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Law & Order: SVU in the Media

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“Unstoppable” was filmed months ago, and was originally slated as the second episode of the current Season 18. But internal concerns over the episode’s content pushed it back to October, and then NBC decided to hold it until after the election to avoid painting Trump in a bad light.

They should just play it now; there's not going to be a 'better' time, now that he's president-elect.

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I don't think it's going to air at all now. Does the network have no idea about episodes until after they film?  I'd think ripped from the headlines stuff would be cleared first to avoid things like this. Also, sorry SVU but I don't get why NBCs been acting like one episode of a declining show could have so much significants no matter how the episode plays out.

Edited by Gigi43
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5 hours ago, FairyDusted said:

I'm just glad they never coupled them up. I liked them too much as partners. AAAAND I still miss me some shirtless Stabler. 

Don't kill me... I was a Stabler/Benson shipper. But to be honest, I'm glad it didn't go there. Didn't like how Warren Leight rail roaded Stabler as a character. Same goes with Goren. Ugh.

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5 minutes ago, AntiBeeSpray said:

Don't kill me... I was a Stabler/Benson shipper. But to be honest, I'm glad it didn't go there. Didn't like how Warren Leight rail roaded Stabler as a character. Same goes with Goren. Ugh.

Well they never killed him so ya never know;]

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Stabler. He just peaced out. Captain told her clean out his desk. She cried in the interrogation for 32 seconds and beat feet with Iced T into the elevator. 

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Neither Stabler nor Goren are dead. Which makes me happy. And, not gonna lie where Leight is concerned, surprised. I held my breath all through the exits of both and in the case of CI's series finale, was half fearing the worst, even if Leight was no longer EP there. (I did read it was Leight that crafted most of those therapy sessions, though. So he still had his fingers in both pies.)

Back to SVU, I know it was Leight's plan to bring Stabler back if the show ended last year. I wonder if that same sentiment holds for Rick Eid? Only thing is, Meloni seems to be working steadily, so the logistics may make it difficult.

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Insomnia sucks. So I was looking at future episodes, and it appears "Unstoppable" (the alleged Trump-themed episode originally set to air in November) keeps being pushed back. Personally, I'll be shocked if it ever airs. And wonder if it'll even make the DVD set.

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11 hours ago, AntiBeeSpray said:

Don't kill me... I was a Stabler/Benson shipper. But to be honest, I'm glad it didn't go there. Didn't like how Warren Leight rail roaded Stabler as a character. Same goes with Goren. Ugh.

Yeah. I'm willing to cut him some slack with Goren since there were a lot of off screen issues, but I really don't like what he did with Stabler where he had no excuse. I'm also glad that they never went there and that Meloni had the perspective and self respect to realize that they had gone about as far as they could with the character, that what the producers wanted was a soap opera that would probably not do anything for his reputation, and that he could keep getting work, and walking away when he did.

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3 hours ago, wknt3 said:

Yeah. I'm willing to cut him some slack with Goren since there were a lot of off screen issues, but I really don't like what he did with Stabler where he had no excuse. I'm also glad that they never went there and that Meloni had the perspective and self respect to realize that they had gone about as far as they could with the character, that what the producers wanted was a soap opera that would probably not do anything for his reputation, and that he could keep getting work, and walking away when he did.

I am too, up to what he did with him in SVU. That was unforgivable as far as I'm concerned. To have him work away like that didn't fit the character at all. I agree with you on that. I saw some stuff he'd posted on Twitter some time back and he seemed to have a real issue with Stabler. It was unreal, really. O_O 

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Alas, most of Dick Wolf's shows descended into soap, even the Mothership by its end. The Chicago franchise has been soap from inception. Maybe Wolf mellowed or maybe the networks wanted the shows dumbed down.

It's also known that Wolf can be...a challenge...to work with. I'm sure many variables were in play where Stabler's/Meloni's very abrupt exit was concerned. Maybe he'll write a tell-all when he's old and gray.

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51 minutes ago, WendyCR72 said:

The Chicago franchise has been soap from inception.

So true. I can't watch them. I am currently two thirds of the way through season 2 of the Mothership DVDs.

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4 hours ago, WendyCR72 said:

Alas, most of Dick Wolf's shows descended into soap, even the Mothership by its end. The Chicago franchise has been soap from inception. Maybe Wolf mellowed or maybe the networks wanted the shows dumbed down.

It's also known that Wolf can be...a challenge...to work with. I'm sure many variables were in play where Stabler's/Meloni's very abrupt exit was concerned. Maybe he'll write a tell-all when he's old and gray.

Yea I read about that in my copy of the 20th anniversary of Law and Order TV Guide magazine, about Dennis Farina. That Wolf had gotten all he wanted from him (this was via S. Epatha Merkerson) and that once you were a friend with Dennis you were a friend of his for life.

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On 1/3/2017 at 4:22 PM, WendyCR72 said:

Alas, most of Dick Wolf's shows descended into soap, even the Mothership by its end. The Chicago franchise has been soap from inception. Maybe Wolf mellowed or maybe the networks wanted the shows dumbed down.

