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ION Acquires ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’

By | Wednesday August 8, 2012 @ 7:47am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

On the heels of its pickup of the off-network rights to Numbers, ION Television has acquired another long-running procedural, Law & Order: Criminal Intent. ION has bought all 10 seasons (195 episodes) of the Law & Order spinoff series, which started its run on NBC and ended it on USA Network. At ION, it joins Numbers, Flashpoint, Criminal Minds, Cold Case and Leverage and WWE Main Event.

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Jean Reno To Star In English-Language Series ‘Le Grand’ From René Balcer

By | Wednesday March 28, 2012 @ 4:31am PDT

In what’s likely to be a hot property at next week’s Mip-TV market in Cannes, Emmy-winning showrunner René Balcer is teaming with Jean Reno on English-language cop series Le Grand. The Paris-set show sees Reno play an implacable and meticulous elite cop who stops at nothing to solve mysterious murder cases. The hourlong series is produced by Atlantique Productions with SevenOne International handling global distribution. In a move that will make the tourist board happy, each of the episodes will revolve around one of Paris’ iconic locations including Nôtre Dame, the Place de la Concorde and the Opéra. Balcer, who’s written and produced over 200 episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: UK and Law & Order: Los Angeles, created the series in collaboration with French TV vets Franck Ollivier and Malina Detcheva. Ollivier, who’s written for the French version of Criminal Intent, and Reno previously collaborated on the 2005 film Empire Of The Wolves.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ABC’s ‘Bachelorette’ & ‘EM’ Top Night, ‘MasterChef’ Down In Return

Nellie Andreeva

ABC dominated every half-hour of primetime last night with The Bachelorette (2.6/8), up 18% from last Monday, which was Memorial Day, and Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (2.2/8), down 8% from its Memorial Day premiere. ABC won the night in both adults 18-49 (2.4/7) and total viewers (7.2 million). The season premiere of Fox’s MasterChef (1.8/6) at 8 PM was down 33% from its summer debut last season. Accounting for some of the drop is the fact that last year’s premiere aired in late July, when TV usage is higher with a solid lead-in from Hell’s Kitchen. The cooking reality show was followed by a House repeat (1.2/3). NBC was the only English-language network to offer first-run programming last night, a new episode of canceled drama Law & Order: LA (1.3/3) at 10 PM, down 13% from last Monday. It was preceded by Law & Order: CI, which was down 10%. Leading the all-rerun CBS lineup was Two and a Half Men with Charlie Sheen, which scored the highest demo rating, 1.6/4.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Bachelorette’ Slips, ‘Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss’ Debut OK

Nellie Andreeva

As the only network with an all-original lineup, ABC easily won Monday in adults 18-49 (2.2/6) and total viewers (7.1 million). Moving to its regular 8-10 PM time slot, The Bachelorette (2.1/6) was down 23% from its premiere behind the Dancing With the Stars performance finale last Monday. At 10 PM, the latest Extreme Makeover spinoff, Weight Loss Edition, got off to a promising start with a 2.3/6 in 18-49, up 28% from the season premiere of True Beauty in the time period last June. Following a Minute to Win It rerun (0.9/3), the NBC season premiere of USA’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent (1.1/3) was up a tenth from last summer’s broadcast debut. At 10 PM, burnoff Law & Order: LA (1.4/4) also was up a tenth from last week. CBS and Fox aired reruns.

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‘Law & Order: CI’ Returns Big On USA

Nellie Andreeva

The 10th and final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent got off to a great start last night with 5.1 million viewers tuning in, up a whopping 43% from the premiere of Season 9. With Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe back in full, the crime drama drew 1.9 million viewers in adults 18-49, up 35%. Despite the big start and Law & Order chief Dick Wolf recently expressed hope that the series could continue, USA co-president Jeff Wachtel said that the plan is to keep this the show’s final foray. “The idea truly was to reward the audience,” he said. “We wanted the audience to embrace the show’s final season whose theme is the healing of Bobby Goren (D’Onofrio) and bringing salvation.”

