Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Law & Order Los Angeles Overhaul – Ulrich, Boone, Hall Are Out


Several sources are reporting that there is a major cast shake up at Law & Order Los Angeles. The story was broken by Deadline.com who reported that Skeet Ulrich (Detective Rex Winters), Megan Boone (DDA Lauren Stanton), and Regina Hall (DDA Evelyn Price) are all out.

You can read the stories here:

Shakeup On 'LOLA' - Two Actresses Out

More 'LOLA' Shakeup - Skeet Ulrich Out Too


In my opinion, this these are all good moves. I have been on the fence about Ulrich but it seemed clear to me that Hall and Boone did not fit the show. NBC has scheduled LOLA for return on February 8, 2011. While the series is currently filming episodes, I am not sure if the show will stick with that date, or when new cast members will appear. Stay tuned!

Update January 13, 2011; TV Guide reports:
Shakeup on Law & Order: Los Angeles: Skeet Ulrich Out, Alfred Molina Now Playing a Cop

Excerpt: “Molina, who currently plays Deputy District Attorney Ricardo Morales, will jump from the courtroom to the precinct beginning with episode 15. It will be revealed that Morales was an LAPD detective for 15 years, and when he becomes frustrated with the law, he decides to return to the force as a beat cop.”

Update January 18, 2011:
NBC postpones return of Law & Order LA; date of return TBD.


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.

38 comments:

Esaul said...

I was growing to like Ulrich, but yeah it's a good move on that part I suppose. I personally loved Megan Boone and I'm sad to see her go. Hopefully they can get some talented actors to replace them though. My concern is for the people who turned into LOLA because of Ulrich, though I actually didn't know him before hand so idk how big of a factor it is for people who tuned in.

Anonymous said...

I've only seen a couple of episodes of LO :LA but from what I had seen I don't know if the actors portrayals were the only problem this show faced.It has huge brand name familiarity and therefore should have a built-in audience, but seems to struggle to find its footing.The very act that it's set and filmed in LA could be an impossible hill for them to climb, frankly.Its mothership and SVU are New York stories at the heart.Maybe they can rework the cast, but i don't think it will ever have the same dark edgy feel of the two successful L&O's.

janethyland said...

Has Blake Masters gone too,only his next episode originally called Granada and billed as episode 12 has now gone from the list and been replaced by another?

Are they changing the formula to allow for greater depth? That would be an important change, and would indicate whether they are going for something individual and different,or just more of same formula.

xfool said...

While LOLA suffers from bad writing, even if the writing was better Megan Boone would not have worked out. Same for Regina Hall. Skeet Ulrich was dull in his delivery. I really like Alfred Molina and Corey Stoll. The only mistake - they should have cut Terrence Howard loose too. His quivery voice doesn't work very well for a DDA role.
I would like to see Molina as DA (forget Peter Coyote) nad have Howard's character work for him.

Shelly said...

I won't be sorry to see either of the actresses go. I don't know if it was them, the writing, or a bad combination of both, but neither made any substantial impact on the show. Even the worst of the ADAs on the Mothership played an important part of the story most weeks, but not these characters.

Like Esaul, I didn't know Skeet before this role, but I liked his interplay with Corey Stoll and thought they made a good team. I'm sorry to see him go.

I think anonymous (at 8:19) hit the nail on the head. I think the problem with drawing an audience is bigger than the actors. While it does follow the L&O format, it doesn't feel like a L&O show; rather it feels like just another in a very long line of cop shows based in the LA/S. Cali area. I felt like I learned something about NYC from watching the Mothership and SVU all these years, but I really don't feel as if I've learned anything new about LA. And as the return of Southland has shown us, good, gritty, well-done shows about LA can be done, it's just not being done with LOLA.

Alphamutt said...

I like Corey Stoll, but every other cast regular kind of leaves me cold.Terrence Howard is way too dispassionate in this role, and Skeet Ulrich is like dead actor walking. There are lots of out of work character actors that can fill these roles and play them well. Bring it on!

