10 items from 2009
Law & Order: CI is undergoing yet another staffing change. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio has been cast as the show's new captain, sources confirm to me semi-exclusively. She replaces Eric Bogosian, who is the latest Ci vet to depart as the show shifts its focus to Jeff Goldblum and new partner Saffron Burrows. As I previously reported, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, and Bogosian will exit after appearing in the show's two-part season 9 premiere. Rumor has it one of the three will be carted off in a body bag. Thoughts on Mastrantonio as the new boss? Sound off below! (Additional reporting by Keith »
- Michael Ausiello
She will play the new captain taking over the Major Case Squad on the Wolf Films/Universal Cable Prods. series.
Mastrantonio's character, who comes from a working-class background, succeeds Capt. Danny Ross (Eric Bogosian), who headed the division for the past three years, following the departure of Capt. James Deakins (original cast member Jamey Sheridan).
Mastrantonio is one of two new faces on "L&O: Ci" for next season, joining Saffron Burrows. The hires follow the exit of four regulars on the show: original stars Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe as well as Bogosian and new mom Julianne Nicholson, who is being replaced by Burrows.
With the departure of D'Onofrio, the cop drama is taking on a lighter tone. It centers on Jeff Goldblum, whose »
- By Nellie Andreeva
A statement from the actor, who played Detective Robert Goren in more than 130 episodes between 2001 and 2009, reads, "After eight seasons, and with the addition of Jeff Goldblum, now is the perfect time for me to explore other acting opportunities and I leave the show knowing it is in great hands with Jeff."
But he has assured fans his character won't be killed off: "I wouldn’t be surprised if Goren pops up from time to time." »
- Elizabeth Guider and Roger Friedman
D'Onofrio is expected to exit sometime during the series' upcoming ninth season, handing over his badge to Jeff Goldblum as the top detective on the major case squad.
Kathryn Erbe, who, like D'Onofrio, has been with the show since its beginning and plays his long-suffering partner Alex Eames, also will be phased out, as will Eric Bogosian, who plays the force's captain, Danny Ross.
Details about D'Onofrio, Erbe and Bogosian's exit are still unclear as the actors' deals are being worked out. The network only recently renewed the Wolf Films/Universal Cable Prods. series for a ninth season, slated to premiere in late spring with a two-parter. »
- By Elizabeth Guider and Roger Friedman
Although you wouldn't know it from following broadcast network ratings, summer TV viewing is at an all-time high.
According to a Turner research report, the average person watched 32.2 hours of TV per week this summer. In 2004, the average number of TV hours viewed during the summer was 29.8.
The gains were driven by cable TV programming, which continues to erode the traditional advantage of the Big Four networks.
Among new series on ad-supported cable, the most-watched programs were USA's "Royal Pains" (averaging 7.2 million viewers), Syfy's "Warehouse 13" (4 million), TNT's "Hawthorne" (3.9 million), TNT's "Dark Blue" (3.4 million) and Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva" (3 million).
The most-watched returning shows were TNT's "The Closer" (7.9 million) and four on USA: "Burn Notice" (7.7 million), "Monk" (5.6 million), "In Plain Sight" (5.1 million) and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (4.6 million).
Turner research head Jack Wakshlag said cable networks programming more original content than ever combined with the digital transition helped boost the number. »
- By James Hibberd
Model-turned-actress Brooke Shields is making a return to movie theatres - she's landed her first major film role in 10 years.
The Blue Lagoon star's acting career has been limited to TV roles in recent years, with appearances in Nip/Tuck, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Two and a Half Men, and the recently axed Lipstick Jungle.
The movie, in which she'll play Brendan Fraser's wife, follows a real estate developer and his troubles with a family of raccoons, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Shields' last mainstream movie role was in 1999's Black and White. »
Wass Stevens, 45, who starred alongside Cage in the 2006 film, also works as a doorman in New York and on Wednesday was detained by police and charged with attacking a man outside Manhattan hotspot Avenue.
Stevens - real name Mark Wasserman - has been charged with assault and possession of a weapon after he allegedly beat a 24 year old student with the metal end of velvet rope after refusing him entry.
Peter Pak was taken to the city's St. Vincent's Hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
He tells New York Post gossip column PageSix, "He was very condescending. We started cursing at each other and arguing. He lifted the rope and tossed the end metal part at my face. My head cracked and I fell to the ground. I had to go to the hospital for a Cat scan. There was no internal damage but I had huge blaring headaches."
But Stevens' lawyer, Sal Strazzullo, says: "Wass is 100 per cent innocent. He was released on his own recognisance, without bail, which I think shows you the weakness of the case. There wasn't even a corroborating statement from the victim at the court hearing."
Stevens has appeared alongside Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler and in Richard Gere's upcoming movie Brooklyn's Finest. He has also had recurring roles in TV's Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Ugly Betty. »
The pair reportedly jeopardised their return to the hit series by demanding more money from network bosses.
Hargitay and Meloni allegedly asked for a share of the programme's profits from the NBC network, in addition to the $350,000 (£233,335) they earned per episode - a rare deal similar to ones TV bosses cut with Law & Order: Criminal Intent stars Vincent D'Onofrio and Chris Noth.
Reports last April suggested executives had threatened to dump the pair when their contracts expire in May if an agreement could not be reached - but they have now agreed a new two-year deal.
Law & Order: SVU marks its eleventh year on air in September. »
NBC on Monday renewed Dick Wolf's veteran crime drama for a 20th season, sources said.
The order is believed to be for 16 episodes.
Wolf had been open about his desire to tie "Gunsmoke" for the longest-running drama series on television.
Once a staple at NBC, "L&O," which spawned two successful spinoff series with "Law & Order: SVU" and "Law & Order: CI," has seen its ratings slide in the last couple seasons when it served as a midseason replacement.
NBC is slated to announce its schedule for next season Tuesday in New York. »
- By Nellie Andreeva
10 items from 2009
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