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[L&O: Criminal Intent's Balcer Discusses Show]
[Angie Harmon Quits L&O]
[Undeterred, L&O Hires Elisabeth Rohm]
[L&O Miniseries On The Way]
[Wolf Considers Hook & Ladder As Concept]
[Making Good On Promise, Harmon Weds Sehorn, then "Comes Out"]
[Et Cetera]

Criminal Intent Head Writer Discusses Show

Posted on the Law & Order newsgroup, confirmed as legit:

Subject: Re: Criminal Intent
From: mailto:rcbalcer (Rcbalcer)
Date: Tue, May 15, 2001 12:58 PM

Re: criminal intent

The show begins from the point of view of one of the major participants in the crime -- either the criminal, the victim, a major witness -- culminating on some weeks with the commission of the crime, or stopping just short of it or ending with the discovery of the body.  Depending on the week, and the story, the audience will have most of the facts or only tantalizing tidbits.

Once the crime has been committed, we bring in our investigators Det. Goren (Vincent D'Onofiro) and Det. Eames (Kathryn Erbe), both of the Major Case Squad of the NYPD, led by Capt. Deakins (Jamie Sheridan).  The Major Case Squad is an
actual elite group of investigators known in the NYPD as "The Chief of Detectives' Detectives". In other words, they're the cream of the crop, standing head and shoulders above ALL other homicide detectives.  Most of the crimes they investigate are high-profile murders, kidnappings, etc.  They have jurisdiction in all five boroughs of NYC and can take over any case from
ANYbody (yes, even from Briscoe & Green).  They are the top dogs in the NYPD.

As Goren and Eames conduct their investigation, we'll be cutting back occasionally to the criminal(s) as they try to stay one step ahead of the law, outwit the cops, keep themselves from being betrayed by their accomplices, huddle with their lawyers, etc.

For those of you who might've felt short-changed by the cop part of L & O in the past year will enjoy Criminal Intent's full-out investigation.  Goren and Eames' specialty are cases that cannot be broken by conventional police procedure, cases that require a specialized knowledge of the criminal mind. Some cases are resolved through tour-de-force interrogations, others through
psychological manipulation, others through deceit.

At some point, a judicial element is introduced through the character of ADA Carver (Courtney Vance). Very occasionally, we might go to court for a scene or two, but the courtroom isn't where the game will be played for the most part.

As for the story-lines, well, sorry but you'll  have to wait  Thirteen are in the can.  Personally, I've very excited by this series I co-created with Dick Wolf.  The stories are spell-binding -- in turn tragic, exciting, funny and all of them compelling -- those of you who love the crime genre, the film noir, the thriller, should find this series very satisfying (as you can tell, I'm not being terribly modest here, but I really think this show is going to work like gang-busters, but of course you, the fans, are the ultimate judges).  The cast is superb, and I think many of you will find the character played by Vincent D'Onofrio memorable, a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, surprising, engaging, perceptive, sexy, electric, passionate.

It's on Sunday at 9 pm on NBC starting in the fall.  Though it's in the L & O family, it's still quite different from either of its siblings.  I hope we're giving you a show you'll enjoy and grow to love as much as you do L & O.  So far, we've enjoyed making it, which is a good sign.  In any event, I'm looking forward to your feedback.

Stay tuned.


Harmon Leaving Law & Order

Okay, so it's not exactly surprising when a cast member of NBC's Law & Order decides to leave the drama, but we just thought you'd like to know that Angie's angling for an exit.

Angie Harmon (aka Assistant D.A. Abbie Carmichael) -- the woman you hired to replace Carey Lowell, who replaced Jill Hennessy, who replaced Richard Brooks -- wants out of her contract.

Like those former assistant district attorneys before her, Harmon's itching to pursue a career in movies. (Of course, their legacy has been so fruitful. What's Lowell up to lately? And Brooks? There's still time to reconsider, Angie.)

Harmon, whose career was pretty much nonexistent prior to joining the top-rated crime series (we're not counting that brief stint on Baywatch Nights) three seasons ago, will be able to exit early if producer Dick Wolf can find a replacement.

"She asked to be released early from her contractual commitment to the show," Wolf said in a statement. "As I've said numerous times in the past, if an actor wants to leave the series for personal reasons, and gives ample notice so that it doesn't affect production, I have never stood in anyone's way."

Amazingly, Law & Order has not only survived numerous casting changes in its 12-year history, but has managed to thrive. Last season, Steven Hill, the series' longest-running cast member who played the stodgy District Attorney Adam Schiff, left and was replaced by Diane Wiest. And the show has been picked up by NBC through the 2005 season.

In addition to wrapping the feature Good Advice with Charlie Sheen (she's leaving for more of that?!), Harmon has been busy shooting the first six episodes of next season's Law & Order. The Studios USA-produced series has agreed to shoot the extra shows before a possible strike by writers and actors this summer (the additional shooting didn't sit too well with the writers union).

