Tuesday, June 19, 2018

NBC ANNOUNCES FALL PREMIERE DATES FOR NEW 2018-19 SEASON

Press Release June 19, 2018


NBC ANNOUNCES FALL PREMIERE DATES FOR NEW 2018-19 SEASON

Coaches Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton Take Their Chairs 
on “The Voice” Monday, Sept. 24 Immediately Followed by New Drama “Manifest”

The Pearson Saga Continues as “This Is Us” Sets Season Three Debut for 
Tuesday, Sept. 25; Ryan Eggold Puts on His Scrubs and Sets New Hospital Policy on “New Amsterdam”

All-“Chicago” Lineup Begins Wednesday, Sept. 26

Critically Beloved “The Good Place” Starts Season Three on Thursday, Sept. 27 
with Hourlong Episode Followed by 20th Season Premiere of “Law & Order: SVU”

Fan Favorites “Superstore” and “Will & Grace” Return Thursday, Oct. 4

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – June 19, 2018 – NBC has announced premiere dates for its 2018-19 fall schedule, which includes broadcast television’s #1 program,” “Sunday Night Football”; last season’s #1 drama series, “This Is Us”; the launch of Oscar winner Robert Zemeckis’ new drama, “Manifest”; TV’s #1 alternative series and four-time Emmy Award winner, “The Voice”; Tuesday night’s new Ryan Eggold-starrer “New Amsterdam”; the new season of beloved comedy “Will & Grace”; and the third season of Mike Schur’s mind-bending comedy “The Good Place.”

The network begins its new season Monday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT with a two-hour telecast of the Blind Auditions for season 15 of “The Voice,” which features coaches Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. “The Voice” will immediately be followed at 10 p.m. by the premiere of “Manifest,” an emotionally rich, unexpected mystery journey that is jump-started following a turbulent but seemingly routine flight.

The #1 drama on television, “This Is Us,” makes its highly anticipated season three return on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. immediately following “The Voice.” At 10 p.m. is the premiere of “New Amsterdam,” which stars Ryan Eggold as hospital medical director Dr. Max Goodwin, who sets out to tear up bureaucracy, provide exceptional care to patients and return the hospital to the glory that put it on the map.

Wednesday, Sept. 26 launches the all-“Chicago” lineup as “Chicago Med” begins its fourth season at 8 p.m., “Chicago Fire” starts its seventh season at 9 p.m. and the evening concludes at 10 p.m. with the sixth season premiere of “Chicago P.D.”

Mike Schur’s award-winning comedy “The Good Place” will begin its third season with an hourlong episode on Thursday, Sept. 27 beginning at 8 p.m., leading into the two-hour premiere of “Law & Order: SVU,” which begins its 20th season.

The following Thursday, Oct. 4, will see the return of comedy favorites “Superstore” at 8 p.m. and “Will & Grace” at 9 p.m., with “I Feel Bad” launching at 9:30 p.m.

“Blindspot,” starring Sullivan Stapleton and Jaimie Alexander, begins its fourth season at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 and “Midnight, Texas” starts season two at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.

NBC’s fall premiere schedule follows:

MONDAY, SEPT. 24
8 p.m. – The Voice
10 p.m. – Manifest

TUESDAY, SEPT. 25
8 p.m. – The Voice
9 p.m. – This Is Us
10 p.m. – New Amsterdam

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 26
8 p.m. – Chicago Med
9 p.m. – Chicago Fire
10 p.m. – Chicago P.D.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 27
8 p.m. – The Good Place (one hour)
9 p.m. – Law & Order: SVU (two hours)

FRIDAY, SEPT. 28
10 p.m. – Dateline NBC

THURSDAY, OCT. 4
8 p.m. – Superstore
8:30 p.m. – The Good Place
9 p.m. – Will & Grace
9:30 p.m. – I Feel Bad
10 p.m. – Law & Order: SVU

FRIDAY, OCT. 12
8 p.m. – Blindspot

FRIDAY, OCT. 26
9 p.m. – Midnight, Texas


© 2018 NBCUniversal

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Mariska Hargitay Honored At 58th Monte Carlo TV Festival

Mariska Hargitay was honored today with the Crystal Nymph Award at the opening ceremony of the 58th Monte Carlo TV Festival on June 15, 2018 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  Here are photos of the stunning Mariska at this event, with husband Peter Hermann, Dick Wolf, Philip Winchester, Jon Seda, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Congratulations Mariska!









