Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dann Florek To Exit Law & Order SVU

Dann Florek will be departing Law & Order SVU in an episode to air in January 2014. His character, Captain Don Cragen, has to retire, in keeping with the NYPD mandatory retirement regulations which mandates retirement before one's 63rd birthday. As of this writing, Dann has been credited on more Law & Order brand episodes than any other actor in the brand’s history (this includes his 3 year stint with Law & Order). He is one of my all time favorite Law & Order and Law & Order SVU characters - and he will be greatly missed!

Here’s Dann’s tweet on the subject:

Here’s a link to the story. Released by E Online ” Law & Order: SVU Prepares for Shakeup—Dann Florek's Cragen Is Leaving the Show”

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Linda F. said...

Wow. I haven't been watching the show long--only since Danny and Kelli came on board--but Cragen quickly became one of my favorites. I'll miss him. I hope, like Richard Belzer is evidently supposed to do, he comes back for occasional appearances.

They can't move Benson up; she's only just qualified as a sergeant, right? I wouldn't mind if they brought Adam Baldwin back. I liked him in the couple episodes he was in, when Cragen was in prison.

DewieTheBear said...

@Linda, Adam Baldwin would make a great permanent cast member. I'd love to see him come back.

Petra S said...

Yeah I'll miss him too. Bunches. There will never be a better captain. But I am also curious to see who they bring in. I was thinking Adam Baldwin too, he's kinda stiff though. How about Blair Underwood? I'd love to see him on the show even if I do picture someone a bit older.

gahks said...

So this leaves Mariska as the only original cast member going into season 16? Nooooo!

I hope for two things: (i) Cragen gets a better sendoff than Munch did; (ii) Leight et al. have a damn good replacement in store. May I suggest a female boss to shake up the cast dynamics?

BrokenRose said...

I think he's going to get shot and die in the Amaro's 180 episode. Just putting it out there that I called it if it happens, lol. ;)

Not that I want it to happen, you understand. I'd be super devastated! But in trying to read between the lines of the tweets from the writers, this is my predicion.

Cardinal said...

(Hope this makes sense. Been seriously under the weather, thus not my usual analytical self.)

As much as I'd hate to see Cragen killed, I could certainly see what BrokenRose (beautiful name, btw) absolutely happening for a variety of reasons:

1. I'm under an NDA with a client not to disclose what has been happening behind the scenes, but we all have an inkling there was much more to Richard's departure than the eye could see. It could very well be the same with Dann, whom I also dearly love (and hope to meet someday).

2. My intuition tells me WL is under a GREAT deal more pressure than usual to bring in top ratings for the show, since the bar was set extremely high by the season premiere. Again, I'm sure this isn't news among *us,* because we're ALL very intelligent fans of this show -- one of the things that makes our fandom so fulfilling. To have Cragen fatally shot would cause a definite spike in ratings.

I used to joke with the writers, "DO NOT get John shot!" and I'm glad they didn't kill off the character of Munch, although I truly doubt we'll see him back. My opinion is, the whole "we'll have him back" spin was NBC trying to mitigate the fact Richard's exit greatly upset a LOT of people.

3. I, too, would like to see Mr. Baldwin back as Captain of the squad, because I think he infused a temp character with a great deal of potential.

4. Promoting Benson to sergeant is a very good thing, not only because with the character's longevity it's absolutely logical, but because it can open new possibilities for her as she tries to 'carry water' for both a new captain and her squad. It's also something that can be mined very deeply, i.e. regarding Amaro's feelings about his partner outranking him, etc.

I'm sorry I haven't been around much lately, because CZ's site is where I've always felt safe to talk as openly as possible about what *could* (or did) happen on the show. I still very much love SVU despite Richard no longer being on it, and a HUGE shout out to CZ's *excellent* recaps or I would be seriously out of the loop. (Family obligations have increased, the new job has been wonderful with a steep learning curve, and I've been developing a new show that's VERY different from anything currently airing...then I was slammed by strep.) I'm trying to say, I miss you all and always look forward to your comments on SVU because they're so well thought out.

