Friday, September 03, 2010

LAW & ORDER Update

As the late-September premiere of Law & Order: Los Angeles inches closer, we've started getting a better sense of what the show's approach will be to the hoary formula that had already been pretty well perfected by its predecessor.  Up top is the first shot of the show's full cast.  No great shocker that Terrence Howard and Alfred Molina are so prominently positioned, as it's largely their marquee names that will be used to sell the series to auds new and old.

Also, NBC has started giving the show some on-air pub, starting with this spot that hitches the spin-off's fortunes to the returning Special Victims Unit, which has now been grandfathered in as the franchise's elder statesmen:


And speaking of Special Victims, here's a brief interview with stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni and their respective plans to hop coasts and visit their show's new sibling.  Says Meloni: "The mother ship did the same thing with us when we were starting out to give us a little lift. That's all we really needed, a little push."

One thing the original Law & Order was renowned for (and which is deeply mourned by those most affected) was its propensity for plucking local New York stage talent from relative obscurity and helping put them on the map with either a major or minor role.  Over the course of twenty seasons, that's a whole lot of gainful employment for a whole lot of people, and it's one practice the folks behind Los Angeles have every intention of continuing, according to this piece at the Los Angeles Times.

Lastly, author Tom Teicholz explains why this series' setting will help it stand apart from its predecessor:
While some may dismiss this latest iteration of Dick Wolf's procedural formula as "more of the same, only different," to me, the creation of a Law & Order in Los Angeles signals a cultural watershed, a moment to consider what living here means and to question how our concepts of justice and ethics, crime and punishment, play out in a city whose geography has often been its destiny and whose police force and city prosecutor's office have their own specific histories and culture.
Teicholz also interviewed showrunner Rene Balcer, who expounded on the types of stories the series will be looking toward for inspiration, including one that should be familiar to folks who follow this site:
"For example, in Temecula," Balcer said, "there's a big controversy over the building of a mosque -- well, that's an L.A. story, even though that story's being replicated in other places in the country. And there are some that are unique to L.A. -- like the backdrop to the financing of something like Proposition 8. That would be fertile ground for a story."
And since we know they're looking to cast local unknowns, maybe Diane Serrafin will get her big primetime break!

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