug-dealing uncle, Rick Tyler (guest star Hassan Johnson). After the rape kit identifying the rapist goes missing, a crooked prison guard comes under suspicion. Detective Benson puts herself in great danger as she goes undercover as a prison inmate to catch the predator. Also starring: Adam Beach, Dann Florek, Ice-T, Diane Neal, Tamara Tunie, Richard Belzer, and BD Wong.

Law & Order SVU "Closet", air date April 22:
According to TV Guide, Olivia (Mariska Hargitay) is becoming obsessed with being a mother. Neal Baer, executive producer, told TV Guide “ Olivia is a woman of a certain age with a clock ticking” and that “something surprising” will be revealed about Olivia in this episode. This episode is centered on secrets, and will guest star Bailey Chase, who will portray a closeted pro football player who is outed after a murder. Olivia’s secret will be shocking – just shocking! – to her partner Stabler (Chris Meloni). Her big secret? Well, readers to this blog already know it’s the revelation of Olivia’s new boyfriend, a New York newspaper editor, played by Bill Pullman.

Law & Order SVU "Authority", air date April 29:
Information from web site Seat42F

Multi-award winning actor Robin Williams makes a rare dramatic appearance on NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" as an engineer whose life has gone terribly wrong with dramatic repercussions. The episode, "Authority," will air Tuesday, April 29 at 10:00 PM ET/PT.

When a law-abiding engineer's life takes a tragic turn, he becomes an ardent believer in the necessity of challenging authority. His purpose in life turns to making people aware that there are risks posed by leading unquestioning lives.

Executive Producer Neal Baer said, "We are thrilled that one of the most talented and versatile actors around will be starring in this powerful and complex special 200th episode. We can't imagine anyone else doing this role."

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Law & Order SVU “Snitch” Tells a Bad Story

This season has not been a good one for SVU. The stories have been uninteresting, with flat performances from just about everyone. But for the episode “Snitch,” it combined to create a bore of a show.

The episode begins with some people sent to clean up the East River finding a body intermingled with trash. While investigating, Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Benson (Mariska Hargitay) come across a “body” nearby. What was ridiculous about this scene is you see Stabler checking the “body” for ID but not checking if the person was actually alive. How crazy – and uncaring – is that? For someone in special victims, he sure seemed insensitive here. Of course, the man is still alive and flees but is caught. All the detectives caught was a red herring, since this man had nothing to do with the case.

The investigation leads the detectives to a woman who performs female circumcisions, and then to the victim’s family. The husband is immediately suspect when he tries to flee, but we also later find that he is a witness in a murder trial AND a polygamist. He is being assisted in his case by an attorney Sarah Flint (Tracy Middendorf) who later turns out to be one of his wives. (Got it so far?) The detectives assume that the man – Chuckwei Bothame (Hakeem Kae-Kazim) – was not the murderer of his own wife but they believe it was “D King” (Method Man) who did it to prevent Chuckwei from testifying against him. Of course, seeing that the detectives have moved along in this case with little proof of anything, it’s no surprise when they later discover that Chuckwei’s wife/attorney was the real murderer.

During all this twisting and turning, we are assaulted with cheesy graphics (Chester’s tidal flow graph which looked amateur) and annoying comments by Chester (Adam Beach). Do the SVU writers think that people don’t understand the simple flow of water in the rivers – in some cases from nearby tidal flow – that not only do we have to see a graphic of water with arrows showing the flow that Chester had to verbally explain it too?

I have to admit that I thought Gloria Reuben did a good job as ADA Bureau Chief Danielson, but where was Casey (Diane Neal)? I don’t understand why she wasn’t used for anything in this show.

In this episode, as in many others for SVU, they forgot the main case at hand and seem to divert the story too much to the case where Chuckwei was to testify and the related problems. SVU would be much better if they could just focus on one case at a time and not overly complicate them. Funny thing is that if the detectives would have done a little better in solving the murder of Chuckwei's wife, the whole thing of witness intimidation and Chuckwei’s changing his testimony may have never been an issue.

So I don’t think I would be tattling if I said that this episode was poorly executed and would be no great loss if you missed it.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Memorable, Dry Wit of Adam Schiff

My husband and I were watching an old episode of Law & Order over the weekend. It was called “The Secret Sharers” and it was a first season episode with Detectives Max Greevey (George Dzundza), Mike Logan (Chris Noth), Cpt. Don Cragen (Dann Florek), and in the DA’s office, Paul Robinette (Richard Brooks), Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty), and Adam Schiff (Steven Hill). I wish TNT would air some of these older episodes because the themes or stories hold up very well, and the cast was great. The writing was also top-notch.

But the one thing that I really miss about these older episodes is the presence of Adam Schiff as District Attorney. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy that Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) is sitting in the big chair now. I find myself wishing, though, that we hadn’t had to endure a few years of Nora Lewin (Dianne Wiest) or Arthur Branch (Fred Dalton Thompson).

In this particular episode I was watching, I was treated to an appearance of Shambala Green (Lorraine Toussaint), who was probably the best opponent that Ben Stone ever had. While Ben Stone is discussing the case with Schiff, Adam seems to compliment Shambala’s talents with the following line, which I found absolutely hysterical: "A girl raped, a sister on trial for murder, Shambala Green with a jury--she'll milk 'em till they moo."