Dalton said...

Well, this "creative overhaul" is probably going to decide whether or not LOLA gets a second season or not. Maybe if they introduce new characters and step up the quality on the writing (And for Pete's sake, we need a REAL opening theme, not a 5 second bumper!), maybe LOLA can turn out to be a true "Law & Order" show. To me, like Shelly said, LOLA feels like a generic LA cop show. It doesn't really capture the "Law & Order" feel, but hopefully these new batch of episodes will fix that.

Matt said...

This can't be good for renewal prospects when your ditching the original cast mid-season.

I like the show but I think Terrence Howard overacts and he stays? I liked Megan Boone and she's out, what do I know?

And Skeet was the very first hire and he's out. It seems NBC rushed this and didn't really test it out beforehand.

If this show is one and done, I just wish they would have stood by and gave the Mothership one last season to bow out on top of Gunsmoke and to close the storylines of the case.

andie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
andie said...

I say just cancel LOLA and bring back the original--with the same cast. There was nothing wrong with them and I really enjoyed seasons 18-20. Then again, I am biased.

chris said...

Skeet Ulrich was the ONLY reason I was watching. The writing was BOOOORING. Molina, Stoll and Ulrich were the only likable aspects to this show. No title cards, no promotion, no strong lead in, on a crummy Network. And they wonder why ratings were low???

I had to force myself each week to watch and the only reason I did was because i missed Skeet on tv each week. I would fast forward to his parts to be honest. I agree that his CHARACTER was dull, but for people who know his work on other shows, like the BRILLIANT short-lived MIRACLES, or even Jericho, he was very engaging and 'real'. That is what is most likable about him. He isn't melodramatic, but most viewers like when emotion is boiled down to cartoon character one-dimensionality and that is a sad loss for the art of acting. It is always hard to play the 'straight' man on a show, especially when the writing is bland and forced.

Anonymous said...

LOLA in season one just get about 13 episode's order, and seems that they're already filmed 12 episodes, so maybe this revamped's affect will appear on next season(only if they can get the renewal)

Anyway, LOLA comes from a rushed and carelessness production. I just hope they wouldn't make another mistake on this actor issue.

janethyland said...

Nikki Finke has more information on her site.
Howard and Molina will be in every episode and sometimes seen together. Its an interesting contrast of actor.

Having one ADA will allow for better development in that role.

LOLA might get its own identity from these changes.It has to stand on its own as a show and not just be a copy of something past.Different place,different time,difficult world.

Im curious

John Doe said...

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Shakeup-Law-Order-1027629.aspx

This is a joke,right? All Things?Wolf let Molina play a cop? I won't leave the show for Skeet, but this "ADA turn cop" story just go too far!

All Things Law and Order said...

John Doe - Yeah, that does seem to be a bit of a left turn (it's no joke, though). Mollina will be great as a detective but I also think he would have been great as the lead DDA. Terrence Howard just is not working for me. In fact, while I was not suprised at the overhaul of the show, I was shocked that Terrence Howard still kept his job.

Esaul said...

I think that's an interesting idea, and I'm looking forward to it.

janethyland said...

Terrence Howard does have a big following and remains controversial,much as Goren was in the initial years.Its not an easy role...but he and Molina together will be better than he and Molina apart!

I liked Molina in Harbor City and hope he keeps some of those elements as a cop....the profession might change more than the character.Its a bit exciting for Molina to move from lawyer to cop!Hows that for acting skills.

Female lawyers can be so much more interesting than those presented to us so far on LOLA. Over here recently there was the case of David Burgess who worked as a famous human rights lawyer,but lived as a woman called Sonia.Now thats character!Check it out. Its an interesting situation....maybe it influenced that episode in LOCI about transexual lawyer?

Wolf seems to develop his shows on the hoof,especially since he was green lit without a pilot.Those actors need danger money!

janethyland said...

