In May, The Mystery Writers of America handed out their 1999 The Edgar Allan Poe ("Edgars") awards. The awards are given annually to authors of "distinguished work" in mystery entertainment categories, including books, television and motion pictures in the U.S. and abroad. Law & Order, came away with several honors:
Best Television Episode
Law & Order: "Bad Girl" by Rene Balcer & Richard Sweren (NBC)
Also nominated in that category:
Law & Order: "Carrier" David Black (NBC)
Silent Witness: "Fallen Idol" Gwyneth Hughes (BBC/A&E co-production)
Brooklyn South: "Skel in a Cell" Doug Palau & Nicholas Wooten, story by Steven Bochco, David Milch, William M. Finkelstein and Bill Clark
Brooklyn South: "Fools Russian" Scott A. Williams, Allen Edwards and Matt Olmstead Story by Steven Bochco, David Milch, William M. Finkelstein and Bill Clark
Best Television Feature / Mini-series
Law & Order: Exiled by Charles Kipps (NBC)
Also nominated in that category:
The Cater Street Hangman T. R. Bowen (from a novel Anne Perry) (A&E)
Dalziel & Pascoe: Child's Play Michael Chaplin (based on the novel Reginald Hill) (A&E)
Midsomer Murders: Death of a Hollow Man Caroline Graham (A&E)
Rear Window: Eric Overmyer & Larry Gross (based on a story Cornell Woolrich) (ABC)
In an unusual concession, NBC agreed to share a new prime-time drama
cable's USA Networks to avoid losing one of NBC's biggest prime-time hits,
"Law & Order."
The move, which is sure to rile NBC affiliates, is the result of a
months-long negotiating gambit between General Electric Co.'s NBC and Barry
Diller's USA Networks Inc. USA gained control of "Law & Order" when it
acquired its producer, the Universal Television division of Seagram Co.'s
Universal Studios Inc. in 1997. That put Mr. Diller in control of almost
all TV production at the studio.
Under the deal worked out with NBC, USA agreed to extend "Law &
two more years, in exchange for the network agreeing to share the new show,
a "Law & Order" spinoff tentatively titled "Sex Crimes."
The USA cable network will show episodes of the spinoff two weeks after
air on NBC. While several NBC shows enjoy a long life on cable -- indeed,
"Law & Order" reruns are ubiquitous on cable TV -- NBC never has let a cable
network run one of its program so soon after it appeared on the broadcast
With its ratings falling and its most popular programs aging, NBC had
choice in the deal: If it didn't agree to the unusual arrangement, the
network risked losing one of the few bright spots on its prime-time slate.
"It was a valuable trade-off," said Scott Sassa, president of NBC
Entertainment. "To have 'Law & Order' come back, the cost is to have a
spinoff running on other channels."
While NBC hasn't yet briefed all of its affiliates on the plan, it doubtless
will raise eyebrows among the stations [sic] owners who air NBC programs.
Affiliates have insisted on running shows that appear exclusively on the
network, particularly as cable and Internet competition has become more
intense. NBC is hoping to mollify those complaints by noting that USA won't
air "Sex Crimes" during prime time.
Dick Wolf, the producer of "Law & Order" who will produce the new
said "Sex Crimes" [Since changed to Special Victims' Unit] will be branded as a
spinoff of "Law & Order." Indeed, Mr. Wolf envisions several spinoffs of
the popular police [and lawyer] drama, much the way that several different
versions have emerged from the original "Star Trek."
"The whole idea is that this could lead to an expansion of the franchise,"
said Mr. Wolf, whose "Law & Order" has been on the air since 1990.
Though a final decision won't be made until May, NBC said it plans to
airing the "Law & Order" spinoff in the fall.
Who says there isn't room on the web for every conceivable topic? Not
Jim O'Malley, who
has exhaustively compiled nearly every place on television and the movies where he's
seen a Volkswagen. That means Law & Order could hardly expect to escape his notice --
particularly when they pulled an antique VW van out of the river in "Ramparts." Says
O'Malley, "I learned of this sighting when a fellow newgroup user posted in
rec.autos.makers.vw.aircooled about Wolf Films contacting a VW club in New Jersey
to find an older bus for this episode. He posted a message in December, alerting the
newsgroup users to the episode which would air in January. You might be able to find the
original message by searching for his screenname (Bugme) in the DejaNews
But that's not the only VW sighting O'Malley's made in L&O history
-- he noticed another
favored vehicle in "Cradle To The Grave," which he says he found when he was
watching an A&E rerun. Hey, some of us press our nose on the screen to catch every
move of Chris Noth's; O'Malley's doing it for cars. He says the web site developed,
"from a message thread about onscreen VW appearances in the r.a.m.v.a. newsgroup
in early January 1998. On January 8th, a Today on NBC segment dealing with the
New Beetle aired. Steve Wilhite of VWoA brought along a pristine 1953 split oval
along with the New Beetle. As the segment aired, the idea of building a website took
shape. I did not roll a tape on the segment when it first aired, but as I was at work,
I got our master control operator to punch up the Mountain time zone feed of Today for
another chance. I caught the segment off the refeed, captured some stills and started
buidling the website."
So drive on over to O'Malley's site, and check out the VWs therein.
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