(L-R) Lisa Gomez,Jon Seda, a guest, S.Epatha Merkerson,Peter Hermann, Mariska Hargitay,Megan Coughlin and Philip Winchester 


 Dick Wolf, Jon Seda, Mariska Hargitay, S. Epatha Merkerson, Philip Winchester














Photos by: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Mariska Hargitay, Dick Wolf Attend “Creating Great Characters: Dick Wolf & Mariska Hargitay in Conversation"

Mariska Hargitay, Dick Wolf , Michael Chernuchin, and Arthur W. Forney were at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California for “Creating Great Characters: Dick Wolf & Mariska Hargitay in Conversation" on June 4, 2018. Here are photos from this event.

Update: A video excerpt has been added below the photos. Enjoy!

Pictured: (l-r) Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay, 
Pearlena Igbokwe, President, Universal Television; Michael S. Chernuchin, 
Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment; 
Bruce Evans, Executive Vice President, Current Programming, NBC Entertainment; 
Arthur W. Forney 









Photos by: Chris Haston/NBC 2018 NBCUniversal Media, LLC.









Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Rememer Me / Remember Me Too” Recap & Review (Season 19 Finale)



Law & Order SVU closed the books on its teen years last night with the 2-hour season 19 finale, “Remember Me / Remember Me Too.” Let me be blunt: I didn’t care for it. This was a 1-hour story stretched into 2 hours.  I found myself getting very angry in this episode; angry at Benson and at the victim. People may ask how I can be a fan of the show and yet dislike an episode so much. It is because I AM a fan and have put so much energy into covering Law & Order SVU over the years that allows me to dish out some tough love every now and then. It's tough love time.

I’m going to spend more time on my review and less on the recap. To briefly summarize the episode: Lourdes Vega, who was a victim of human trafficking and rape, exacts revenge on her attacker, Miguel Lopez, and holds him hostage at gunpoint. She doesn’t know that the apartment she is in has a camera which live streams the incident to Miguel’s phone. When Miguel loses his phone at the club, someone finds it and brings it to SVU. They eventually pinpoint the area where the apartment is located. Lourdes also strikes Miguel’s business partner when he arrives at the apartment; he later dies of the injuries.  While locating the actual apartment, the officer Benson is with is held hostage and then the same fate befalls Benson. After a tense scene on the terrace where Lourdes is close to killing Miguel or even Benson, Benson finally is able to convince Lourdes to surrender. Stone must charge Lourdes with murder.  Benson and Stone butt heads and she is a hostile witness during the trial. The case draws out the Mexican cartel and at one point, one member makes a threat to Stone about Stone’s sister, Pamela. Despite the fact that Pamela is well guarded, she is taken hostage by a member of the cartel. Miguel eventually tells them the location of a warehouse where the trafficked girls had been held in the past. During the attempt to recover Pamela at this location, a shoot out ensues and Pamela is killed by Diego Diaz in the heavy gunfire. Lourdes is later told that when she testifies, she should get asylum and witness protection. Stone is devastated and later sobs in Benson’s arms.

I have many issues with the season 19 finale.

I’m not a big fan of too many scenes where the lead characters are shown simply staring at a screen. I know the squad was looking at the live feed, but staring at a monitor, or worse yet, showing the actors staring back at me, is not acting and it is certainly not drama. On that same line, I tend to mentally tune out when they spend too much time on characters who are not the leads (in this case, the victim and her hostage). I don’t need constant repetition of the description of a physical and sexual assault in order to get the idea of what happened. It’s bad enough that so much time was spent on this during the live feed scenes, but we had to hear about it over and over again as the story progresses. The first hour of the 2-hour finale felt like 75% filler.

Who was the victim in these episodes? Not Lourdes Vega. This may be a controversial opinion but I’ve got reason to feel this way. Had she been physically and sexually assaulted? Yes. This doesn’t give her the right to take someone hostage, physically assault them, threaten them with death, injure another person who dies soon after, and hold two more people hostage at gunpoint. Do victims of sexual assault deserve justice? Yes. Can victims take justice into their own hands? No. Lourdes tried to satisfy her own need for closure by hostage taking, physical assault, killing someone, which ultimately led to the death of a true innocent, Pamela Stone. After all this, Lourdes will find herself free, but still alone and likely traumatized. She gained nothing and people were harmed in the process.