Giggle. I have a neice who looks like a beautiful blonde model,but who is a lawyer.When she goes out to the pub she tells everyone she works at the make-up counter in Boots "because thats what people expect!"

She says she is happy to date the men but lives alone because "she doesnt want the permanent smell of boy in her house"!

She is a character too!

janethyland said...

oh, she plays the saxaphone too.
All real, no stereotype.

jj said...

As someone else wrote on another site.... this smells of flop sweat and desperation. Just plain idiotic. DA turns cop? Does he sprout 6 more limbs and fight a giant spider too? Molina is too good for this crap. The producers should be fired.

Matt said...

This Molina move may be the last straw for me. As I said before Howard overacts too much for my liking. I thought Molina was by far the better DA and now they are going to move him to cop? How dumb.

I have thought SVU has been in the toilet for years ever since it went away from being a true ensemble show to being the "Elliott and Olivia Chronicles," but I have stayed with it because its the Law & Order brand.

This may be the thing that drives me away from a Law & Order product and you are talking to a guy who loved L&O Trial By Jury and also watched Conviction, which was sort of Law & Order in a way.

This is just too far fetched. Why not just bring Jack McCoy to the Left Coast to be DA of LA?

That actually might be more believable!

Shelly said...

Matt, if I'm remembering the story line correctly, wasn't Jack's daughter already in Cali? So it actually MIGHT be believable that he'd move to the LA area to be closer to her, and then, lo and behold, land a job in the DA's office.... certainly more believable than the "Molina is a cop, nope, wait, he's an DA, oops, wrong again, he's a cop" dance they're going to put him, and us, through... sigh...

I won't even mention that if he really had been a cop, it probably would have come up in one the cases we've seen him in.... but of course, the writers didn't know he was an ex-cop until NOW, as desperation apparently has set in...

janethyland said...

Somebody on another site lists all the other bizarre changes Wolf has made on previous occasions.

I still dont see this is about ratings at all. LOLA is NBC's highest rated new drama...unless the Kathy Bates one overtakes it...and they must know Ulrich is a draw for the ladies...so maybe it was Ulrich who wanted out after he saw the changes.One cop had to go and Ulrich made the decision?

Even with its considerable fanbase and longevity,Law and Order Finale only got 1.9 in the key demo. All the fans must have turned out to watch that Finale, so thats the realistic number if LOLA follows mothership style. If it develops its own style it might do better.

Anonymous said...

I believe Jack McCoy's daughter was living in Maine.

Anonymous said...

McCoy's daughter lived in San Diego.

Sisto and Anderson are available - I wish they could come back!

janethyland said...

New LOLA episodes start Feb 8th.
The comedian,Bob Saget, will guest star as a porn king in an episode entitled "Van Nuys", which i think is the replaced episode 12 that used to be called Granada. Comedian/Porn king? That fits!

Theres a photo of Peter Coyote on the LOLA set on his site, www.petercoyote.com
It suggests he is still the DA.Interesting that he just completed a French telefilm,playing the head businessman of a corrupt oil company accused of pollution.Plenty of practice for the business angle in his DA role then!

I cant wait to see the jaded Coyote spar with the idealistic Howard...I think that would be a powerful contest for the actors as much as the characters.There is something about those two together as actors as well as characters.Their life experences are so different that it would be a drama in itself.They seem to epitomise two very different sides of the American experience.Youth and Age too.What an encounter that might be for both concerned.Thats a story that should be told behind the telling of the characters.

Its official! The Noir is in.They are doing a remake of Brighton Rock with Helen Mirren and John Hurt to be released this summer.

Those who enjoyed LOCI seasons 6/7 should try Warren leights new show, Lights Out. there are noticeable thematic similarities.Its as much about family dynamics and job satisfaction than boxing.Low ratings but unanimous critical acclaim...they seem to go together dont they!

gahks said...