That has to be one of the funniest lines I’ve even heard uttered (maybe I should say “uddered”) on Law & Order. It got me to look back and some of Adam Schiff's best lines over his many years on the show. I thought I’d assemble some of them here for you to also enjoy.

The Memorable Lines of Adam Schiff

The Violence of Summer
"I don't photograph well with egg on my face."

The Secret Sharers
"A girl raped, a sister on trial for murder, Shambala Green with a jury--she'll milk 'em till they moo."

Wages of Love
"Pride goeth before a fall. I'll send you flowers in the intensive care unit."

"Bring your crying towels, boys."

"Right now, you wouldn't get a conviction for bad thoughts."

Skin Deep
"Stuff envelopes for the county leader, you too can ascend the bench."

Wedded Bliss
"I woke up this morning--I thought it was the twentieth century!"

Prince of Darkness
"I'm not up on my Catholic theology. Is self-righteousness a mortal or venial sin?"

Point of View
"Yep, you've got snap, crackle, but no pop."

"It's the Supreme Court of the State of New York, not the Romper Room."

"You have an accomplice--that'll get you into the theater, but won't let you see the show."

Mother Love
"We live in a two choice world--one or the other."

"Unless you want a real fight on your hands, stay out of camera range."

"The crying towels are down the hall."

"With a leap like that, they'll put you in a Nike commercial."

"O'Hara's a well-liked cop. He's been decorated more times than my living room."

"Yeah, congratulations. You have flour and water, get an oven, you can make bread."

"You'll need more than open, sesame to get her to talk."

"I know how to scramble eggs, doesn't mean I made breakfast."

The Pursuit of Happiness
"Quick! Lock the door! Someone might walk in with a case we can win."

"I wouldn't count your chickens: your omelet just hit the fan."

"It wouldn't be the first time that you give the grand jury a dog and pony show without the pony."

"She gets overturned anymore, she'll be walking upside down."

"Dismissed? What have you been sprinkling on your breakfast cereal?"

Old Friends
"Never ask a jury to think."

"Well, I understand you've been promoted from assistant district attorney to supreme deity."

Blue Bamboo
"This defense! Like my grandmother's nightgown, it covers everything."

Jack: "If those were my children, I'd want that woman in prison."
Adam: "With a 15 percent chance she's innocent? I wouldn't tell that to the next Mrs. McCoy."

"You're riding your motorcycle without a helmet."

House Counsel
Schiff: "What is this, Bernie's Bargain Basement? Cop to four murders and get only five years?"
McCoy: "When I made the deal, I had no idea..."
Schiff: "That's because your ego was rushing from your head downstream to somewhere south of the border!"

"Don't jump the canyon on your motorcycle."

"Is there anyone in town who is not using this office for their own personal agenda?"

"Without motive, you couldn't convince a jury water's wet."

[to Claire]: "No one's being condescending here, young lady."

Jack: "...I think I can win."
Adam: "That's great. You get an A for self-esteem."

"So you've got something legal and inadmissible that you're trying to get in the back door twice. [pause] I like it."

"Oh, The Constitution--that pesky thing."

Claire: "The school circled the limos to keep the Barclay name out of it."
Adam: "I'm shocked."
Jack: "This isn't stink bombs in the boys room, Adam! They hindered prosecution of an A felony!"
Adam: "Now I'm very shocked."

"You climbed Everest in your shorts on a cold day."

Jack: "Didn't you tell me you never make this job personal?"
Adam: "I lied...second time in thirty years."

Adam: "A story for Sophocles."
Jack: "Or Larry, Curly, and Moe."
Adam: "Yeah, I always loved those guys."

Pro Se
Jack: "Then why didn't he plead insanity?"
Adam: "Because he's insane?"

Good Girl
"Four days of deliberation, what are they doing, electing a pope?"

"Throw the book at him. When the grand jury throws it back, don't get hit in the head."

"You better bring something besides your boyish charm."

Schiff: "Started with a murder, ends with an execution. You got what you wanted. Take the rest of the week off."
McCoy: "It's Friday, Adam."
Schiff: "So it is. See you on Monday."

Double Down
"He confessed to a murder to avoid being prosecuted for a murder. I'm putting this one in my memoirs."

[Jack, Jamie, and Adam are discussing the case over lunch. Jamie's info hurts their case.] "Why do you always give me bad news while I'm digesting?"

"This office doesn't play patty-cake with serial killers."

Jack: "If I thought we could stop hate with one prosecution or one law, I'd be a fool."
Adam: "Yeah, but you'd be my kind of fool."

(to Jack): "Lit your own petard, my boy."

Black, White, and Blue
"Last time an Albany jury convicted a cop, I had a full head of black hair."

"It's cases like this that make me take a long hard look at my pension plan."

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Law & Order “Angelgrove” Guilty of Preachy Predictability

With all the talk about redemption in this episode, I don’t think it had one redeeming quality of its own. This was probably the dullest, preachiest, and most predictable episode of this current season.