My biggest annoyance: Olivia Benson. I find I am growing tired of her singular focus. I understand that her job makes her a champion for justice for victims of sexual assault. But victims of sexual assault do not get a free pass to dish out justice on their own. Benson seems to think it does. She forgets she must uphold the law for everyone, not turn a blind eye when a victim commits a crime to get their revenge. Benson’s own personal experience with assault has blinded her and, in my opinion, she is becoming less effective in her job. Benson was all over Alex Cabot’s case in “Sunk Cost Fallacy” but Benson cannot see that she herself has become a vigilante of sorts. Benson may not break the law to get justice, but she does seem to forget that she has to get hard evidence to be able to get someone prosecuted.

I was glad to see Stone push back at Benson several times, yet it was clear that Benson doesn’t get it. This was evident in a few scenes:

1. She has no evidence that Miguel is a human trafficker for a Mexican cartel. Yet she is upset at STONE because she’s not done her job properly, which allows Miguel to go free and Lourdes to go on trial (she refused Stone’s deal). Benson wants the charges dropped against Lourdes, but Stone won’t drop the murder charge. Benson thinks if Lourdes agrees to testify in a trafficking case she will get asylum and go into witness protection as she was threatened by an inmate in Rikers. Stone agrees to protective custody but he must drop the charges against Miguel. When they argue if Miguel is who he says he is, Stone reminds Benson he needs EVIDENCE. It is pathetic that Stone must remind Benson so many times that he needs proof in order to have a case. She should know better by now.

2. At a bar, Benson belabors the point with Stone and she says she won’t make a very good witness. She grudgingly admits that Lourdes pointed a gun at her and prevented her  from leaving the apartment. She worries what will happen when the attorney Rojas asks what happened between Lourdes and Miguel, and Stone says legally it is irrelevant. Benson asks, “What about morally?” and Stone asks what does that even mean. Benson replies “Maybe it means that whoever’s less guilty wins.” Stone says she is right to have ambivalent feelings about this case, she gets upset. She argues, “No, no, you’re wrong, there is nothing ambivalent about this.” She insists Miguel is the guy and Stone asks if she was there and has any evidence that he is the trafficker. She shakes her head and says “I don’t know how to get through to you.” This is where I become enraged. SHE STILL HAS NO EVIDENCE. DO YOUR JOB, OLIVIA! Stone says her certitude is a good thing and may even be noble and when he starts talking about the law, she tells him to stop, she’s heard the lecture before. I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM HEARING THIS COME OUT OF HER MOUTH. Benson has a lot of nerve saying that, as she’s the one who is constantly lecturing. Stone suggests maybe she should be listening, and she thinks maybe he should be. She says, “Lourdes was raped. Her entire being – her past, her present, and most importantly, her future – negated.” Honestly, I’m not sure I know what THIS means. Is Benson saying that sexual assault wipes a person’s whole life away? I don’t think so. Stone angrily counters that doesn’t entitle her to seek revenge. Benson says that “does entitle her to reclaim what was once hers. And if revenge is part of that, then…then so be it.” Anger rises in me again, and I say, out loud, NO. Benson thinks the wrong person is on trial. I think the wrong person is leading the SVU.

3. Her bias was evident while she was testifying. She avoided telling the truth and forced Stone to ask that she be handled as a hostile witness. At one point, Stone must move to strike her comment (the judge agrees) and then when Benson still dances around a response, the judge must order her to just answer the question. She is forced to tell the truth that Lourdes said several times that she would shoot Miguel. Under cross, Benson helps Lourdes by saying she shows the signs of PTSD. I have no legal experience but this still isn’t an excuse for what Lourdes did, but maybe it would be a mitigating factor at sentencing?

Despite all this, Benson thinks STONE is the problem.

One scene that gave off a weird vibe was near the end when Benson explains to Lourdes about what may happen for her after she testifies regarding asylum and witness protection. When Lourdes worries she will be alone, Benson says, “No honey. You’re going to be free.” Benson then touches Lourdes near her heart. I found this weird and inappropriate. I can understand maybe touching Lourdes’ hand or shoulder to provide comfort, but not on her chest. This is a woman who was sexually assaulted and I would think that Benson would not want to touch a victim anywhere too intimate.  I found it...creepy.  Lourdes still seems traumatized and it will be a long time before Lourdes will truly feel free. Benson should not be delivering empty platitudes here; instead she should be working to get Lourdes in counseling.

