Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Diane Neal Returns to SVU for One Episode

TVLine reports that Diane Neal will return to Law & Order SVU for one episode, reprising her role as Casey Novak. (Dick Wolf also confirmed this via Twitter, saying ”Yes, it is true Diane Neal will return to #SVU for one episode this spring.”

Stay tuned, I'm sure more details will be coming at a later date!

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Anonymous said...

The only actress that should be returning is Stephanie March.

Anonymous said...

Strange . .. I thought that Diane Neal's leaving the first time was not amicable and that she felt she wasn't treated well.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see how they will bring her back. I grew to like her quite a bit. The details of her departure from the show was (and is) a bit murky, it was handled badly by TPTB though, IMO. Odd they just approach her now to come back for only one show a few months after she moved to LA.

Stephanie March was my favorite ADA, but she is done with the show for good now according to her husband on twitter. Alex just wasn't the same to me after she came back though. Hopefully they handle DN's return better.

Lastly, I hope they start treating Melissa Sagemiller better. She's done a good job with the little they've given her, but they treat her like an afterthought. I wouldn't blame her if she left at the end of the season when her deal is over, even though I'd love to see her stay full time.

Osiris said...

Oh, my god. I just died.

daniel said...

this is great news, i really didnt like her departure from the show, so it should be interesting to see come back. But i do hope that Sagemiller still sticks around beyond this season (if they can renew it) and they actually start showing her more.

Esaul said...

Wow, this is great, especially since a bunch of us were talking about Diane Neal a few weeks back. I'm excited.

gahks said...

Yes this is somewhat exciting... but I feel like this is just more of Neal Baer's guest star gimmickry, considering she's only appearing for one episode.

Angrywolf said...

well yes Diana wasn't well treated A shame.I hope she isn't being brought back to be killed as anther victim.That would be cruel and just seem to be payback by the producers.

Esaul said...

I doubt they will kill her off.

mikefnlogan said...

interesting news, although i can already feel this episode setting a new bar for SVU melodrama.

i was hoping they'd bring lake back for one show (kinda tough since he's in prison, but whatever). i think i was the only one out there who really liked him and enjoyed the episodes where he had at least a moderate role.

Milli said...

The ONE episode I liked Lake was the one where that dirty FBI Agent blew her head off and he was there 'in a way' for Liv (throughout the whole case).

Since (Diane) Neal left, we've been lacking in the courtroom aspect of SVU.

I think that's why a lot of people liked "Branded" this season (I didn't really). SVU stories are not that good w.o some court scenes

Jojo said...

I'm excited about this. I always thought Novak wasn't as good as Cabot, but ever since we've had a revolving door of less than stellar ADA's, I've developed a real appreciation for Novak.

I hope this means we'll also be treated to some Judith Light, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

or some John Cullum (Defense/Judge Barry Moredock) Jojo.

We've often seen Cabot/Novak working with Moredock on cases where justice needed to trumph law! I'd love to see Sagemiller's character be on an SVU case where Moredock's judge. (I miss the old SVU days)

Cabot has, Greylek, Paxton, Marlowe, I want Gill (or Jill) to be next. Her name is spelled Gillian so... with a 'G'.

Anonymous said...

i want to know y svu is still on wednesdays at 10.9c?

i'm done watching svu cause i can not catch it.

i need it to be on tuesdays at 10.9c

when does lola come back if it does come back.

nbc > NoBody Cares

Anonymous said...

im watching nbc right now and the late night programs are on. i just saw a lola promo, seen it before.

it just said 'l&o: la, only on nbc'.

it had the 2pac song in it.

any word on svu return

mikefnlogan said...

sorta off-topic, but does anyone know exactly how many episodes are planned for this season? bully was #18 and aired a week ago. last season had 24 total episodes but #18 (bedtime) didn't air till a month later.

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled to hear that Diane Neal will return as Casey for one ep this season on SVU.She was disbarred at the end of S9 over that cop-killing incident with Det.Chester Lake,so I'm curious as to why her character would be reinstated as ADA for just one episode.I think the writing and the courtroom scenes with Novak and some of the judges were some of the best writing on that show,as well as the dynamics she had with the SVU team itself..I can't wait!

mikefnlogan said...

who said she was being reinstated as ADA? my guess is that some clown she previously convicted for whatever is out of jail, behaving badly, and wants some revenge. the team investigates as usual, somebody makes the link, novak shows her face halfway through, benson and stabler protect her while also catching up, blah blah blah.