The 28-year-old actress will marry New York Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn in June, after a surprise proposal to her on Jay Leno (news - Y! TV)'s Tonight Show last year.

But she still might have to hold off on the honeymoon. Although Wolf says he is happy to let Harmon go, if he can't find a replacement, the law is clear -- she'll have to stay and fulfill her contract.

Elisabeth Rohm Joins Law & Order

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 20 /PRNewswire
Interactive News Release

Elisabeth Rohm has joined the cast of the long-running Wolf Films/Studios USA acclaimed drama series "Law & Order" as the new Assistant District Attorney, it was announced today by Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer.  Rohm joins the cast beginning with the premiere of the series' 12th season, which begins production next week in New York City, and will
air in the fall on the NBC Television Network.

Rohm's character is an extremely gifted, intelligent and aggressive young prosecutor with Harvard Law Review on her resume and aspirations beyond the District Attorney's office.  She is paired with Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston).  Rohm replaces Angie Harmon, who played A.D.A. Abbie Carmichael for the past three seasons. "I first worked with Liz four years ago and I have watched her develop into one of the finest young actresses working in television," Wolf said. "Both (executive producer/head writer) Barry Schindel and I look forward to introducing another new and unique member of the 'Law
& Order' family." Rohm most recently starred on the TNT series "Bull."  Her credits also include the NBC mini-series "The 60's" as well as a recurring role on The WB series "Angel" as Detective Kate Lockley.  She also starred in the ABC daytime
drama "One Life to Live."

One excellent fan page for the actress can be found here: http://www.elisabethrohmonline.com/

Law & Order: "Terror" Miniseries On The Horizon

From Variety: [NBC] will still do a handful of event projects every season, including a five-hour "Law & Order" miniseries called "Terror." Project, which will  focus on a terrorist attack on Gotham, will start with a two-hour movie on Sunday and then air hourlong installments over three nights in May  2002. "It will cover an awful lot of very, very scary bases," said "L&O" exec producer Dick Wolf.

What A Drama: Law & Order's Dick Wolf Imagines The Fate Of A Fictional Show, "Hook And Ladder," As It Navigates The Labyrinth Of Network Politics

By Dick Wolf
(From Newsweek's web edition)

April 2 issue It's TV-premiere week in September. you're sitting at home trying to decide whether to invest an hour
in a new network drama. You've seen most of the actors before. You liked one of them when he did "NYPD Blue."
One of the female stars had a recurring role on "Ally McBeal." The story's not bad, some decent dialogue, but you figure out where the plot's going before the half-hour break. You turn to your spouse. "Why isn't there anything good on? It can't be that hard." FIRST OF ALL, there is a lot of good stuff on, and second, yes, it is that hard. In just over half a century of network television, there has never been a time when there have been so many terrific episodic dramas -- from my own 11-year-old "Law & Order" to "The West Wing," from "The Sopranos" to "The Practice" to first-year hits "CSI" and "Gilmore Girls." Not to
mention "Oz" and "NYPD Blue."

What do most of these shows have in common? Executive producers born when Eisenhower or, in some cases, Truman
was president. How come all these old guys keep getting shows on the air? Because in television, there are no new ideas, there
is only execution. In the spring writers start coming up with ideas for new shows. As soon as the fall schedule is announced
in May, long before anyone knows which new shows will make it, the development process for the following year starts all
over again. In early September the networks open for pitches. An executive producer (i.e., a waiter with a track record) goes
to the studio where he has a "term deal," which means it guarantees him a certain amount of money to own his projects.

And the games begin. A pitch is presented to a network -- "I want to do 'ER' in a firehouse." The network says, "Great
idea." Depending on how successful the producer has been in the past, he may get various levels of commitment from a
network. In descending order, they are: a huge commitment (13 episodes on the air), a major commitment (a "put pilot,"
meaning the network will make the pilot with 12 fees to the producer even if it doesn't make additional episodes), a big
commitment (a put pilot with no penalty fees) or a development deal ("write a pilot script, we'll see how we like it").

In the fall the pilot script comes in and everybody loves it. It's perfect. It's the network's favorite script. It gets greenlighted -- make the pilot as long as you can get a star the network wants. And here's the first hurdle. An actor whom the executive producer has loved since he saw him in an episode of "Miami Vice" reads it. His agent says that he's interested, but the network says he's too old or his last series got canceled after five airings or its research says women don't trust him. Next. Eventually, a star is found.

Now you need a director. Since at any given time there are only a handful of "hot" directors, the competition is fierce.
But mirabile dictu, one of the anointed ones reads the script and loves it. But he wants a guarantee that if it sells, he "stays
with the show," which means he wants to be an executive producer, too. The studio says, "No way." He went over budget
on his last pilot and the head of the studio doesn't think he does action very well, anyway. Next.

