Saturday, September 26, 2009

Not to Go Unmentioned ...

• There’s talk that the last two original stars of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, may not be part of that series when it returns for its ninth season in March 2010. Eric Bogosian, who’s played Captain Daniel Ross, is also said to be on his way out. That would leave Jeff Goldblum, who just joined this procedural series last year, as the only remaining member of its cast. (It was previously reported that Julianne Nicholson would be replaced as Goldblum’s partner by Boston Legal’s Saffron Burrows.) This sounds like mostly bad news about one of the few series I can still bear to watch on television. Goldblum has made a good showing since his introduction; but D’Onofrio and Erbe remain L&O: CI’s real stars. According to The Hollywood Reporter, these radical changes may be the result of politics at the USA Network, which picked up this program from sister channel NBC: “USA, insiders point out, likes lighter fare when it comes to its shows. Goldblum is more in the tradition of Tony Shalhoub’s ‘Monk’ than D’Onofrio.” I have my fingers crossed that all of this is just a Dallas-like dream, and that I’ll wake soon to discover that no such changes are in the offing.

• Pulp International has posted a very cool set of vintage paperback covers from John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee novels.

• “Tonight (Saturday, September 26), James Ellroy appears at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, as the closing event of the 2009 Fall for the Book festival,” reports critic (and sometime Rap Sheet contributor) Art Taylor. “I’ll be introducing Ellroy at tonight’s event, and my recent interview with Ellroy has been posted on the Washington Post Book World’s Web site here.”

• The new short story at Beat the Pulp comes from California wordsmith Brian Drake. His tale is called “The Red Ruby Kill.”

• Can this be? Actresses Brigitte Bardot (best viewed here) and Sophia Loren both turn 75 years old in late September.

• And two birthdays worth celebrating today: classic American bodybuilder Jack Lalanne turns 95; and it was exactly 40 years ago that The Brady Bunch debuted on ABC-TV. As Ivan G. Shreve Jr. notes at that link, The Brady Bunch “was inspired by a 1965 Los Angeles Times article creator Sherwood Schwartz read noting that nearly 40 percent of marriages in the United States had at least one child (and sometimes more) from a previous union.”

2 comments:

MysterLynch said...

As I understand it, finances are as big a part of the L&O:CI changes as anything.

They are looking to cut the cost of the show.

Nantz said...

Look, if I wanted to eat a peanut butter sandwich every day, I would, but I don’t want to, because let’s face it, it gets boring, and so don’t force fed me with this “fluff” crap. While it is the network’s choice to alter their programming as they see fit, not offering variety is, as they will soon find out, be detrimental. I realize we are in the midst of suffering a bad economy, poor housing market and unemployment, but, all the “blue sky” and “popcorn” (their buzzwords) won’t remove those realities. And, if LO: CI is considered “dark” by comparison then maybe NBCU has decided for us that we should all live in their fantasy world. If I wanted that I could go pitch a tent down in the heart of Disney World and hug Mickey Mouse all day. In answer to their “lighter fare” of programming I came up with the idea to send jars of “Fluff” to the execs at USA Network and the loyal fans have responded as cases have been sent already. The bottom line is that a disservice was done to the cast and show, and is not fair to a loyal legion of fans who have followed for 8 years now. We do not feel as if a 2 hour season opener, in which Vincent will exit, will properly satisfy all of the storylines and that instead a full Season 9 would be more appropriate in doing it justice. The rumblings have been that it is a money issue and coincedentally the coffers flowed wide open when Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni wanted more, and received, what they asked for. Given that three of the major key players are departing it is highly suspect that the “budget” (NBCU is worth 35 billion, that’s with a “b”) didn’t allow them full salaries, and, the stockholders are holding the strings. This is not about Jeff Goldblum, hell I’m glad he has a job when jobs are scarce, but to try and revamp the show when all of the established characters are leaving is too little too late. We should have seen this coming with the poor excuse for a Season 8 that had uninspiring scripts, continuity problems and episodes shown out of sequence. Frankly, I don’t know how they are going to rebound from that. No matter, once they leave, we will leave and so the ratings will tell the tale. I’m thinking on the plummet down that USA Network and NBCU will be best served and cushioned by all that “fluff” and then they will know exactly what “reality” is.

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