Esaul said...

Well, I think she's being reinstated as ADA. She was only suspended for nine months, so it's logical for her to come back as a ADA.

LOLA will be returning to NBC, it's just a matter of when. And just so we're clear on that matter, it wasn't NBC's decision to pull the show from the schedule, that was Wolf Films, because they wanted to retool the show. NBC had no part in that. So let's stop blaming the network, despite how bad it is, m'kay? NBC will be bringing back LOLA because it was one of the best rated new shows of the season.

SVU will be back March 23rd, so we have a little bit of a wait. I'm not sure how many episodes the season will have, but I would assume somewhere in that ball park.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get that she was only suspended for 9 months? Greylek said she was disbarred in Confession. In New York that means waiting 7 years to petition for reinstatement. Not that TPTB at SVU pay any attention to the laws of New York.

Esaul said...

I'm going by what Judge Donnelly told Casey in that one scene, she was telling her that she would be facing nine months suspension, or worse. So I've been going under that assumption that she got nine months, I actually don't recall Greylek saying anything about Novak in that episode, but at the same time I've only seen it once, and it was a bit back, so my memory could easily be fuzzy. I'll take a look at it now.

Anonymous said...

The scene from Cold between Novak and Donnelly went as follows:
# Casey Novak: You wanted to see me, Judge Donnelly?
# Judge Donnelly: Yes. The um, the DA is declining to refile charges against Thomas Krane.
# Casey Novak: He raped and murdered Alissa Hernandez and he gets to keep his badge?
# Judge Donnelly: Because of your actions, Counselor.
# Casey Novak: With all due respect, ma'am, this doesn't concern you.
# Judge Donnelly: It does now. (hands her a file)
# Casey Novak: I'm being called before the bar.
# Judge Donnelly: At my insistence.
# Casey Novak: Why?
# Judge Donnelly: Because you lost perspective. And because I sit on the peer review board and I cannot allow you to commit a Brady violation and lie to the court without consequence.
# Casey Novak: The reports weren't finished, Your Honor! I sent them back!
# Judge Donnelly: You lied to Petrovsky and now you're lying to me. The lab reports were dated and stamped! We are all civil servants, Casey! No one is falling on their sword for you! (pauses) What I want to know is why.
Casey Novak: (calmly) Because the bad guys can't always win. He deserved to pay.
Judge Donnelly: And so do you.
Casey Novak: How much trouble am I in?
Judge Donnelly: Censure. Possible suspension.
Casey Novak: For how long?
Judge Donnelly: Censure. Possible suspension.
Casey Novak: For how long?
Judge Donnelly: A year. Maybe more.
Casey Novak: (starts to cry) What should I do?
Judge Donnelly: Something else.

Esaul said...

Why am I thinking nine months? I just saw that last week when I last talked about it. -_-

And I watched the other episode, and yeah she was disbarred, which is a bit disappointing. But who knows what can happen. I mean for her to come back, she doesn't have to be a ADA. When Benjamin Bratt came back for an episode of L&O, he wasn't acting as a homicide detective.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately from the latest news, Novak will be coming back as an ADA.
Alternate Universe ahoy.

Anonymous said...

The only good thing about spoilers is that the viewers know which episodes to avoid. This is definitely an episode worth missing.

Esaul said...

Well from what I've been researching, I can't find anything that says that someone who has been disbarred can't like 'fix things' or however you want to call it. Also in my reading, I found out two things, first it's very rare for disbarrment, and second, she can be disbarred from the Manhattan jurisdiction, but still practice law in another jurisdiction, depending on the state and what not.

Esaul said...

According to a user's comment on TVLine, it is possible for her disbarrment to be overturned, and the U.S. Supreme Court says: "When there has been an abuse of discretion" so, I guess we have to see if that's the case, or if there's another explanation given.

Anonymous said...

Novak was disbarred by the New York Bar Association even if it was the Manhattan chapter that had the actual hearing. She is prevented from practicing law or even working in a law office anywhere in New York while disbarred. Even if another state allowed her to be admitted to their bar, New York still wouldn't allow her to try a case in New York.
But Novak was disbarred for a Brady violation. That's a big ethical violation and she didn't seem terribly sorry about doing it. Having her removed form the practice doesn't seem like an abuse of discretion.
It will be interesting to hear how TPTB will handle this.

Joe S. Walker said...