The episode opens – again – with a very Criminal Intent feel, where we get a glimpse of the victim and, in this case, see part of the crime taking place. I wish they would go back to the old “some stranger just stumbles onto the victim” theme because it just seemed to add more interest to the discovery of the evidence or how the crime was committed. And part of what we did see was never even used in the case. Even though a woman was murdered by stoning, the fact that some stones were thrown off the building and onto passers-by below, this fact seemingly was forgotten as part of the crime.

It’s mistakenly thought the woman was killed for the art she wanted to display (which had preachy overtones all its own). It turns out that (not a surprise) that the son of the victim, Jason Lortell (Will Denton) was the guilty party, and he did it because his mother was an adulterer. Once it became obvious that it had religious overtones as well, the show went rapidly downhill. The only interesting character was the pastor at the Angelgrove camp, Samwise Gamgee – oops, I mean Mr. Hensley (Sean Astin). I was obvious once he appeared that the trial would take a turn and he would be prosecuted.

The entire episode is filled with commentary about the behavior of religious fanatics, this time from the Christian side. Even so, the theme seems tired, overdone, and frankly, boring.

Luckily, when Detectives Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Green (Jesse L. Martin) bring in a girl from the camp fro questioning, she comes with a video camera, which Hensley tries unsuccessfully to confiscate before she leaves. But, while this videotape seems to have a lot of inflammatory dialog on it, probably plenty to be used against Hensley, it seems that we only see it being used during closing arguments. Cutter (Linus Roache) and Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) seemed to be fighting an uninspiring battle.

The judges also seemed to have been struck dumb, one making a ruling that set new legal status for religious mystics, and another not calling a mistrial when a Bible was found on a juror during deliberations. Maybe it’s just me, but my understanding as that you are not allowed to use ANY outside reference when deliberating. I sat on a jury in a local trial a few years ago, and that point was made very, very clear. Since I’m not a judge, I don’t know how much wiggle room they are allowed on this issue, but I would think in a case with stakes such as these, there should be NO wiggle room.

Even Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) seemed to be bored with the case. He did, however, give a grudging yet sheepish “thank you” to Olivet (Carolyn McCormick) for her help ion the case, to which she gave no verbal response, just “a look.” I’m surprised after what happened in the episode before that she’s even working with them, or that they would even want to use her. Personally, I think it’s time to get a new shrink for the show. There hasn’t been anyone who can match Dr. Skoda (J.K. Simmons) and maybe a new shrink would be an added spark for the show.

Eventually they cut a deal with Lortell, in order to after the pastor. Strange, but the whole incident with the kids throwing the stones off the roof was never used in any case to speak to intent. After all, they may have been there to kill his mother, but the people on the street who were struck or could have been struck were innocent victims.

While working on the trial of the pastor, Jack, after chiding Cutter and Rubirosa for possibly counting chickens before they hatch, gets in a little dig when a problem with the case come up, saying “Looks like one of your chickens just got run over.” It was the only interesting line in the show, I think.

But the theme of the story just didn’t cut it. The Law & Order franchise has given treatment to the religious fanatic issue so many times that it has become trite. And with the exception of Sean Astin, who seemed to portray the perfect extremist, the rest of the cast seemed to be going through the motions. I was unimpressed with Will Denton, who seems to only have one boyish look on his face no matter what show he’s on.

On a side note, I was surprised to see the scene with Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) in the morgue with the detectives. I can’t recall ever seeing her in a scene in the morgue before. Was that a first for her? It’s possible she may have been in one before; if anything it’s not something she’s done often. I’m not sure, though, why they felt it necessary to bring her in there for this case.

My verdict on this episode: Guilty of putting me to sleep.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Law & Order SVU Gets Robin Williams

TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello is reporting that Law & Order SVU will have Robin Williams guest star on the series’ 200th episode. He says:

“I told you Law & Order: SVU's 200th episode was going to be big, and now I've got proof: Sources confirm to me exclusively that Robin Williams has inked a deal to guest-star in the landmark episode on April 29. The Oscar winner will play a Svengali-like figure who tests Benson and Stabler like never before.

Exec producer Neal Baer says the episode is "one of the best cat and mouse stories we've ever done," and describes Williams' character as "a guy who has a problem with authority figures." Adds Mariska Hargitay: "He is one of these charismatic human beings that has uncanny power over people to get them to do what he wants."

Williams' casting comes just hours after it was announced that another movie star, Bill Pullman, would be doing an arc as a love interest for Benson. But that's only half the story. For the full story, check out Ask Ausiello tomorrow. -- Additional reporting by Ileane Rudolph”

This should be interesting!

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.
Robin, probably hoping that he has no scenes with Adam Beach....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Law & Order SVU: Benson Gets a Boyfriend

The web site says People Magazine is reporting that when Law & Order SVU returns this season, Olivia Benson gets herself a love interest. Here's the scoop from, ignore the fact they get Ice-T’s name wrong.

“Benson Gets a Boyfriend on Law and Order: Sport Utility Vehicle
Kat Angus Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It only took her nine seasons, but Det. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) has finally nabbed herself a man on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, reports People. Once the show returns after the strike, it will be revealed that Hargitay has begun dating a man named Kurt Moss, the editor of the fictional New York newspaper The Ledger. Moss will be played by Bill Pullman, who is taking time out from his busy alien-fighting schedule to make out with Hargitay.

