|Haven't they solved all the crimes yet? You'd think with all the Law & Order shows on the air for so long, criminals would have learned by now. Still, the original Law & Order and all its spinoffs have more stories to tell. Law & Order returns Wednesday, January 2, with a two-hour premiere at 9/8c before resuming it's usual 10/9c time slot on NBC.|
The basic Law & Order gets a reboot this season with two new stars, Jeremy Sisto as Detective Cyrus Lupo and Linus Roache as ADA Michael Cutter. Creator Dick Wolf is still keeping the brand going. After talking to the trio, we filed a rap sheet for their criminal history, perhaps identifying the causes of so much success.
1: Prior Convictions: Both Roache and Sisto appeared together on the short-lived series Kidnapped.
""When I heard Jeremy was in the show, I was very excited to be on the same team as him,"" said Roache. ""He's a brilliant actor. He's a great actor but he's also a great guy to be with. We get a little bit of crossover in the show but of course, as you know, there's the law and the order. He's very much part of law and I'm more part of order, but there is a nice little relationship building when we do crossover in terms of him being a little bit of a want to be lawyer.""
2: Bigamy: Sisto's character tries to have it both ways with Law and Order.
""We have had a nice thing developing over this season so far wherein my character is somebody who wants to have been more involved with the other side of the system,"" said Sisto. ""Because of where he grew up and how he entered life, he didn't find himself in a position to be on that side. So he's taking night school classes and trying to learn as much on his own about the legal system so that he doesn't have to leave these cases which he puts his heart into, and he doesn't have to walk away before the result is found.""
3: Conspiracy to commit backstory: Law & Order is all about the cases, so the actors have to find moments to reveal their characters.
""The way the character has been drawn, and I think in combination of what the writers are bringing and where I'm starting to go more with it, is this guy is pretty out there and kind of almost aggressively pursuing justice,"" said Roache. ""[He's] prepared to go almost over the line, nearly go outside the law for the sake of justice. So there's a kind of edge to him that I like. He's kind of not an easy kind of guy all the time which I think creates a kind of interesting tension. His back story is going to be very interesting to keep delving into what kind of person he is. It's interesting his name is Cutter, because it's like a kind of cutting edge to him which I'm very much enjoying playing.""
4: Returning to the Scene of the Crime: Law and Order returns to its original Wednesday 10/9c slot.
""It's like going home,"" said Wolf. ""I really can't describe it. I'm not here to program NBC but they know and I've hardly been quiet about the fact that I don't think it ever should have been moved out of Wednesday at 10. I certainly am glad to be back in a time slot where I think it can really flourish again.""
5: Impersonating an officer of the court: Roache met real district attorneys to prepare for the role.
""It wasn't so much what they told me,"" said Roache. ""It wasn't so much the procedural element or that kind of information. It was the look in their eyes, to be honest, like I saw a kind of level of integrity in them as human beings that being a DA is not something you do for money. There has to be some other motive there apart from just sort of being a lawyer and winning the case. I think though you do it because there s actually some love of and respect for finding justice. This one guy in particular was very helpful. He got me to sit in on some very interesting cases. Sometimes it was like watching paint dry. Other times it was stuff that if you put it in the show you wouldn't believe it. So in the world that we live in it really is right that anything can happen at any time.""
6: Impersonating an officer of the law: Sisto learned his cop stuff too.
""I hung out with some detectives and ex-detectives that just loved it and missed it,"" said Sisto. ""In all cases it was one of those things that it's almost like an addiction. Once you live this lifestyle and start following these crimes and trying to follow these clues to try and solve these crimes, it becomes something that is a different kind of joy or a different kind of excitement or adrenaline that for the people that are interested in it and are good at it. It's something that once they do they never want to stop doing it. They were just thrilled to be able to share their experience and their enthusiasm about the profession.""
7: Aggravated assault: Cutter faces off against veteran ADA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston)
""We've had some situations where I've proven him wrong,"" said Roache. ""We've had situations where he's proven me wrong. So I don't know what the score is at this point but there's a healthy kind of, I won't call it conflict, but dialogue between the two characters. So it's just not like they agree on everything so there's room for great debate there. Everything is possible.""
8: House arrest: Law & Order still films in its home base of New York City.
""I think I work a little bit more out on the streets because detectives usually have to spend a lot of their time around the city following clues,"" said Sisto. ""Not only is it a great landscape and backdrop but you also have an interesting kind of support from the people in New York. Most people that pass kind of assume that it's Law & Order even before they ask, because chances are it is one of the Law & Orders. There's kind of a supportive spirit about it. It's a show that's been a part of this city for so long and it's done a lot of great things for the city, I believe, as well. Also, just to be telling stories about this city, it's great for inspiration as well as reality, as well as just the pure visual sense of it to be shooting in the streets.""
9: History of violence: Law & Order has been on the air for 18 years now.
""I do think that it has been, as far as I can tell, the greatest ride in the history of television,"" said Wolf. ""It's been remarkable. It's been fun. The best part of all is that, and I hate to throw an odd statistic out, but Jeremy and Linus are the 23rd and 24th actors in a six-person ensemble. So there has been the continuing joy of having the show evolve, change, grow. And you constantly have the opportunity to take things in a different direction. The casting has always been challenging but a great deal of fun. If you look at the actors who have been on the show, it's truly, truly an extraordinary group of inordinately talented people. Let's put it this way, I've never been bored in the 18 years that it's been on the air.""
9: Possession of screenplays: Law & Order saved many scripts to film after the WGA strike began so they can bring you new episodes.
""We are not divulging numbers,"" said Wolf. ""Let's just say [we have] a lot [of new episodes]. We're still shooting and we're going to see how many we do end up getting through. Do I think that it's an advantage that the rest of the community is on strike? I think the strike is the worst thing that's happened to the community in 20 years, since the last strike. Nobody ever wins a strike. This is a disaster for the television business much more than the feature business. My sincerest hope is that people get their heads on straight, lock themselves in a room and come out with a deal. It's an absolute necessity. Having said all that, I'm not going to dissemble. I think that we have an enormous opportunity coming back in a season where there's going to be a dearth of original product. I think as NBC gets the message out, a lot of our regular viewers will come on Wednesday at 10. It's a lot better to be up against reruns on two other networks than original programming. I'd have to be rather dense to say otherwise.""
10: Fraud: Linus Roache is actually British, playing Cutter with an American accent.
""I've had to work at it, to be honest,"" said Roache. ""Doing this show I've still been working at it. I've been with a voice coach a little bit and just refining it. We just put a little bit of a hint in the story there where I say to Jeremy's character actually at some point, 'My parents are gypsy.' So it kind of belies the fact that I could have grown up or lived abroad for some time. I love doing the accent. And as the more shows we do the more kind of at ease I am with it now as well.""