I always liked Casey/Diane, but I suspect this will be a case of "you can't go home again".

Anonymous said...

i agree because it was pretty much a fail when Stephanie/Alex came back. The old magic was gone and she really didn't add much. they also never really dealt with why cabot left in the first place. I guess I would be more interested in Casey's return if it was for more than just one episode. Now I am just like too little too late.

Anonymous said...

To All things- out of curiosity what's your opinion on Diane Neal's/Casey Novak's return?

Osiris said...

There's a big difference between the Stephanie March/Diane Neal situation...Diane actually *wants* to come back. Rapid Cabot fans absolutely refuse to accept that she does not enjoy the role, anymore. She didn't enjoy the long hours that it required to do the show...that's why she isn't coming back. Take a look at her post SVU interviews and read between the lines. Better yet, take a look at her season 11 performance...talk about phoning it in...

Anonymous said...

Better yet, take a look at her season 11 performance...talk about phoning it in...

There is nothing wrong with her performance. It was the material that was terrible. I agree that Stephanie March's return was a dissapointment but it wasn't her fault. They gave her crap material, they never addressed the issues concerning her time away and she had very, very little screen time. She was promised an interesting story arc to return but that never happened. I don't blame for not wanting to come back. But she will always be the best ADA that past through SVU. Diane Neal's return is just not interesting.

All Things Law and Order said...

To anonymous at 10:19 - I'm indifferent about her return. In general, I like it when any of the L&O brand shows bring back characters for repeat appearances. I'm a little curious - if she really is returning as a character either as a prosecuting or defense lawyer - as to how they will work around the disbarment issue.

When Diane left the show I wasn't bothered by it because I just never got attached to her character. It was the same way when Stephanie March left - it didn't bother me. While I think the show could use a solid ADA presence, for me SVU has always been more about the detectives than about the ADAs. I was more disappointed to hear that Terrence Howard is going to cross over to SVU in that same episode - I hope the story won't seem too forced to fit in these characters,

Esaul said...

I agree it had to do with the writers. Stephanie's performance has never disappointed me before. She's one of my favorite ADAs,and I do wish she'd come back for another episode or so. She was even better on Conviction, especially when we got to see more of her in a different light. I also love Diane Neal, so I'm excited for her reappearance. As I understand Howard's just coming back due to a case that has to do with a friend, and he's helping out or something, I think he's just gonna have an appearance, not like he can actually have a court room scene or anything since he passed the bar for the state of California. I am interested in how Diane's gonna fit back into the show after she's been disbarred. I do agree SVU's a bit more about the detectives, but there's been a little too much of that, especially where Elliot/Olivia are concerned. Lately they've been doing a bit better with it, but still. There used to be a nice balance of cases that focused on the detectives, on the case, and a little bit of both.

Anonymous said...

SVU is crazy when it comes down to the cops, the cases, and the ADAs.

We've seen too many ADAs pass through. Instead of bringing back March in season 11. They should have settled for Christine Lahti to join the cast. We wouldn't have had to suffer through an overly-promoted episode like "Pursuit".

Too much of the cops are seen on SVU. Never anything on the victims (guest stars) like it used to be.

Always Benson/Stabler and Fin. No full time CSU Tech since Doyle left. We've seen less of Munch, Huang, and Warner and it's getting on my nerves.

Maybe the Neal/Novak return will give SVU some normalcy (I feel another bad Alex Cabot come-back).

gahks said...

Quit the stunt casting Neal! I agree, this smells of too little, too late and JUMP THE SHARK.

At least if you're going to bring (Diane) Neal back: (i) don't make the plotline too forced so that it seems like Novak is shoehorned in; (ii) have her stay longer. We could do with a more visible ADA presence on the show, be it Diane Neal or Melissa Sagemiller. If Neal had a multi-episode arc as Novak (either in a straight run or alternating appearances with Sagemiller), there'd be some potential for subplots, character development and the like, potential worth exploiting to get the show moving in a new direction. 'SVU' is showing its age; the writers are going to have to be more radical if they want to ensure the show's longevity.

Anonymous said...

I 'heard' some of the SVU (and LOLA) writers have recently got fired. - Hopefully Baer won't be the only one on the writing staff departing.

I hope Wolf doesn't go shopping NCIS or CSI for writers like he did with LOCI in the ninth season. And SVU: Speed Weed came from NCIS!

