Category: Dick Wolf

Dick Wolf and Mark Burnett team up for new NBC reality series

Dick wolf
Two of TV's elite producers — Dick Wolf and Mark Burnett — are joining forces for a new NBC reality show revolving around military veterans and active-duty servicemen and servicewomen training celebrities.

Wolf ("Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU") and Burnett ("Survivor," "The Voice"), will be executive producers of the show, which has the working title "Stars Earn Stripes."

In the series, nine celebrities will gather at a top-notch, secret training facility. Each will be paired with a trainer assigned to prepare his or her celebrity for the weekly challenge. Those challenges will be adapted from real exercises drawn from all five branches of the armed services, as well as joint ops and Special Forces.

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— Greg Braxton

Photo: Dick Wolf. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

Dick Wolf says Skeet Ulrich's exit from 'Law & Order: L.A.' was 'very painful'

Dick Wolf, the creator of the "Law & Order" franchise, has seen more than his share of actors come and go from his dramas. But his decision to remove Skeet Ulrich from "Law & Order: L.A." was particularly hard.Dickwolf

"Sometimes someone has to die so that everyone else can live," Wolf said during a conference call to promote the April 11 return of the drama, which has been off NBC's schedule since last November. "It was a very, very painful call to make."

Wolf continually praised Ulrich, who was the first actor cast for the Los Angeles version of the landmark police/legal drama. Ulrich, who played a homicide detective, was one of the leads of the ensemble series.

But Wolf and Bob Greenblatt, NBCUniversal's new president of entertainment, agreed that the series was not living up to expectations, and that changes had to be made. Greenblatt told Wolf that the first half of the hour, which concentrates on the police investigation of the crime, was "not clicking."

Part of the problem was the rush to get the series on the air in time for the fall schedule. Wolf said some hasty decisions were made.

Greenblatt was also concerned about the handling of Terrence Howard and Alfred Molina, who appeared in alternating episodes as deputy district attorneys. Greenblatt was bothered that "we had two world-class movie actors who we were only seeing half the time."

When "LOLA" (the informal name for "Law & Order: L.A.") returns, Molina, who plays deputy district attorney Ricardo Morales, will return to the police force as a detective. Molina and Howard, who plays Jonah Dekker, will now appear in each episode.

Wolf said the rhythm of the series "is different and better." He added that he would gladly work with Ulrich again in a situation that was a better fit for the actor. 

Said Wolf, "When something isn't working, it's my fault."

--Greg Braxton

Skeet Ulrich and Megan Boone to leave 'Law & Order: Los Angeles'

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Skeet Ulrich and Megan Boone, who star in NBC's "Law & Order: Los Angeles," are leaving the series, insiders said.

No official reason was given for the departure of the performers. NBC and the show's producers declined comment.

Ulrich, who plays a police officer on the series, was the first performer cast for the West Coast version of the landmark New York-based franchise. Boone plays an assistant district attorney.

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Skeet Ulrich on "Law & Order: Los Angeles"/Credit: NBC

 

'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' renewed, Vincent D’Onofrio returning

Vincent Work for the Major Case Squad isn’t over … yet.

USA Network announced Tuesday that "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"  will come back for its 10th — and final — season.

The network has ordered eight episodes of the spinoff. Eight episodes more than most people were expecting. After the announcement that NBC gave its longstanding “Law & Order” the ax after 21 seasons, it seemed the practiced spinoff was destined for the same fate on USA.

“We have been the fortunate caretakers of this legendary series, and we plan to give it the world-class farewell it so richly deserves," said Jeff Wachtel, president original programming at USA, in a statement. "Dick and his team promise to create a major event for television with incredible surprises. The plan is for this to be the series finale, but with a Dick Wolf franchise, one really never knows until it’s over.”

And one never really knows whom to expect to helm the show. The crime procedural hasn’t been without its share of casting changes — especially in the male lead department.  Vincent D’Onofrio reduced his workload and alternated episodes with Chris Noth, who was then replaced by Jeff Goldblum, who then took over the series full time when D'Onofrio left but who now will not be returning himself. Oh, but D’Onofrio is back to reprise his role as  Detective Robert Goren. Confused yet?

"I want to thank Bonnie [Hammer, president of NBC Universal Cable] and Jeff [Watchel] for bringing 'Criminal Intent' back for a tenth season,” Wolf said in a statement. “Only time will tell if this is a fond farewell or a renaissance for Detective Robert Goren but everyone both here and in New York is ecstatic about going back to work on a show that’s a passion for all of us. Signed, Brett Favre."

No premiere date has been set. But the “Law & Order” franchise is never really on vacation. One of its many spinoffs, “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” is scheduled to premiere Wednesday on NBC.

— Yvonne Villarreal
twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Vincent D’Onofrio. Credit: Getty Images.

TCA Press Tour: 'Law & Order' creator Dick Wolf looks to the future

Dickwolf "Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf is ready to move on.

Wolf expressed disappointment that "Law & Order," the landmark legal/police drama, was canceled after tying the record for the longest-running series in TV history, but said that he is extremely excited about his new spinoff, "Law & Order: Los Angeles."

"Obviously [executive producer Rene Balcer] and I are extremely disappointed that 'Law & Order' isn't returning for a 21st season," Wolf said Friday. "But that's business, that's life. Everyone in TV is born with a death sentence — they just don't tell you the date of executiion."

He also ended the speculation that "Law & Order" might be revived at another network: "'Law & Order' is now in the history books."

He added, "The past is the past, and we're here to talk about the future."

That future is "Law & Order: Los Angeles," the latest spinoff. The series will follow the same formula as the so-called "mothership" of "Law & Order": half police drama, half legal drama.

Oscar nominee Terrence Howard ("Hustle & Flow") will join previously cast Alfred Molina, Skeet Ulrich and Corey Stoll in the drama,. Howard will play a district attorney and will share the position with Molina, who plays a deputy district attorney, in alternate episodes.

Ulrich and Skool will play police detectives.

Wolf, Balcer and executive producer Blake Masters said the series will keep the same title cards and the musical "chink chink" that marks each scene change. Unlike Manhattan, Balcer said Los Angeles is a mosaic: "We'll be able to go into many different communities."

— Greg Braxton

Photo: Executive Producer of "Law & Order: Los Angeles" Dick Wolf talks at the Television Critics Association NBC Universal Press Tour in Los Angeles. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters


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'Law & Order' producer throws the book at new novels

Dick Wolf apparently doesn't sleep.

Wolf, creator of the landmak "Law & Order" series, and its spinoffs, including NBC's upcoming "Law & Order: Los Angeles," is adding "novelist" to his considerable resume.

William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publisher, has announced plans to publish two novels by Wolf.

The first novel, which does not have a title yet, is billed as "a realistic, high-concept suspence thriller about a major terrorist attack planned for New York City over the July 4th weekend, engaging the Joint Terrorism Task Force and a NYPD detective who is the city's last hope to stop the attack."

— Greg Braxton


Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.
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