Also premiering last night was Season 4 of USA’s In Plain Sight, which averaged 3.9 million viewers, up 1% from the Season 3 debut, and 1.4 million 18-49 viewers, up 15%. The ratings for the show starring Mary McCormack were tracking great until the last 15-20 minutes, when there was a big drop-off just as news broke of Osama bin Laden’s killing. “We expected stiff competition, but we didn’t expect to be against bin Laden,” USA co-president Chris McCumber quipped. The network brass are already mulling adding extra airings of the season premiere.

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‘Law & Order: CI’ To Do Episode Inspired By Botched ‘Spider-Man’ Musical

By | Saturday April 23, 2011 @ 3:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

What if one of the many incidents of actors getting injured on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark had a tragic outcome? Law & Order: Criminal Intent will explore such a scenario in an upcoming episode clearly inspired by the debacle that the Spider-Man musical had become, TVLine reports. In the fictional version, the splashy musical is titled Icarus, from a high-strung director and a secretly bisexual rock-star composer. This is the latest episode of the Law & Order franchise featuring ripped-from-the-headlines stories this season. CI is also doing an episode starring Jay Mohr as a Charlie Sheen-like character, and Law & Order: LA is doing an episode inspired by the murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen.

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Julia Ormond To Co-Star On Final Season Of ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’

Nellie Andreeva

Julia Ormond has been tapped for a season-long arc on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She will play the only major new character that will be introduced in the crime drama’s 10th and final season on USA Network. Appearing in all eight episodes of the season as a guest star, Ormond will play Dr. Paula Severin, a brilliant police psychologist who will be conducting mandatory sessions with Detective Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio), helping him unravel his tortured past.

Ormond’s casting comes just two weeks before the Season 10 premiere May 1, with production well under way. How will she appear in all episodes? She will start right away and, because her scenes are contained mainly within her office, the producers had planned to film them together, apart from the rest of the action. Shooting those scenes is expected to take a few days. Read More »

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USA Network’s Summer Lineup Features 9 Original Series, 8 Of Them Scripted

Nellie Andreeva

While the broadcast networks are largely retreating from original scripted programming this summer, leading cable network USA is prepping its largest original series summer slate with eight series: newbies Suits (aka A Legal Mind) and Necessary Roughness and returning shows White Collar, Covert Affairs, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight and the the final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. USA will use its biggest shows, Burn Notice and Royal Pains, to launch its new series, Suits and Necessary Roughness, respectively. Additionally, the network’s first reality series in five years, WWE Tough Enough, will continue to air on Monday, bringing the total of USA’s original summer series to nine and its nights of originals to five. Interestingly, Friday, where USA launched its scripted ascent, is staying dark. Network chief Jeff Wachtel had indicated that reclaiming the night was a priority. Missing from the summer schedule is veteran Psych, which won’t return until the fall. Here is USA’s original summer lineup with premiere dates (new series in bold): Read More »

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Jay Mohr To Channel Charlie Sheen On ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’

By | Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 10:35am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The Law & Order franchise is known for looking at the biggest news headlines for storyline inspiration. This seems to be the case with an episode of the upcoming 10th and final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on USA Network, in which Jay Mohr will guest star as a Charlie Sheen-type famous and incredibly successful badboy. Mohr’s character, Nyle Brite, is from a different area of the arts: he is a a “rockstar” fashion designer whose every creation turns to gold. His badboy reputation of cocaine benders and call-girl parties only skyrockets his career and mints him as the “lovable rogue.” (Sheen’s most recent hospitalization that led to the production shutdown on Two and a Half Men and Sheen’s subsequent firing from the show followed the now-infamous 36-hour bender with porn stars at his house, which reportedly included large amounts of cocaine.) Since L&O:CI is a crime drama, the plot of the episode includes a murder as  a guest at one of Brite’s parties turns up dead. Also appearing in the episode, titled Rispetto, is Noelle Beck (As the World Turns) as Debra Brite, Nyle’s long-suffering but brilliant wife who has managed to withstand 20years of his antics because she has secrets of her own.

