Today, I had the opportunity to participate in a group conference call with some of the key players from Law & Order LA: Executive Producer Dick Wolf, and show stars Alfred Molina and Alana De La Garza. The excitement is building for the 2 hour re-launch of Law & Order LA on April 11, 2011 (starting at 9 PM ET) and it was very clear that Dick, Alfred, and Alana were charged up about where the show is headed. Personally, the more I hear Alfred Molina talk about the show and his character, the more I like him and believe he will be just what the first half of the show needs. I also think that Alana will bring a much needed spark to the second half - I'm thrilled she is back with the brand.
Here are some of the highlights from the questions that were asked:
Regarding the violent nature of these upcoming two episodes for the series re-launch, Dick Wolf commented, “…this was a watershed episode for us. The last time a cop was killed on Law & Order was George Dzundza after the first season. We don’t do it lightly. And this is a really bad guy so the violence seemed completely justified and mirrors exactly what has been happening certainly in just south of the border and at times in the United States.” Dick also added that he is grateful to NBC’s Bob Greenblatt for the chance to retool. Bob had “had some problems with the show and he specifically had some problems in the front half that he just didn’t think it was clicking the way it should.” Dick also added that adding Alana De LA Garza to the show was an “opportunity to put her in [that] we felt was too good to pass up.”
When Dick was asked about the logistics of now having both Terrence Howard and Alfred Molina in each episode rather than alternating episodes, he indicated it was “more work but more predictable...it’s really a dream to have both these guys on screen every episode."
When Alfred Molina was asked about his move from the courtroom to the streets
he commented that when Dick pitched the idea, part of him was a “little surprised but very excited at the notion” calling it a “very bold, very audacious step and I think it was something that was bound to create a great deal of interest and excitement.” On a personal level, he was thrilled by the idea, adding “I love to work. I’m just one of those actors - I just like working.” He admits that working one episode on and off was “very luxurious for those of us who were able to enjoy it…I happened to blindly say one day, “I’d like more to do” and I think somebody must have reported back to the management!” Molina also seemed very energized by his characters change in jobs, adding that “from a creative point of view, it means that the character goes somewhere that has, I think, a great deal of mileage in terms of how we proceed over the next few years...”
Alana commented on the process of how she got invited back, saying someone gave her a heads up via an email which said "Hey, don't do anything rash and move on to anything. We're trying to resurrect Connie'" and the next day they made an offer. She also said moving to LOLA was “like moving into a brand new home and somebody already put everything away for you…It’s so comfortable.” She describes Connie as “…kind of sassy and smart and quick and will apologize later and will go head to head with anybody and question them… with Joe Dekker she does the exact same thing, behind closed doors will question him and discuss with him in the end,” I should mention that during the call I swear I heard baby noises in the background…cute!
Dick complimented Skeet Ulrich, saying he is “one of the nicest actors I’ve ever worked with, He is a great guy, and it is the unfortunate history of the business that when something is not working it’s my fault, it’s not the actor’s fault. Skeet has an unimpeachable record of having performed very very well in a variety of different shows, movies. He was the first person cast…the show was not performing at the level that anybody was really happy with…At some time somebody has to die so that everyone else can live, and it was a very very painful call, and it’s not something that in the abstract Skeet deserved. That’s just the way it evolved.”
I have very high hopes that the changes made will make this series much stronger and hopefully re-engage the fans and bring in new viewers!
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