Benson and Moss face an uphill battle with their love, since personal relationships never fare well on SVU. After focusing too much on his work, Det. Stabler (Christopher Meloni) nearly got divorced; then his pregnant wife got into a car accident while in labour. Det. Tutuola (Ice Cube - yeah, "Cop Killer" Ice Cube plays a police officer) is divorced and has a rocky relationship with his gay son and Sgt. Munch (Richard Belzer) is just one creepy dude. For her part, Det. Benson has always had trouble with her personal life; as a product of rape, she is often seen "Taking! It! Personally!" when dealing with rape cases.

Pullman starts filming next week, with his first appearance airing on April 22. NBC did not reveal how many episodes his character will stick around for, but knowing the show, he and Benson will probably break up when he betrays her trust in order to get the scoop of the century; SVU may be entertaining, but it's still predictable.”

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Bill Pullman

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Law & Order Irish Dance Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

Our favorite Irish detective, Mike Logan (Chris Noth) celebrates St. Patrick’s Day by doing an Irish dance, along with some of the L&O ladies. Hopefully everybody has a sense of humor and will enjoy this little video.

If you liked this one, check out the one on my other blog These Are Their Stories,at this link.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Law & Order Episode Summaries Week of March 16

Law & Order offers up a “Kidnapped” reunion when the new episode “Angelgrove” airs on Wednesday, March 19. Will Denton guest stars; he starred on NBC's failed series "Kidnapped" along with Jeremy Sisto and Linus Roache. Law & Order also re-airs both “Darkness” on Sunday March 16, and “Executioner” on Saturday, March 22 at 10:00 PM ET.

It looks like “Angelgrove” will be the last episode we’ll have for a little while until the show gets caught up from the writer’s strike.

SVU re-airs “Paternity” on Tuesday March 18 at 10:00 PM ET. On Wednesday March 19, Criminal Intent re-airs both “Untethered” at 8:00 PM ET, and “Offense” at 9:00 PM ET. On Saturday March 22, SVU’s “Signature” re-airs at 9:00 PM ET . Verify dates and times with your local listings.

Will Denton (on Kidnapped)
Here’s the summary of the ALL NEW Law & Order:

“Angelgrove” Air Date March 19, 2008
THE BRUTAL MURDER OF AN ART DEALER LEADS TO A DEBATE BETWEEN RELIGION AND FANATICISM - When art dealer Audrey Lortell (guest star Lisa Peluso) is found stoned to death, Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) suspect her killing may have been linked to some of the cultural and religious artwork showcased in her gallery. After Lupo listens to an intimate taped conversation between Lortell and an artist, the detectives look further into her personal life; uncovering infidelity and her son’s, Jason (guest star Will Denton), troubled past and current involvement in a fanatic religious group. Initially, the murder appeared to have a terrorist link, but Jason’s new behavior suggests the killer is closer to home. Also starring: Sam Waterson, S. Epatha Merkerson, Linus Roache, and Alana De La Garza.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Law & Order “Submission” Is Not a Dog

This episode of Law & Order had it all: dog fighting, wine counterfeiting, a dishonest reporter, and bad cosmetic work. The latter refers, of course, to Lara Flynn Boyle, who looked like someone plumped up her face with a gallon of collagen, and did a lopsided job on her lips. I found her mere presence a nuisance.

The episode begins with two people looking for their lost dog, which had an embedded GPS tracker. When they locate the source of the GPS tracker, they hear dogs barking, and stop police that very conveniently – too conveniently - just happen to be driving by. The police buzz the door and announce themselves. The mystery here is why they were let in. Think about it, if you were operating an illegal dog fighting enterprise, would you buzz anyone in you didn’t invite, much less the police? Then the police just allow the two people looking for their dog to walk right in the building with them. That seemed a little unsafe to me. By the way, later in the episode, an attorney says the police made an illegal entry; how could that be if someone actually buzzed them into the building?

Anyway, a necropsy on one of the dead dogs turns up a finger, and Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Green (Jesse L. Martin) are brought into the case. Their investigation leads them to one of the men involved in the dog fighting enterprise, who the detectives believe murdered his wife over a failed marriage and the possibility of the husband’s hidden assets. During this time, we see reporter Dawn Talley (Boyle) covering the story. Frankly, I found myself extremely distracted by her face. Her lips looked so artificial and sometimes looked lopsided. Her face looked overly plumped. I wish they had picked a different guest star because her face seemed to get in the way in every scene where she appeared.

Of course, we knew there would be trouble when, during Talley’s grand jury testimony, we see Cutter (Linus Roache) gazing at her, almost enamored. (I think I saw the word “sucker!” appear on his face, just for a brief moment.) Further investigation of the case causes the discovery of a wine counterfeiting enterprise, where bleach (traces of which were found on the finger of the victim) is used to processes the wine corks. Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) walks into his office, greeted by Cutter holding out a glass of wine, when McCoy says, “When you said you were buying breakfast, I was thinking more along the lines of orange juice.” Yeah right Jack, we know you know you probably meant scotch. We then find out Jack is becoming a bureaucrat when he gets worried that the alleged $2,000 bottle of wine was charged to their expense account. Jack later gets a little testy with Cutter, when it seems that after uncovering the wine counterfeiting, Cutter is unsure about whom to prosecute. Seeing that Cutter has a hearing 45 minutes later, he gets creative and finds an excuse for a delay, buying him more time to clarify his case.