Meanwhile, an upcoming episode of another Law & Order series, L&O: LA, features a storyline inspired by the recent murder of top … Read More »

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‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ Gets New Captain, ‘Pan Am’ Gets First Stewardess

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Veteran character actor Jay O. Sanders has been tapped for a major new role on the final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on USA. He will play the new captain of the Major Case Squad and boss to Robert Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe). Sanders will appear in all eight episodes of the show’s upcoming tenth season. This is the fourth captain on L&O:CI following Jamey Sheridan’s Capt. James Deakins, Eric Bogosian’s Capt. Danny Ross and, most recently, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio’s Zoe Callas in Season 9. Sanders, who has rarely done TV,  is not new to the L&O franchise. He has guest starred on both L&O:CI and the mothership L&O series. The actor, who has appeared in such movies as The Day After Tomorrow and Revolutionary Road, next co-stars in Green Lantern.

In her first U.S. gig, young Australian actress Margot Robbie has landed a lead role on ABC’s drama pilot Pan Am, a sexy soap set against the Jet-Age about pilots and flight attendants working at the iconic Pan Am airline in the 1960s. Robbie will play Laura, a radiantly beautiful new stewardess whose candid graduation shot is on the cover of Life Magazine. Robbie, repped by Management 360 and Australia’s Aran Michael Management, most recently co-starred on the long-running Australian soap Neighbours.

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USA Sets Premiere Date For ‘Law & Order:CI’

Nellie Andreeva

The tenth and final season of USA’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent, featuring original stars Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, will launch on May 1. Also on May 1, USA’s drama In Plain Sight will return for a fourth season with new showrunners Ed Decter and John Strauss.

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Kathryn Erbe Is Back On ‘Law & Order: CI’

Nellie Andreeva

Great news for Law & Order: Criminal Intent fans: Kathryn Erbe, who portrayed Detective Alexandra Eames for the first 8 seasons of Dick Wolf’s crime drama, has signed on to return for the show’s tenth and final season on USA. She joins Vince D’Onofrio, who recently inked a deal to reprise his role, meaning that CI will be back for its eight-episode final season with both of its original leads who were let go in a cast overhaul last year. “We’re thrilled to have Kathryn Erbe return as Detective Eames, the perfect complement to Donofrio’s Detective Goren,” said USA’s president of original programming Jeff Wachtel. “We now have the definitive team for the ultimate season of this phenomenal show.” The 10th season of CI will air on USA next year.

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USA Picks Up ‘Law & Order: CI’ For Final Season With Star Vincent D’Onofrio & Gives Dick Wolf Pilot Commitment For New Project

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After months of negotiations, USA Network has closed a deal to bring Law & Order: Criminal Intent back for an 8-episode 10th season with the series’ original star Vincent D’Onofrio, who will return as Detective Robert Goren, a role he played for the first eight seasons. Discussions are under way with Kathryn Erbe and other CI alums sans Jeff Goldblum, who recently announced his exit, to come back for the show’s farewell season. Throughout the entire dealmaking process, USA’s intention was to bring Law & Order CI back only if D’Onofrio agreed to return.

Additionally, USA plans to extend its relationship with Law & Order chief Wolf beyond Criminal Intent. The network’s  production arm, Universal Cable Prods., which produces the series with Wolf Films, has handed him a pilot commitment for a new project.

Law & Order: CI will return with new episodes next year. “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, USA’s president of original programming and UCP’s co-head of original content.

