Law & Order SVU has earned the distinction of being the first television show to be filmed on location at the United Nations. Based on the information in the press releases below, it sounds like this was for the episode titled ”Hell.” Here’s the press release from the UN News Center:
‘Law and Order’ becomes first TV series filmed at UN HQ
9 March 2009 – The historic United Nations Headquarters building in New York played a starring role in the hit television series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit this weekend.
The cast and crew of the crime drama were at the landmark east side location on Saturday, 7 March, to film scenes for an episode that involves children in armed conflict as well as refugees.
Emmy-nominated actor Christopher Meloni, who plays tough cop Detective Elliot Stabler in the show, and Stephanie March, Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot, were part of the 200 person production, which marked the first time network television has been given access to film in the historic UN building.
The episode is slated to air on Tuesday, 24 March at 10 pm Eastern Standard Time and will showcase shots of the traffic circle outside the Secretariat, the Visitor’s Entrance Plaza, and the Public Lobby.
The collaboration with NBC Universal represents the first official project under the Secretary-General’s newly established Creative Community Outreach Initiative (CCOI), which aims to raise the profile of critical global issues in partnership with the international film and television industries
Sydney Pollack’s 2005 film, The Interpreter – a political thriller featuring Nicole Kidman, a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Fund for Women (UNIFEM) – was the first feature film to be shot in the building.
Here is the press release from Reuters:
"Law & Order" first TV show to be filmed at UN
By Megan Davies
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters Life!) - U.S. television series Law & Order has become the first network television show allowed to film at the United Nations, a U.N. spokeswoman said on Monday.
Crew of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" series were at U.N. headquarters on Manhattan's East River on Saturday to film part of an episode to be broadcast March 24, U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe told reporters.
"This collaboration marks the first occasion a network television show has been granted access to film at the United Nations," she said. The episode "brings to the fore the themes of children in armed conflict as well as refugees," she said.
The United Nations has typically stayed away from the spotlight of commercial television and cinema and has a history of refusing to allow the building to be used for commercial purposes. It turned down Alfred Hitchcock's request to film in the delegates' lounge for the 1959 "North by Northwest."
But it allowed Sydney Pollack to shoot part of his 2005 film "The Interpreter," starring Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, at the greenish blue skyscraper.
Pollack started filming in March 2004 -- during the tenure of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan -- and was given access not only to the lounge but also to the General Assembly, Security Council, carpeted corridors, back rooms and gardens.
Scenes for the "Law & Order" episode were filmed at the traffic circle outside the U.N. secretariat building, the visitors entrance plaza and the public lobby, Okabe said.
Executive producer of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Neal Baer said in a telephone interview that the U.N. had been open to filming the episode since the plot centers around a child soldier from northern Uganda.
The United Nations has been stepping up efforts in recent years to halt the recruitment of child soldiers in northern Uganda and elsewhere in Africa and around the world.
"We hope the show will have some impact, and will push leaders to take a stand," Baer said.
My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Hell" can be found here.
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