When SVU 'reclaimed it's rightful home': it lost all balance. It needs Tuesday 10/9c and Wednesday 9/8c IMO.

Anonymous said...


Enough with you saying everything is a jump the shark moment!!!! I've seen multiple comments you posted stating that this or that is a jump the shark moment! Bringing back Diane Neal is in my opinion a smart move on behalf of TPTB! And you haven't even seen the episode yet!!!!! So stop judging it when you have absolutely no idea what is or is not going to happen! And of course the show is showing its age, its been on air for 12 years for gods sake but it has remained strong! try putting yourself in the writers positions, obviously after such a long period of time, they are going to hit rough patches but the fact that SVU had been on air for so long should say something about the quality of the show so either appreciate it or just don't watch it!!!

kate said...

@Anonymous (03/03/11 - 10:00PM,

Get off of gahks! Gahks is right, SVU's storylines have indeed gone off base and they have been off since the 8th season. Maybe Neal Baer departing is a good thing, Neal listens to the EO shippers on Twitter. And that is why Cabot came back last year, Paxton is dead, and Diane Neal is coming back.

Baer has listen to his twitter chanters for too long and it'll soon be over unless the next SR will have a Twitter/Facebook.

We've all watch SVU deteriorate at a fast pace but I will say this season was better than last season. Although out of SVU's 'season 8-present' rough patch I'd say season 10 was the best one. At least at the time the writers seemed to give some care. I dare anyone to say the episode "Pursuit" was the best of the season: they'd be lying!

This season it's been Liv this-Stabler that... I am royally pissed at the SVU writers because they KNOW the show is not supposed to lean on one (or two) main characters w/o the others. If you ask me, Melissa Sagemiller is on SVU to take up time she has not had an episode to explore her role like S. March and D. Neal!

I am outraged at any SVU fan who says this current season is a good one. The last GOOD season of SVU was season 6.

So EO, AO, EG shippers with a vengance > get OFF YOUR SOAPBOX! What happens if Chris/Mariska decide not to renew contracts?

Yeah, Wolf is gonna keep SVU on! So bye bye EO shippers. That why SVU needs to go back to being strict, yet dramatic.

That's why we stopped seeing Richard Belzer. I feel he and Ice-T will be taking over SVU after Mariska/Chris leave and it'll suit me just fine!

And Neal Baer... he can literally kick rocks... I dobut SVU fans will pay attention to him around August/Sept. of 2011 if SVU gets renewed... IF!

I wish NBC would cancel SVU like they did L&O!

Anonymous said...

To: Esual, mikefnlogan, gahks, Osiris, kate, and Angrywolf...

I said E/O, E/O, E/O, E/O, E/O! I want some E/O, E/O, E/O, E/O, E/O! E/O, E/O, E/O, E/O, E/O!

I want Elliot to bust Liv WIDE OPEN! BAM BAM!! E/O, E/O, E/O!

I want to see Liv "LICK IT!" and stick that boot up his ***!

E/O, E/O, E/O, E/O, E/O!!!!!!!!


I'm goin to @NealBaer AND @WolfFilms

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:17 AM

Mariska has said NO to EO. Just read her tvguide interview.

Dick Wolf has been saying NO to EO for 12 years.

Katie is right. BYE- BYE EO shippers.

Anonymous said...

Kate, I agree with a lot of what you say. The whole E/O thing is just bizarre to me. I have never understood how 2 middle-aged detectives, one married with children the other seemingly uninterested in having a personal life would capture the attention of these E/O'ers. The show is about sex crimes not teenage romance. Go watch a vampire show instead.

But i have to disagree with you on the Munch and Fin deal. Those two could never carry the show. Munch is too old and Icet isnt that great of an actor. I think when Benson and Stabler go the show will go down fast.

mikefnlogan said...

Anon @ 3:06 --- That's exactly it, the two of them are so incompatible, unlikely, and ill-suited for a romantic relationship of their own, that it's the perfect pairing for those clowns to dream about. The one thing the two of them do have is sex appeal. We all want what we can't have, and I doubt any of the shippers believe they'll ever actually see it. No one would give a shit now if the two had shown a definite hint of attraction towards each other at any point.

As for SVU post-E/O, it'd be tough to bring in a fresh lead at this point, but not impossible. It's a shame Noth said he was done with L&O, I always thought Special Victims was right up Logan's alley, he had the right mix of smarts/worldliness and anger/toughness to be really solid in SVU. But he never even got a crossover appearance.