A TV Guide article said show runner Michael Chernuchin said “something terrible happens to one of our characters.” People were worried that something would happen to one of the leads. I thought maybe it would be a minor character, someone expendable like Dr. Olivet (sorry Dr. Olivet), but it turned out to be Stone’s sister Pamela (clearly someone expendable). It seems the sole purpose of bringing in a sister for Stone was to have someone that can be discarded easily and then used for dramatic purpose next season as Stone grieves. The “something terrible” tease is typical “take it with a giant grain of salt” tease for SVU.

Why was SVU involved in this case? Why did the man bring the cell phone with the hostage live feed to the SVU and not first to police? He did mention he thought it was a sex game gone wrong or assault, but still, I would think that the first thought would be to take the phone to the closest police station, not a special victims unit. Technically, this was a hostage situation, not a special victims situation.

I pains me to be so negative about an episode on which so many people put in their hearts and souls. Still, I am finding Benson less suited for leading the SVU and less likeable in general. Her one-sided mentality and over-the-top preaching is wearing on me. I want a leader more in the mold of Don Cragen; someone that I know can be objective and balance the needs of the victim and make a strong legal case to get justice. I want to see more investigative work on Benson’s part and less knee-jerk emotional response. She’s causing more stress for everyone involved, including viewers like me.

Onward to season 20!

Cast:
Mariska Hargitay - Lieutenant Olivia Benson
Ice-T - Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.
Philip Winchester – ADA Peter Stone

Guest stars:
Carolyn McCormick – Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
Benito Martinez - Santino Rojas
Genesis Rodriguez - Lourdes Vega
Carlos Miranda - Miguel Lopez
Chris Beetem - Alan Buckley
Gary Perez - Jorge Diaz
Roberto Sanchez - Diego Diaz
Michael Mastro – Judge Serani
Robert Turano – NYPD Command Center Leader
Eddie Hargitay - Officer Montero
Tom Titone - Judge Goldfarb
Brian Keane – Pamela’s Doctor
Katya Stepanov - Ingrid
Graham Rowat – Everett Sinclair
Alexandra Cockrell – Anne Howell
George Gerard – Super
Justin Matthew Sargent – Mike
Garrett Richmond - Lenny
Jake Hart – Security Officer
Brian Linden - Perp
Gillian Glasco – Officer Dominique Rivers
Greg Schweers – Doorman #1
Marvin Johnson – Doorman #2
Ryan Buggle - Noah
Juliana Davies - Emma Buckley
John Mahanna - Harrison Buckley
The Junior Brothers - Themselves
Amy Korb - Pamela Stone
Raquel Dominguez - Maria Luna
Jackson Mercado - Efrain Hernandez
Will J. Jackson – Lieutenant Carter
Lauren Noble – Carmen
Shaun Rey - Thug #1






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Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Remember Me/ Remember Me Too” Photos

Here are advance photos for the 2-episode season 19 finale of Law & Order SVU “Remember Me / Remember Me Too” which will air on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 9PM ET on NBC. . The photos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino, Brian Linden as Perp, Eddie Hargitay as Eddie Montero, Carlos Miranda as Miguel Lopez, Chris Beetem as Alan Buckley, Kelly Deadmon as Stephanie Buckley, Genesis Rodriguez as Lourdes Vega, and Benito Martinez as Santino Rojas.


My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Remember Me/ Remember Me Too” can be found at this link.


Update May 21, 2018 - Photos from "Remember Me Too" have been added below.
Update May 24, 2018 - More photos added below.

These photos are listed as being from "Remember Me": 









Photos by: Scott Gries/NBC 2018 NBCUniversal Media, LLC



These photos are listed as being from "Remember Me Too": 













Photos by: Scott Gries/NBC 2018 NBCUniversal Media, LLC







Photos by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC 2018 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Added May 24, 2018







Photos by: Scott Gries/NBC 2018 NBCUniversal Media, LLC


Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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

Law & Order SVU “Remember Me / Remember Me Too” Sneak Peeks

Here are 3 preview clips from the 2-episode season 19 finale of Law & Order SVU “Remember Me / Remember Me Too” which will air on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 9PM ET on NBC. The videos feature Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, and Peter Scanavino.


My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Remember Me/ Remember Me Too” can be found at this link.


Please note: These videos have a limited life and may be removed at any time, so catch them while you can!




SVU_19023Clip1_h264_hd from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.



SVU 19023Clip2_h264_sd_16x9 from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.




SVU 19023Clip4_h264_sd_16x9 from Chris Zimmer on Vimeo.




Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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