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Tube Talk: Law & Order invades the world
Posted By Staff On September 29, 2010 @ 5:59 am In Online Exclusives | No Comments
By Paula Hendrickson
The original, long-running incarnation of Law & Order came to an end last spring after numerous pairings of detectives, several assistant DAs, and two decades on NBC. It didn’t get a final farewell befitting such a venerable series, but Law & Order lives on in frequent cable repeats and through several spin-offs.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit—now entering its 12th season—is arguably the most successful of the Law & Order progeny. (Law & Order: Trial By Jury wasn’t so lucky. It barely lasted 13 episodes.) And it was recently announced that USA is picking up an abbreviated 10th and final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, with Vincent D’Onofrio returning as Detective Bobby Goren. The new episodes are slated for 2011, but you can almost always catch older episodes that are frequently repeated on USA, Bravo, Oxygen and WGN America.
With two aging series remaining, it might seem like the end of the Law & Order era is close at hand. Not so fast. Tonight, the venerable franchise heads west with the premiere of Law & Order: Los Angeles. And on Sunday, Oct. 3, BBC America (part of the NBC Universal family) presents the stateside debut of Law & Order: UK.
The Los Angeles cast includes heavy hitters like Peter Coyote (The 4400), Terrence Howard (Hustle and Flow), Skeet Ulrich (Jericho), Regina Hall (Love and Basketball) and Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2). Producers smartly include a cameo by L&O: SVU’s Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) to help draw viewers to the new series. That, plus a strong lead-in from L&O: SVU, bodes well for the show.
Law & Order: UK debuted in the United Kingdom in February 2009, where it is currently in its third season, with a fourth to follow. Stars include familiar faces Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica), Freema Agyemon (Doctor Who) and veteran British actors Bradley Walsh (Coronation Street) and Ben Daniels (The State Within). If the Law & Order: UK stories seem a bit familiar, that’s because they’re based on scripts of the original series, but re-written with a decidedly British tone.
Both shows follow Dick Wolf’s classic Law & Order premise—focusing equally on the police who solve the crimes and the attorneys who prosecute the cases—while reflecting the cultures, customs and laws of Los Angeles and London, respectively.
For now, it seems the ever-expanding Law & Order universe is safe from extinction. If these shows aren’t enough, Dick Wolf has a new development deal with USA, with more crime and drama sure to follow. Will he add to the Law & Order franchise or break with tradition and surprise us all?
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Law & Order: Los Angeles premieres Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 9 p.m. on NBC.
Law & Order: UK premieres Sunday, Oct. 3, at 9:30 p.m. on BBC America.
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Send in your suggestions to email@example.com.
From the Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2010 issue
Article printed from The Rock River Times: http://rockrivertimes.com
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