There were some amusing and revealing lines during this segment of the episode. I admit I laughed out loud when, after watching the video of the reporter with their new suspect, Cutter says to McCoy, “The part of the tape that comes before that, you’re not old enough to see.” Shortly afterwards, Cutter says:

Cutter: She played me Jack. I fell for her zeal in the pursuit of truth and justice.
McCoy: That sounds like YOU.
Cutter: She probably knew that. She did her homework. No one ever said she was a lousy reporter.
McCoy: You’re not the first DA who’s ever been played.
Cutter: You?
McCoy: Back when I was young enough.

C’mon Jack, we know YOU'RE never too old to be played.

Cutter gets smart though, and decides to play the player himself. He has a sit down with the reporter, getting a little casual by opening a bottle of wine for them to enjoy, one he says was a gift from Jay Carlin (David Harbour). Of course, Cutter never lets on that he knows that she’s in a relationship with Carlin or that he knows the wine is a fake. Talley goes into a description of her own investigation of the dog fighting ring, explaining dominant and submissive dogs. Cutter stages Connie (Alana De La Garza) to come in with some new “evidence” of footprints at the murder scene, and he knows that Talley will run right to Carlin with the information. You know, for someone who’s supposed to be such a cagey reporter you’d think she’d smell a rat right away. But no, she plays right into Cutter’s hands.

When Carlin and Talley are caught trying to fix the footprint problem, Talley begins to cave and tries again to play to Cutter. He isn’t buying it this time, and tells her, “I guess that would be the submissive signal. But, I’m not like the other dogs. I don’t stop.”

Later, however, Connie brings Cutter down to earth with this exchange:

Rubirosa: You know, if she wasn’t such a lying slut and a disgrace to her profession, and you know, an accessory to murder, you two might have hit it off.
Cutter: Could we please do this another time?
Rubirosa: Sure. What kid of dog did you say you were?

The show closes with a scene with Lupo and his newly acquired dog. How nice for him.

While generally I liked this episode, it did seem like they made the crime overly complex, and at one point I was having a hard time keeping track of the names of all the people involved. This also had such a Criminal Intent feel to it, especially toward the end, that I fully expected Bobby Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) to make an appearance. The other downside was Lara Flynn Boyle. I’m sorry, but her face did not look normal and I found it overpowered some of the scenes. What saved the show for me was that the dialog seems to be snappier, funnier, more interesting, etc. than when the season first started. I think we’re seeing more of the real Jack McCoy, and getting to know the newer characters even better by some of tidbits of information we’re given in casual dialog.

And that’s my submission for this episode.

By the way, it looks like next week’s Law & Order episode “Angelgrive” will be a “Kidnapped” reunion. Besides having Roache and Sisto who both starred on the short-lived NBC series, this episode guest stars Will Denton, who played the kidnapped son on “Kidnapped.” I’ve been watching Kidnapped recently (it’s been airing on Universal HD) and frankly, I think the show was just average and am not surprised it got canceled.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Law & Order SVU: “Fight” is a Losing Battle

Photo by NBC

Why, why, why did I bother to watch this episode of SVU again? I guess I had amnesia because I completely forgot how absolutely horrible “Fight” was. This particular episode featured wooden acting, a dull story line, silly red herrings, and a worthless appearance by Ice-T’s wife, CoCo.

The story itself was uninteresting. A woman's dead body is found in the park by two kids, her lips apparently cut from her face and left at the crime scene. The lead detectives on the case are Chester (Adam Beach) and Fin (Ice-T). Ice-T is usually tolerable when paired with John Munch (Richard Belzer, who seems to have almost disappeared from the SVU group). But paired with the hard to understand and hard to tolerate Chester, it makes for an unwatchable show.

We get a red herring story line with the mixed martial arts fighter, which seemed to have limited purposes. We learn the worthless yet fitting fact that Chester was a mixed martial arts fighter, named “Naptime.” Fin makes the statement, “What, they call you Naptime ‘cause your boring stories put everybody to sleep?” I call that the most accurate description of the show itself, frankly. The whole martial arts angle only gave them an excuse to feature Ice-T’s real life wife Coco and her ample fake-looking “assets” and her less than ample acting skills, a low point for the franchise in my opinion. It also gave them an excuse to have a shooting in the hallways of the SVU squad. How a gun could make it that far in to the facility is beyond me. Other than that, those characters had little if anything to do with the crime. The only crime her was that we had to have Coco shoved in our faces. Please, never again.

A suspect confesses to the crime at the urging of his junkie mother. Going in front of the judge, he pleads guilty despite the protests of his attorney, and then fires his attorney. Casey, however, gets sloppy when he allocutes and forgets to even press for details on the fact that the victim had her lips cut off. She would have saved everyone a lot of trouble had she not wondered why that point was never addressed.