Happy Holidays and let's look forward to a bright 2014 -- in which Benson puts "The Beast" away for the rest of his life! :)

(Apologies for typos.)

Chris Zimmer said...

Cardinal - first of all, I hope you feel better soon!

I hope Cragen is not killed. Not just because I would hate to see that happen to him, but because it's been done too much in the L&O brand when characters leave. (Sgt. Greevey - shot and killed; Sgt. Cerreta - shot and then decided to resign; Det. Green - shot (so Jesse Martin could take a leave to work on the "Rent" movie); Cpt. Danny Ross - killed. Cragen is out in the field so infrequently as of late so if they do send him out for something, it may signal something bad may happen to him, though.

The only death that really shocked me in the L&O brand was ADA Borgia (Annie Parisse) when she was bound and murdered and left to die in the trunk of a car.

Cragen is a lot like Lennie Briscoe - very beloved by fans, and most would likely want to see him make it to retirement in once piece. Hopefully, there will be more "meat" to his exit than they gave to Munch - and I hope Cragen will live to tell about it!

Cardinal said...

Thank you, Chris. Not sure I'll be ready for the family's Christmas revelry, but I'm working hard to kick this bug. :) I have to cook on the big day, so I'd better "Suck it up, Buttercup!" ;)

It would be lazy writing to send Cragen out into the field just to be killed. Since WL took over, I've seen a LOT less of that lazy writing; it often seemed Baer used simple plot devices far too often. At times, NB seemed to think SVU fans weren't deep thinkers -- and he was very wrong.

I had forgotten all the times characters were shot/killed in the franchise, but wow...the bodies have stacked up over the years! I never forget Greevey; he was always a favorite of mine. I also miss Cpt. Ross.

Cragen *is* a lot like Briscoe, whom I miss terribly. My feeling is, Cragen has been through so much already: his friends/coworkers get shot/killed/investigated by IAB and sent away, or they retire like JM, he's lost his beloved wife in one of the worst possible ways, he's grappled with alcoholism, he's been under the scrutiny of IAB more than almost anyone else in the department, he lost his "Rabbi" when the previous Chief of D's left, he's risked his career and pension more times than I can remember (for detectives who didn't always have much gratitude; ANGRY Stabler, I'm lookin' at YOU, yes YOU!), and when's the last time the poor guy got out on the golf course?

Munch's exit was very hyped, yet it was ultimately one of the BIGGEST letdowns in SVU history. (Yeah, I went there. I said it. I blame NBC, rather than WL.) Cragen deserves better, and -- like you said -- I want him to live to tell about it.

Oh, I don't think I ever said this publicly but I figured out why my SVU spec wasn't able to be used: The exit for JM had already been written, probably MUCH earlier than when I gave the spec to RB as a birthday gift this year. No worries, though; as the fantastically talented fanfic authors here know, nothing is ever wasted when you're a writer. :)

DewieTheBear said...

@Cardinal, thanks for the feedback. I've been binge-watching the Dennis Farina seasons and boy, he really never had a chance following Jerry (plus, the writing in season fifteen really seemed to decline drastically). Yet still, I really loved him in that role. The season sixteen episode "Ghosts" was absolute award-caliber work by Farina (as was Merkerson's in "Acid," another off-format actor showcase). I think bringing in a character out of the blue will end up as much a challenge for Cragen's replacement as much as it was for Orbach's.

I've been a Baldwin fan since way way way back - like, My Bodyguard days - and I thought he was a great addition during his brief stint. I hope he gets a chance to reprise the character (and for what it is worth, pass on the support his casting has among superfans!).

Cheers and happy holidays, hope you feel better soon :)

Bazzil Bozz said...

63 is too young to retire! I don't get it, it's mostly a desk job. I think he could go to 93.