At NBC’s TCA executive session this morning, the network’s chairman Bob Greenblatt addressed the future of Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay. Her work load this season had originally been reduced to accommodate her taking care of her new baby, sparking speculation that she may be leaving sometime this season. But she ended up being in every episode and will likely stay on the show beyond this season, Greenblatt said. “Mariska is not leaving SVU,” he said. Hargitay confirmed that in a pre-taped video. “I’ll be back,” she said. “I can’t leave this show, I’m having too much fun.” Hargitay did the video with Harry Connick Jr. who is joining SVU for a four-episode arc as her love interest, a new dedicated, straight-shooting Executive ADA assigned a case with Detective Benson (Hargitay).
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Why She Was Nominated: The TV academy really had no choice. While this is Moss’ third consecutive nomination for Mad Men (two for lead, one for supporting), it’s one that for the first time raises Moss above the crowd. The submitted episode, “The Suitcase” (written by creator-showrunner Matthew Weiner), is an actress’ dream. It elevates her to the favorite’s position in a year when none of the past three category winners (Kyra Sedgwick, Glenn Close and Sally Field) is in the running.
Why She Has To Win: From the time it premiered, “The Suitcase” episode of Mad Men has been hailed as the show’s clear-cut accolade vehicle. It found Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olson (Moss) hanging together in the office after hours when Don finds out a close friend has died. They get plastered on booze, and Draper lets loose in a way he rarely does. Moss more than holds her with Hamm in an episode that stands to win a bunch of people a bunch of Emmys (Moss included). “This episode is absolute magic,” a producer tells me, “and Elisabeth Moss is a big reason why.”
Why She Can’t Possibly Win: She’s never won before, and neither has anyone else from Mad Men — yet. If it doesn’t happen this year, we can all start writing about the cast being cursed. It’s also a fact that Julianna Margulies could win here and no one would be the slightest bit shocked.
Jennifer Love Hewitt Eyed For New Female Lead Of ‘SVU’ As Mariska Hargitay Closes Deal To Return, Chris Meloni Not Done
EXCLUSIVE: Just in time for NBC’s upfront presentation on Monday, Law & Order:SVU star Mariska Hargitay has closed a new deal to return to the crime drama for its upcoming 13th season, in which she will pass on the female lead baton to a new actress. I hear Jennifer Love Hewitt is being courted for the gig, though no formal offer has been made. Meanwhile, SVU‘s leading man Christopher Meloni still has no deal for next season.
Going into the contract negotiations, Hargitay had asked to scale back her workload on the show. The producers granted her request, and she will work fewer hours at her previous salary of about $385,000 an episode ($400,000 with backend and other payments included.) For the first 13 episodes, Hargitay’s character Olivia Benson will continue to solve sex crimes alongside her partner, presumably Elliot Stabler (Meloni), pending him closing his deal. Then Benson will be promoted to a supervisor position, with a new female detective taking her place. That is the role that the producers are eying Hewitt for.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Lead Drama Series Actress race:
GLENN CLOSE, DAMAGES
Why She Got Nominated: If the TV Academy voters hadn’t nominated Glenn Close in this race, they might as well have called off the Emmys. She’s still the gold standard for …