He listed several factors that were key in the network’s decision to push through with the deal. “First, it was to bring devoted audience for the finale and create an event,” he said, noting that the series finale of USA’s Monk still ranks as the highest-scripted cable telecast of … Read More »

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The Future Of USA’s ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ Still In Limbo, May Return For Final Hurrah Sans Jeff Goldblum

Nellie Andreeva

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on USA in the past month or so. I hear the network looked at a number of scenarios, including a full-season pickup, two-season pickup and a partial season pickup until settling on the idea for an eight-episode order for what would be the show’s 10th and final season. I hear that a final pickup decision, which largely hinges on making the economics work, will be made in the next couple of days, and the network is looking to bring some of the show’s original players, including Vincent D’Onofrio. Meanwhile, Jeff Goldblum, who starred on the show for the last 2 seasons, has decided not to return. The options on all the actors formally expired on July 31 after being extended by a month on June 30 when they were originally up. For Goldblum, the decision coincided with an agency switch. He has left Gersh and signed with CAA. Goldblum took on the role of Law & Order: CI‘s new leading man last fall when, in a major cast overhaul, original stars D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe exited, along with veteran Eric Bogosian. Goldblum now stars in Neil Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue at London’s Old Vic. Law & Order: CI, which originated on NBC, was the second spinoff from the mothership Law & Order series, which was canceled by NBC in May after 20 … Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: Fireworks Pop For NBC

By | Monday July 5, 2010 @ 10:29am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC’s broadcast of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks (1.4 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) was by far the highest-rated program last night, posting a three-year high for the holiday franchise. Versus last year, when the special aired on the much less trafficked Saturday night, the 9-10PM broadcast was up 40% in adults 18-49 and 35% in total viewers. The other 4th of July fireworks special, CBS’ Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at 10 PM, was No. 2 for the night in total viewers with a 1.0/4 in 18-49 and 6.7 million viewers, edged  in the demo by NBC’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent (1.0/4), which also aired at 10PM. Everything else on TV last night was reruns.

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Leight Leaves ‘Criminal Intent’ For HBO

Within days of USA Network renewing Law & Order: Criminal Intent with an order for 16 episodes, the series has just lost its showrunner. I’m told Warren Leight has left to be the showrunner of HBO’s In Treatment. It’s a big blow to Bonnie Hammer, promoted two months ago to head the newly created NBCU Cable Entertainment & Cable Studio. The former USA Network/Sci Fi Channel boss had been in the midst of hammering out a new deal with Leight, under whose leadership CI was the top drama series in basic cable primetime for the fourth quarter, more than doubling USA’s audience in the 10 p.m. Thursday slot from the same period the previous year. The first-run CI segments last fall averaged about 4.1 million viewers and about 2 million adults 18-49. By contrast, HBO’s In Treatment has struggled to find an audience since its January 28th premiere bombed with only 446,000 viewers. To drum up interest in the first time an HBO series has been stripped Monday-Friday, the pay channel has been putting full and free episodes on the Internet. So Leight will face quite an uphill battle. The Tony Award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and film director joined the staff of CI in its 2nd season on a tip from Theresa Rebeck to then executive producer Rene Balcer, who subsequently recommended Leight to takeover as the show’s executive producer and head writer in 2006 when Balcer left at the end … Read More »

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UPDATE: Dick Wolf Loses Back-End Cable Deal Arbitration To NBC Universal

dwolf.jpgEveryone is very tight-lipped. But I’ve confirmed that Dick Wolf just lost an arbitration proceeding to NBC Universal over back-end agreements on two of his Law & Order series. This occurred the same week that all three of his shows were picked up.

UPDATE: Sources tell me that Wolf was challenging the back-end cable deal terms for  Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Criminal Intent that were both licensed to USA. ”They were totally arm’s length, but since Dick has always browbeaten NBC into giving him everything he could possibly wish for, he tried again,” an insider explained. “It also reflects his total failure in recent years to launch anything successful, despite unlimited resources and access to NBC’s air. NBC is the worst, but in this case they didn’t deserve to lose, so finally justice prevailed.”

nbcuni-logo.gifMy understanding is that this is unrelated to the ongoing contract dispute over Wolf’s executive producer fees for the three dramas that resulted in NBC Uni filing a lawsuit against the L&O producer back in January. Geez, for such a successful TV partnership, these two camps seem to disagree a lot on financial matters. Then again, Hollywood gets cranky when there’s a shitload of $$$ at stake.

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