Even more ludicrous was the whole chase scene where, when Ice-T is chasing another suspect, the suspect jumps off a building (seemingly without looking, mind you) and jumps right into a garbage truck below. Unlucky for the suspect, the garbage truck is compacting its load, the truck being operated by a man who is too busy to listen to music with his headphones on to notice Fin yelling to him to stop the struck. Now really, couldn’t Fin have done something like take off his shoe and throw it at the guy to get his attention? Both Fin and Cragen (Dann Florek), standing next to him, didn’t really act smart here and stood by while the suspect was killed.

Of course, because the ever wise Chester gets an epiphany and believes the original suspect to be innocent, he gets help from Elliot (Chris Meloni) when Elliot falls for Chester’s “I was a foster kid” sob story. And conveniently when it is all said and done, even the gun charge gets thrown out when key evidence gets “lost.” But the real kicker is when Chester learns that the brothers' mother has apparently died of an overdose; he decides to fulfill her wish of getting to take her boys to Red Lobster. How much did Red Lobster have to pay for that product placement? Something smells fishy to me here.

Anyway, this episode was just about unwatchable and I wish I wouldn’t have done it. But, I feel I owe it to Law & Order fans everywhere to warn them of episodes that don’t deserve to be watched. While that seems to be a good portion of this season’s SVU episodes, “Fight” is one where viewers should really fight the urge to watch.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Law & Order Game: “Celebrity Betrayal”

The Hollywood Reporter advises that LimeLife and NBC are partnering to launch a new Law & Order mobile game called “Celebrity Betrayal.” It’s designed with the female fans in mind. Here’s their story:

"NEW YORK -- NBC's "Law & Order" is entering the mobile marketplace with a game designed to appeal to the franchise's female fans.

The development of "Law & Order: Celebrity Betrayal" was described as a collaborative process among mobile game publisher LimeLife, NBC Universal's mobile department and "L&O" creator and executive producer Dick Wolf and executive producer Peter Jankowski.

With the franchise in its 18th season, Wolf looked at the emerging mobile market as one he couldn't ignore.

"A mobile game on cell phones represents the most affordable type of entertainment," Wolf said. "For the gaming demographic, a phone is with them 24/7, so to turn what's already in their pocket into entertainment is irresistible."

The game will follow the formula of "L&O," with users virtually searching for clues through a celebrity crime scene in New York, questioning witnesses and bringing the case to trial. It will have contributions from automated characters from the series, including those of series stars Jesse L. Martin and Sam Waterston.

Jeremy Laws, senior vp mobile and broadband at Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group, said the network has been interested in making a mobile game for the show for the past four years but couldn't find the right fit in terms of a publisher partner. That changed, though, when it met with LimeLife, a mobile game publisher focused on women.

LimeLife CEO Kristen McDonnell said women enjoy puzzles and mystery-solving in their mobile games, and the "L&O" extension was designed with this in mind.

"We've stuck true to the core of why women watch this show," McDonnell said. "You're part of the detective squad that needs to solve the crime. It very much lends itself to the puzzle-solving that women have enjoyed across a variety of games."

For Wolf, the game also represents an opportunity to expose his show to the mobile gaming audience, which is populated by many consumers who are younger than the franchise.

"I have personally been surprised and pleased by the number of 14- and 15-year-olds that I meet who are regular watchers of the show," Wolf said. "Although this will make me sound surprisingly like a tobacco company executive, our job is to hook the generation on the brand."

LimeLife and NBC Uni's Bravo property also recently collaborated on a mobile extension for "Top Chef."

"Celebrity Betrayal" is now available on AT&T and T-Mobile and within the next couple of weeks on Verizon. It is priced at $6.99 for download-to-own on AT&T and T-Mobile and $2.99 for a recurring monthly subscription on T-Mobile. Pricing is not yet available for Verizon. "

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Law & Order Episodes Week of March 9. 2008

NBC re-airs many SVU and Criminal Intent episodes this week on Sunday March 9, Tuesday March 11, Wednesday March 13, and Saturday, March 15. Law & Order is also running a current season episode re-run on March 15. But don't dispair, the “mothership” Law & Order is thankfully running a new episode this week in its normal Wednesday night time slot. Here’s the episode synopsis:

Law & Order “Submission” Air Date March 12, 2008
DOG FIGHTING; A WINE DEALERSHIP AND AN OVERZEALOUS REPORTER:LARA FLYNN BOYLE GUEST STARS - The police break up a dog-fighting ring, and discover a woman’s finger inside one of the dead animals. The finger is identified as belonging to Lauren Vance, soon-to-be ex-wife of Marty Vance (guest star Adam Rothenberg), after her body turns up near a dog breeder. Since Lauren and her husband were in the process of divorce proceedings, Detectives Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) and Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) initially suspect Marty as the brutal murderer. Marty was involved in the dog-fighting ring with friend and business partner Jay Carlin (guest star David Harbour), an extremely wealthy wine dealer. As the investigation unfolds, the detectives plot to trick an ambitious reporter, Dawn Talley (guest star Lara Flynn Boyle), who uses her sexuality to try to break the case. Turns out Jay’s business is a scam, which leads prosecutors Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) and Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) to a new suspect. Also starring: Sam Waterston and S. Epatha Merkerson.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Law & Order “Betrayal”: The Betrayers Are Betrayed

This Law & Order episode had everyone turning on each other. The only exception may have been the murder victim.

