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Samantha: Debra Messing and Mariska Hargitay are my favorite celeb BFFs. Now that they’re both detectives on NBC, will they get some screen time together?
I don’t want to burst any bubbles, but…maaaaybe. Messing plays Detective Laura Diamond in The Mysteries of Laura, and the first episode makes a reference to Law & Order: SVU being a TV show. However, that doesn’t mean a crossover can’t happen. “In the world of TV, anything is possible,” Messing explains. While the two shows are “very different” in terms of tone, Messing would be down to cross paths with Hargitay’s Olivia Benson. “She’s my best friend, I’ve been on her show before. I’m game for anything if it’s done with finesse.”

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Labels: NBC, News

Thanks to Julz for sending this to me!

A new exhibit currently on display at the Fort Lee Museum continues the Fort Lee Film Commission’s yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Universal Studio in Fort Lee.

The exhibit, “Universal Studio Centennial Exhibit: From Fort Lee to Universal City,” is produced by the Film Commission and documents the birth of the film giant in the borough in 1912 with archival photos, studio artifacts and more.

It includes items on loan from the studio and from the hit NBC Universal TV show, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which has in the past shot extensively in Fort Lee.

Executive director Tom Meyers of the Fort Lee Film Commission said most of the props used in episodes of “Law & Order: SVU” will eventually have to be returned, but that some of the pieces will remain in Fort Lee.

“Universal was very generous,” Meyers said. “We talked to the people with ‘Law and Order,’ and we actually had a deal with Universal Studio in California; they had to send us a loan agreement. But some of the stuff stays with us. The sketches stay with us and the director’s chair, which we love.”

The chair was used by “Law & Order: SVU” producer and frequent director Peter Leto, who himself has strong ties to Fort Lee.

“There’s a lot of meaning to that chair,” Meyers said. “It’s great to have it from Universal and the TV show, but the guy who uses it is a graduate of Fort Lee High School. It’s because of Peter that I’m sure that we got that piece.”

In fact, an entire section of the exhibit is dedicated to “Law & Order: SVU,” with two display cases full of artifacts and props, the chair and location photos of production of the show in Fort Lee.

There’s also a picture of Leto with some Fort Lee High School students, taken when he visited the school a few years ago and spoke with local students about directing and producing the show.

But the museum exhibit isn’t just about “Law and Order: SVU;” the primary focus is Universal Studio and its history, as the name suggests.

It includes enlarged archival photos of Universal Studio under construction in Fort Lee way back in the early 1900s, some of which Meyers said the people currently with Universal have never seen.

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I also added a few photos from the exhibit which you can view here.

Labels: Law & Order: SVU, NBC

The struggling NBC network announced a new programming initiative last week that involves characters in each scripted series ending episodes by breaking the fourth wall and asking viewers point blank what sort of television shows they would most like to see in the future. “Now that we’ve closed the books on yet another thrilling criminal investigation, it’s time to solve the mystery of just what you guys would tune in to if you had your pick,” said Law And Order: Special Victims Unit‘s Mariska Hargitay, flanked by co-star Christopher Meloni, who stopped arresting the episode’s prime suspect, waived to the audience, and said, “Hi there. Did you like this episode of television? Would you like to see something else instead, either in place of us or in place of something else?” Meloni was then joined by the rest of the cast as well as NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt, who shook hands with all the actors before introducing himself and addressing viewers. “Good evening. How about a three-camera family sitcom? A hospital drama? Some kind of musical contest thing, maybe? Really, don’t be shy; we just need to know what it is you want so we can make more money and be a better company. Please email your suggestions to viewervoices@nbc.com and try to be as detailed as possible when explaining the type of programming you’d like to see. Have a good night.” Following Greenblatt’s announcement, the show’s closing credits began to roll.

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Just to be clear The Onion is not an official news source. It’s not to be taken serious, it’s supposed to be fun. It’s not true at all!

Labels: Law & Order: SVU, NBC

There’s a new man in Olivia Benson’s life.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has booked Emmy and Grammy winner Harry Connick Jr. for a multi-episode arc, TVGuide.com has learned. NBC is expected to announce Connick’s casting Friday at the Television Critics Association winter previews.

Connick, who is currently starring on Broadway in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, will play Executive Assistant District Attorney David Haden, a committed, straight-shooting prosecutor who is assigned a case with Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay). While Benson is initially wary of Haden, they both soon learn that they make good team. And that teamwork could spill out of the courtroom.

The relationship comes as Benson continues to deal with the loss of her partner, Elliot Stabler, who was written out of the show after Christopher Meloni elected not to renew his contract for the NBC procedural’s 13th season.

“This is a home run on so many levels,” Hargitay said of Connick’s casting. “The show is very fortunate to have Harry’s extraordinary talent, and I’m lucky because I get to work with my friend. I think Olivia couldn’t have asked for a better companion to take her through a new stage in her life and career.”

Connick, 44, is a three-time Grammy and two-time Emmy winner, most recently for the musical direction of his live concert TV special. He has appeared in the films Hope Floats, Independence Day, Copycat, P.S. I Love You and Dolphin Tale. On the small screen he’s best known for his recurring role as Dr Leo Markus on NBC’s Will & Grace.

SVU airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC. Connick’s arc begins Jan. 18.

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Labels: Law & Order: SVU, NBC, News

NBC already has a series set behind the scenes of a sketch comedy show in Emmy-winning comedy 30 Rock. Now the network is looking to pull back the veil on the inner workings of reality series. NBC has bought American Dream, an hourlong spec written by Paul Kolsby and executive produced by Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay, feature producer Andrew Lazar and Steve Shainberg. Shainberg, director of the 2002 feature Secretary, is also attached to direct the potential pilot. American Dream is described as a bitingly funny, risque and sophisticated melodrama about the symbiotic relationship between network executives and the “talent” in a reality television series.

Kolsby, a playwright and screenwriter, had a lot of personal experience to draw on in writing the American Dream — he has worked as a producer on a number of reality series, including Jersey Shore and Bridezillas. Kolsby developed the project with Shainberg and Lazar. Original Artists, which reps Kolsby and Lazar then gave the script to Hargitay who loved it and came on board as an executive producer. Through her producing deal at NBC, she took the script to the network’s brass who picked it up. Hargitay is repped by CAA; Shainberg is managed by Industry Entertainment. Lazar is currently producing Akira for Warners with Jaume Collete-Serra directing and Gunslinger for New Regency with James Mangold directing.

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Labels: American Dream, NBC