I'm just pissed at the lack of Ice-T stories we've gotten this year. The guy himself may not be the greatest actor, but he does just fine for what his character entails, and I find his character interesting and enjoyable because he's so grounded and stoic, but he does have a soft side really deep in there. He knows the rules, and he wants justice for the douchebags as much as anyone, but he's not going to be a hero and bend the rules and fuck things up for his captain and his department, like Stabler's done multiple times. He could be a capable lead if it was solely a matter of quality, and not of ratings (which would most likely plummet without EO).

If it did come to that, we'd probably see the next showrunner trying to 'hood up SVU quite a bit, and no one wants that. But the tough guy who stays in line and has a seldom-seen soft side can succeed, NCIS pwns the ratings with Gibbs, one of the biggest hardasses out there in police procedurals, of course they have the benefit of Mark Harmon.

mikefnlogan said...

Did I mention that Diane Neal is cute as hell in that picture?

Anonymous said...

Agreed , that is the best that I have ever seen Diane Neal look. They always dressed her so fugly on SVU. I think they tried to mold her into Cabot and that never worked. the blonde hair was particularly ugly. I find it interesting that she is coming back, and only for one episode. She was treated pretty poorly when she left last time.

Ice-T is good in a supporting role but anytime he tries to carry the lead he's pretty bad. See "Anchor" if in doubt. But really I don't think the problem with SVU is any of the actors - but the lousy writing the last several years. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that this show is going to end soon and probably should.

Esaul said...

Age has nothing to do with being able to lead. Look at the great Jerry Orbach if you'd like an example. Look at how many years he successfully put into the mothership, and when he was part of TBJ. During his time on the show, the ratings were doing quite well. So that rules out the age factor right there for you. Belzer has the same capabilities if he's given the chance. He's been in a little more than a dozen shows as Detective Munch, he originates from Homicide before SVU came into the picture. He has great chemistry with Ice-T, who, as we've agreed on, isn't the greatest actor, but he has a character that he plays well and with conviction for the most part. A lot of the cases that dealt with Ice-T brought a lot of Fin's character out. Sure, SVU will drop in ratings if they leave 'cause of the E/O shippers, personally so be it. They're only watching to see something that will never happen, they don't care as much (they still might care but not to the same extent) about the cases/stories.

Angrywolf said...

Orbach was great.A classic performer whom I miss very much.

I doubt Wolf will be able to pay for both Maloni and Hargitay.One of them will be gone eventually.

Diana does look beautiful.I liked her and March equally well.March would rather be Mrs Bobby Flay and appear on one of his cooking shows occasionally.I don't blame her.She was treated poorly at the end.

The show needs a dynamic ADA and give him/her good lines and good action as an equal partner with the detectives.
That's one reason CI went down, because they did away with the ADA position and the show suffered as a result.

I don't want Neal to be killed in some phony episode as a victim so I hope they don't go that route again.
She needs to be allowed to leave with dignity.

CLA said...

SE Munch and Fin took command of SVU, in place of Eliot / Olivia the show does not last a year. Belzer and Ice-T does not have the charisma and talent of Chris and Mariska.Não understand why so much fuss about a possible connection Elliot / Olivia. The fans know that this will never happen. But what is the problem of a simple hug between the two? or disguised to appear as both acting together? What matters are good stories and it still has SVU. Twelve years on the air shows the strength of the show. What age do not show lost viewers? And I have no doubt. SVU is still there thanks to Chris and Mariska.

CLA said...

@ frutiger2966

Mariska Hargitay has nearly 50 years (with the face of 30) but not Olivia. And man, despite his age does not lose the capacity to love. I would love to see Olivia with love. She is so generous and humane. She deserves it. And the series may have their crimes, but in the background show a little of the personal lives of actors. They are human beings, not animals. What distinguishes humans from animals is just that. We are endowed with feelings like love and passion. And Olivia has a great capacity to love. That need not necessarily be the Elliot.

Anonymous said...

Well what is truly interesting - and can only happen in the land of L&O continuity - is that they have said on a couple of occasions that Novak "was disbarred" for her Brady violation in her last episode, that she is coming back as ADA Novak. Guess she must have got her license back then.

ezepeze11 said...

i love Casey Novak! She was my favorite ADA on the show and i am very very exited to see her come back!! Everyone should stop hating. I am exited she is coming back, but sad it is just for one episode. Maybe it will turn out to be full time? Here's hoping...