A New View of L.A. on 'Law & Order: Los Angeles' - TCA Report
by Laura Prudom, posted Jul 30th 2010 4:30PM
'Law & Order' is dead -- long live 'Law & Order'! Though the veteran show, which producers affectionately refer to as "the mothership," is now officially dearly departed after two decades on the air, creator Dick Wolf is back in the saddle with 'Law & Order: Los Angeles' (or 'LOLA'), and he brought executive producers Rene Balcer and Blake Masters along with cast members Skeet Ulrich and Corey Stoll to discuss the freshman procedural.
The show will premiere on Wed., Sept. 29 at 10PM on NBC. There was no footage to be previewed, so read on for highlights from the panel.
-- Dick Wolf confirmed what many outlets had already reported: Terrence Howard will play another District Attorney alongside Alfred Molina; the pair will likely be rotating on a weekly basis, but both will be seen in the courtroom.
-- There is no hope for an eleventh (or by now, twelfth) hour save for the original 'Law & Order.' "It has moved into the history books," Wolf said.
-- On the 'Order' side, Skeet Ulrich and Corey Stoll will play LAPD detectives. Ulrich admitted that he's never seen any 'L&O' shows. His character is second-generation LAPD, he's an all-business kind of guy, married to his ex-partner, has kids from a previous marriage. Having never played a cop before, he said "I'm extremely grateful to [the LAPD] for what they do, they're honorable to the nth degree ."
-- Ulrich's wife isn't in the first episode so she hasn't been cast yet. She'll probably appear in Episode 2.
-- Stoll said that his character is the type to "use eight words when Skeet uses one." Their characters will play off each other in "a great way." He's second-generation American, his father was a director of photography in the entertainment industry. "There's a skepticism and a street-smartness from the entertainment industry that I bring," he explained.
-- On the division between the 'Law' and the 'Order' aspects, Wolf said it will be evenly split; two acts between cops and prosecutors.
-- A New York reporter dared to suggest that Los Angeles wasn't as interesting as New York in terms of stories, but the panel heartily disagreed. Balcer said, "In terms of rich and poor, there's nowhere else with such a division ... New York has been mined just as much as L.A." They pointed out that L.A. is a mosaic of communities: It has the beach, industrial areas, Downtown, Koreatown, Russian-Jewish areas, Vietnamese areas and the Long Beach port, which all fall under LAPD jurisdiction. "The mothership was confined to Manhattan; 'LOLA' has all of L.A. County," Masters pointed out.
-- There will be episodes coming up set at the beach with surfers, and on an oil rig.
-- Wolf said there will be episodes dealing with celebrity crime. "It's part of the mix, it's what the city is known for. It'd be like doing a show in New York without dealing with the financial business if we didn't include it," Wolf said.
-- Despite the backstory on Ulrich's character and his family, Wolf doesn't anticipate much more insight into the characters' private lives than the original series had. "There's work and there's life; these are workplace shows," he insisted. "There won't be a different rhythm. You don't have time for a lot of personal stories."
-- Balcer mentioned that his first police ridealong took place in East Hollywood in the '80s, and he saw things then that were "beyond the pale". He says that they will show a side of L.A. that has never been seen in 'SouthLAnd' or 'CSI', if they can get it past standards and practices at the network.
-- Wolf reassured reporters that the show would still have the iconic 'L&O' sound; though most people say it's "DUM-DUM", he calls it "ching-ching." He said that they couldn't do a 'L&O' without that sound.
Will you be watching 'Law & Order: Los Angeles' or are you still in mourning for "the mothership"?