A minor annoyance with the new season of Law & Order has the show starting with a more Criminal Intent feel to it. Mind you, I like Criminal Intent just fine, but always felt that for the original Law & Order, it’s always been better not seeing up front information on the victim. I always liked the way the show had people finding the murder victims in often-accidental ways.

We see the murder victim, psychiatrist Isaac Waxman (L&O repeat offender John Shea) talking into a tape recorder… and then he’s found dead in a spray of bullets. The detectives perform their usual inspection of the crime scene, the usual questioning of witnesses, family, etc, and the usual discussion of the evidence. It was all a little too patterned. The first half of Law & Order still seems to be inconsistent in its delivery. Green (Jesse L. Martin) and Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) work well together, but maybe it’s become a little to routine. And they seemed to have left Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) behind in this episode, giving her very little face time. My wish is that they could add a spark to this half of the show.

The detectives initially suspect the murderer is one of the psychiatrist’s young patients, who said the doctor always told him to repeat the phrase to “be a rock in a sea of chaos.” (For some reason, I kept thinking of the Seinfeld episode where George’s father keeps shouting "Serenity now!”) The problems with this young patient gives them an excuse to bring in their shrink on call, Dr. Olivet (Carolyn McCormick). Personally, I always preferred Dr. Skoda because he always seemed more in tune with his role with the DA’s office, yet still remained objective. It seems like Dr. Olivet has always been a little unpredictable, unreliable, and self-absorbed. Of course, she lived up to my expectations in this episode.

But, more evidence points to the doctor’s wife Catherine Waxman (Moira Kelly), coming from a wrinkle in her alibi based on comments from her daughter. She is arrested and the DA's office gets involved. This is when the show picks up a bit and got a lot more interesting. And, during the second half of the show, Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) suffers a few times from accent reversal and says “Emmer” for Emma, “lawr” for law, and “sawr” for saw. Not a big deal, I just found it funny.

Back to the case. Waxman gets her daughter to change her story, and this precipitates Cutter to go back and question the daughter about her statement. As he was questioning her, with Lupo present, I found myself wondering how people can get away with questioning minors without their parent’s permission. It seems to happen on Law & Order frequently and it always seems to be a problem when it’s discovered, so I wonder if it’s legal for them to do it. Cutter gets the daughter to tell the accurate story, but not before Lupo attempts to cut him off. Outside, Cutter and Lupo have an exchange, when Lupo accuses Cutter of roughing her up:

Cutter: Would you feel better if I offered her a lollipop?
Lupo: I’d feel better if you hadn’t roughed her up.
Cutter: How’d you think her mother got her to lie? I'm playing to win detective. Winning means putting Catherine Waxman in jail.
Lupo: Is this some kind of sport to you?
Cutter: Stick with your law books detective. On the page the law is a much purer thing.

While Cutter’s comments were somewhat dismissive and condescending, he was probably right to explain the real world to Lupo. Somehow, though, I sense Cutter is a little too big for his britches.

One segment of the show that seemed a little too contrived was the playing of the voice mail from Waxman to her mother, which conveniently had the sound of a cruise ship in the background. Of course, it points them to a specific dock where divers conveniently find the murder weapon. How does that work, exactly? Can a ship’s horns be only loud enough to be heard in a specific area? I would think that sound in the Law & Order universe would follow the same laws of nature and be able to travel outside the confines of one area or dock. Maybe it’s just me, or my unfamiliarity with the area in question, but I would think that the sound of a ship’s horn couldn’t be that precise.

Later, when Cutter retracts his plea offer, we hear the defendant offer up her story of being abused as a teen by her doctor/husband, and then proceeds to fire her attorney. Later, when Cutter decides to bring in a controversial expert witness, Jack has a bit of a cow but allows Cutter to go forward. And that’s when things get interesting.

The expert testifies that contrary to popular belief, it’s not true that in all cases of willing sexual encounters between adolescents and adults, it does not cause psychological harm or trauma. The defendant (now acting as her own attorney) attempts to discredit her credentials by saying the doctor was condemned by congress, which was to be expected.

Dr. Olivet, however, makes this all about herself, getting upset with the DA's office as she drops the bomb that the defense called her to testify. “She studies studies. I counsel victims” Olivet moans to McCoy (Sam Waterston) and Cutter. Cutter tells Olivet that Waxman is using her to support a bogus defense. Olivet whines that the expert’s position “devalues what I do, who I am….I’m going to set the record straight.” Jack retorts “ You understand you’re working for the other side now. That means the gloves have to come off. “ Of couse Liz, we know this is all about YOU.

Jack offers his help to Cutter with the problem with Olivet, and Cutter assumes it’s because Olivet was a rape victim herself and it may affect her credibility. Jack says, “No, not that.” Uh-oh!

Olivet gets the surprise of her life when her relationship with a detective who she counseled after the detective lost a partner is outed. I assume that this was in reference to a long speculated - but never actually proven on an Law & Order episode (as far as I know) - relationship that Olivet had with our one and only Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth)? I could see Olivet just seething. I enjoyed ever second of Ms. High-and-Mighty getting her comeuppance.