Two weeks later you finally get a director who, by the way, the actor doesn't really like because the last time they
worked together he "wasn't very collaborative." By this time all the really good cameramen are booked, so the choice is an
old pro who's just had LASIK surgery or a kid with tattoos who's done some astounding Smash Mouth music videos. You
also have to find everybody else, including a costume designer who has to hide the fact that the star has gained 15 pounds or
a composer who's willing to rewrite the theme four times.

Finally, one day over schedule and $300,000 over budget, the pilot is finished. The star says it's his best work (in spite of the s.o.b. director). The studio loves it. And, thank God, the network loves it. "Hook and Ladder" starts getting buzz in the trades (Variety and The Hollywood Reporter). It's on the shortlist at the network. And then the call. It's the weekend before the "upfront"    presentation of the fall schedule to advertisers in New York. You're on. You don't know whether to shout, laugh or cry. Where? What's the time slot? The head of the network says that they really think "Hook and Ladder" is the most powerful new show around. Suddenly you have that sinking feeling that you're about to become the TV equivalent of cannon fodder. After all, someone has to be scheduled against the No. 1 show on the air. You listen as the death sentence continues with cheery bonhomie.
"We're putting you on Thursday at 10. You're going to be the show that will knock the legs out from under 'ER'." Your life flashes before your eyes -- "poison gas or lethal injection, sir!"

Now, of course, for a show to actually make money, to get into profit after running up huge deficits, you have to run for five years. So, if the pilot makes even a small splash, you have to do all this only 109 more times to make any money. Nope, it's not too hard.

Wolf is also creator and executive producer of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Arrest & Trial."

Angie Harmon Weds Jason Sehorn

From The Dallas Morning News

Law & Order actress Angie Harmon and her handsome fiance, New York Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn, are in Dallas and in countdown mode to the big date. Although details of the June 9 nuptials are being kept very hush-hush invitations read "strictly confidential" and "no cameras, no exceptions" F!D has some inside fashion scoop. The dress: a Vera Wang that Ms. Harmon has been fitted for in New York by the designer. The rings: Dallas jewelry designer and Ms. Harmon's godfather, Joe Pacetti of Pacetti de'Medici Precious Jewels, designed them. The engagement ring is a platinum band with a "substantial size" brilliant-cut diamond center and two pear-shaped side stones and is paired with a platinum and diamond wedding band. Mr. Sehorn's band is a heavy, wide platinum band. The handbag: It's an opalescent-glass beaded clutch lined in silk charmeuse by Dallas model and handbag designer Jen Hayler, whose bags have been carried by Hilary Swank and Minnie Driver and will be available at Forty Five Ten and Stanley Korshak this fall. The hair: New York's Jamal Hammadi is flying in to do her hair (he's a stylist at the Louis Licari salons in New York and Los Angeles and is currently working with Heather Graham on The Guru). The makeup: being done by Scott Barnes, a New York makeup artist repped by Garren. The wedding will take place in the evening and is black tie. You may not get to see Ms. Harmon in her Vera Wang, but you may soon see her around town in more casual attire: Ms. Harmon and Mr. Sehorn have bought a house in the Dallas area and are moving in after the wedding.

From New York Magazine's Intelligencer:

A Giant Gay Football Wedding

It appears the recent nuptials of cute former Law & Order star Angie Harmon and cute Giants defensive back Jason Sehorn were infiltrated by the other team -- and we're not talking sports. Many spectators at the Dallas ceremony, we hear, were squinting their eyes and scratching their heads as the procession began and three of the bridesmaids turned out to be ... lads! This, of course, led to one heck of a man-on-man spectacle. As amused guests Bridget Hall, Jim Fassel, Jesse Martin, Jaime Rishar, S. Epatha Merkerson and numerous teammates looked on, the three, er, bridesmen escorted the tuxedoed groomsmen -- which included several former Giants -- down the aisle wearing smart black suits. But it was at the reception that the sacred rite really became a virtual love fest of alternative lifestyles. One bridesman got down with his boyfriend as the pair dirty-danced with Harmon to "Holiday," in a scene straight out of Truth or Dare, while other members of the wedding party -- including married men -- joined in on the dance floor during, appropriately enough, Diana Ross's "I'm Coming Out." However, Sehorn himself seems to have kept his distance. "He was laughing, but he wasn't getting down like the rest of them," reports one attendee.

Et Cetera

Word for now: Dianne Wiest is sticking around. "That's between her and Dick [Wolf]," says an insider.... Et Cetera's golden couple, Benjamin Bratt and Julia Roberts have shockingly called it quits.... How can Et Cetera possibly top that wedding announcement from New York Magazine? Time to recover.

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