@janet: Would love to see 'Brighton Rock' when it shows at Warwick Arts Centre later this term!

As of the Molina move... well, it's so hideous, cringeworthy and laughable, it smells of jump the shark, doesn't it? Doesn't it?

Dick Wolf and Rene Balcer can do BETTER than this! *buries head in hands*

janethyland said...

Is that the original "Brighton Rock" with Attenborough?If so, enjoy it.

Yep, the Molina move is contrived to suit circumstance....however its not unprecidented for some people,admittedly unorthodox,to change career midstream,whether it amounts to perceived demotion, or not...

Most famous example is T.E. Lawrence(Lawrence of Arabia) who was a Colonel who took himself back down to being a private in the army during first world war.

Also recent documentary here about a man who was a judge in Afghanistan but now serves meals in a school canteen in Dublin.That often happens with displacement where highly qualified people never get to use their qualifications.


Career breaks due to severe illness or motherhood etc also interrupt peoples career plans.

So actually its an interesting phenomenon that may become more common in the current economic climate where employment prospects dwindle...

Those days of clinging to career ladders that guarentee achievement or job continuity might be over!?

That is an interesting development.

janethyland said...

People who change career midstream...for whatever reason...are unconventional....but it may become the norm!
Morales did show himself to be unconventional as a lawyer so they could make the move justified.

gahks said...

@janet: No, the remake with Sam Riley and Helen Mirren, as advertised here: http://www.warwickartscentre.co.uk/events/film/brighton-rock-certificate-tbc#performance-109533/

One of the beauties of being at a uni with a professional arts venue. xD

janethyland said...

Ah!
Just heard Chris Colfer got his Globe.He is one to watch in the future. Hed also make an excellent LOLA villain!

Phillip said...

Would be fun to see Morales as a cop, am fine with the cast changes, I still see it as pretty normal for L&O Standards, renewal should be on the cards, after all NBC hasn't had much hits to rely on...

All Things Law and Order said...

Update:

NBC postpones return of Law & Order LA; date of return TBD:
http://allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com/2011/01/nbc-postpones-law-order-las-return.html

Anonymous said...

What bothers me about this is that how they are going to write out the two female ADAs? Will there be any shows with them in it after it comes back? Who will be replacing them?

Ulrich was great (I really liked him, at least, he reminded me of a young Orbach) but I have no issue with replacing the ADA's -- just not sure how.

As for Molina moving in as a cop, I suppose that's to replace Ulrich but that seems quite a leap to me. They're obviously figuring out the alternating DA's wasn't working.

All this goes to prove, of course, that there is, indeed, a "Law & Order Curse" going on at NBC. Literally EVERY SHOW, including LOLA, has had serious trouble since they cancelled the mothership.

LOLA and SVU would be gone if not for the fact they're higher rated and still better than the rest of the crap NBC is putting out.

What's hilarious is the two new shows that are actually decent -- LOLA and the Event, aren't even on right now.

God NBC is a disaster. Bring back the mothership NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

wow. i was wondering how this show was doing. ulrich was the only regular i liked. the da moves to being a cop? sad to see the dwindling final years of the franchise...

ScreamingSkin said...

Oh for gawdsake!! Skeet was THE reason I tuned in!! Bad move. Not gonna make it must see TV for me now...

Edna said...

Skeet Ulrich, out of LOLA was a big mistake, i love Skeet...

Multi Genre Music Movement said...

I've seen a few episodes and could never sit all the way through.I live in LA and the show doesn't seem accurate to what Los Angeles is like.
"The Shield" was more like the Los Angeles I know.Grittier and nastier than people think.

I even think "The Closer" captures the city well,with it's storylines and the diversity of it's cast.

Dick Wolf tried his hand at "Dragnet",which was set in Los Angeles as well,but didn't work.

I don't know if someone decided to slap the "Law and Order" tag for a show about LA and thought it would work or not.