This brings me to the best dialog of the episode, in the parking garage where Jack is getting ready to leave on his motorcycle:

Olivet: That hurt, Jack.
McCoy: I warned you.
Olivet: You betrayed a confidence
McCoy: You went to bat for a woman who shot her husband in cold blood, and who would have killed anybody else she found in his office. If I had to betray a confidence to ensure she goes to jail, so be it. These are the rules we live by.
Olivet: This isn’t your finest hour, Jack.
McCoy: Nor yours.

Olivet can sure dish it out, but she can’t take it. I am so glad that Jack put her in her place one and for all. And maybe also added fuel to the Logan/Olivet rumors. It was worth sitting through a flat first half to get to this gem.

After that, things wrap up quickly. As expected, the defendant crumples during cross examination when the realization that the “Meredith” her husband was talking about on the tape recording was not another woman. It was the town to where the doctor drove the defendant to the psychiatric hospital as a teen and also the name of a memoir that her husband was writing about this time. Of course, this rattles the defendant and she starts repeating the phrase “ I am a rock in a sea of chaos.”

Later in Cutter’s office, Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) tells Cutter that the next time she says it’s a slam dunk to “drop that on my foot”, looking at a large piece of concrete marked as evidence on Cutter’s file cabinet. Maybe that was the rock in the sea of chaos we heard so much about in this episode? I have to say, they are trying a little too hard to bring out some of the stuff Cutter keeps in his office.

So let me get down all the betrayals here. The wife thinks the husband betrayed her so she kills him. Lupo thinks Cutter is betraying the law. Olivet thinks the DA’s office betrayed her by cutting her out, so she betrays them and testifies for the defense. McCoy betrays a confidence to counter Olivet’s betrayal. And it turns out Olivet betrayed her oath by having an affair with a patient. But wait, the husband really didn’t betray the wife after all, so she killed him for nothing.

I think I got it.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Law & Order CI: D’Onofrio Cameo on SNL

Vincent D’Onofrio (or was it Bobby Goren?) makes a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live during the spoof of the Clinton/Obama debate. The clip is 9 minutes long, and he appears about 5 minutes into it. Criminal Intent – and D’Onofrio fans, will appreciate it. The debate spoof itself is also well done.

I am not sure how long this clip will be available, so view it while you can!

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Law & Order Spoof: “Really Special Victims Unit”

The web site “” is featuring a Law & Order spoof, called “Really Special Victims.” It stars Gregory Itzin, of “24” fame. (He's no Sam Waterston, but he does a good job here.) The detectives are in search of the Law & Order sound – we know it as the doink-doink, of course. It has a funny twist at the end that you’ll enjoy, especially if you’re a 24 fan.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Law & Order Episode Summaries, Week of March 2

NBC goes from being the Peacock Network to being the Law & Order Franchise Network for the week of March 2.

Law & Order is running a new episode this week, with SVU and Criminal Intent rerunning episodes previously aired this season. NBC is also showing an episode of Special Victims Unit on Sunday, March 2, and Criminal Intent is being aired at 8:00 PM (instead of 9:00) on Wednesday. NBC is also airing Criminal Intent, SVU and L&O reruns on Saturday night.

Sunday March 2
Law & Order SVU: “Alternate”
A woman (Guest Star Cynthia Nixon) with multiple personalities may have harmed her infant daughter. As Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Benson (Mariska Hargitay) investigate the case, they discover the woman herself may have been abused as a child, resulting in her fractured psyche. Meanwhile, Munch is put in charge of the department after the captain is temporarily removed from duty. Bronson Pinchot also guest stars.

Tuesday, March 4
Law & Order SVU “Blinded”
While working the case of a kidnapped girl found in the trunk of a stolen car, Stabler is injured by a suspect (Guest Star Arye Gross), a schizophrenic artist believed to be a serial rapist. The trial brings up a dark moment in Novak's past, which seems to affect her judgment.

Wednesday, March 5
Law & Order Criminal Intent “Depths”
The case of a dead diver causes tension to surface between the department and the FBI over possible terrorist connections. Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Eames' (Kathryn Erbe) probe, however, leads them to the treacherous world of deep-sea treasure hunters.

Law & Order (NEW EPISODE) “Betrayal”
WHEN A PSYCHIATRIST WHO TREATS DISTURBED TEENS IS FOUND MURDERED HIS TROUBLED PATIENTS AND JEALOUS WIFE ARE THE PRIME SUSPECTS - A psychiatrist is found shot to death in his office, and Detectives Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) and Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) initially suspect one of his young patients. Clues lead the detectives to the doctor’s jealous and much younger wife, Catherine (guest star Moira Kelly). The pressures of the case drive Catherine to admit her troubled past leading to his murder. The prosecuting team, Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) and Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) are then faced with the daunting task of convincing the jury that Catherine’s troubled youth is no excuse for murder. Also starring: Sam Waterston, S. Epatha Merkerson, Linus Roache, and Alana De La Garza.

Saturday March 8
Criminal Intent “Untethered”
Episode summary andmy review.

SVU: “Unorthodox”
My review

Law & Order: "Quit Claim"
Episode summary and my review.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.