It's also known that Wolf can be...a challenge...to work with. I'm sure many variables were in play where Stabler's/Meloni's very abrupt exit was concerned. Maybe he'll write a tell-all when he's old and gray.

I have to respectfully disagree about the mothership descending into soap by the end. It started telling more personal stories sure, but that's different or else just about every drama on TV would be considered soap. There is a difference between putting the political elements and personal agendas of the DA's office on screen and the Van Buren story line and having characters sleeping with each other, love triangles, everyone in jeopardy all the time, the focus on the personal lives with the procedural element almost becoming the subplot of many episodes, etc. CI fits a bit better, since by season 9 there were elements of just about every dramatic subgenre in there somewhere as we've discussed on that show's threads.

And I'm sure that there were many variables in play with Meloni too. Personally I've always thought that they just didn't think Meloni was serious about leaving and were sure that he would sign on in the end. They mistook an actual willingness to leave for a negotiating ploy and never bothered to seriously plan for or set up his exit. I would be interested in reading his book too since he's always been interesting in interviews and talk shows.

Edited by wknt3 · Reason: forgot about Chris Meloni
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The SVU Facebook page is pimping MH/Oliva for the 400th left and right. It's at the point where  I'd  be insulted if I were Ice-T. Not that it's fair to the others either, but come on the guys been on almost the entire run.

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20 minutes ago, Gigi43 said:

 

The SVU Facebook page is pimping MH/Oliva for the 400th left and right. It's at the point where  I'd  be insulted if I were Ice-T. Not that it's fair to the others either, but come on the guys been on almost the entire run.

 

Agreed! As the last of the "old guard" Benson/MH and Fin/Ice-T should be featured equally.

I hated when Munch came back in S15, after bailing out Amaro, he only had a scene with Benson and not with his partner of 14 years. And now there's no mention of Fin's grandchild (who should be born by now) and how he came to the decision to take the leap to become Sargent.

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Stabler is never coming back. There's always fanfiction for you. He has no reason to return, and I don't want him to. Benson and everyone else have forgotten about him and are glad he's gone. Awful character, he should've never held a badge and belonged in the looney bin. Unfortunately there are a lot of cops like that in real life, I'm glad SVU is done with angry hypocritical douchebags as detectives. 

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On Monday, January 02, 2017 at 1:49 PM, FairyDusted said:

I'm just glad they never coupled them up. I liked them too much as partners. AAAAND I still miss me some shirtless Stabler. 

Shirtless is ok, but that butt is fantastic.

I don't know if anybody here watched Oz. Lee Tergesen, Dean Winters, and Tom Fontana were doing the audio commentary for some episode that had a ton of Beecher and Keller stuff. Tom and Dean started talking about how it was too bad that Chris couldn't be there to talk about the episode. Lee pulls out his phone and plays this voicemail from Chris about not being able to the commentary. Chris has left message about how much he misses him and how he wished he was there. Chris is gushing a little. Dean and Tom start making fun of them saying "you know you only played gay characters." Whenever I see him with Mariska I think about that because Chris does seem to become good friends with the people he works with.

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Benson and everyone else have forgotten about him

Except when they're hurling him under the bus to fluff Amaro as the Best Partner Evarrrr, and yes, I am still annoyed by that.

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Hmmm...considering how this episode would have ended, I'm almost glad if they never air it. Though considering its ending, I don't see how it could be controversial or anything, at least from Trump's perspective. I could see some of the audience not liking the ending (as I didn't like the description either). 

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Glad to know what happened in that episode, and I agree it didn't sound very good. But I have to wonder since the episode portrayed the Trump character as innocent, how come there was such controversy about it? Did they rewrite the ending? Where they afraid of looking biased in favor of Trump ( my guess, the episode did have a pro Trump bias and NBC yanked it afraid of viewers backlash because of Trump's ties to the network ). 

Bad idea, and I don't really care now, I just hope to see good episodes in the future. 

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7 hours ago, LizDC said:

 

6 hours ago, Trini said:

They should have just aired it when they had the chance before the election.

Yep. They should have just aired it and taken the hit. Or turned down the script. Either do it or don't, but postponing and then shelving it and then waffling is a waste and you are still going to be criticized by both sides of the political spectrum. And probably by the fans as well given Ice-T's comments about the show.

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“I don’t even think it’s worth showing,” said longtime S.V.U. cast member Ice-T, who plays Det. Fin Tutuola. “It wasn’t one of our best shows.”

Probably true, but if the network starts using that as the basis for making scheduling decisions they'd be in real trouble. We think the breaks are too long now...

Edited by wknt3

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If the network wets itself over a controversial episode, STOP APPROVING THEM to begin with. Maybe the episode was good, maybe it was shit, but money was still spent on it. What a waste.

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It sounds like its time this show got some "executive" producers who know what the hell they're doing when it comes to choosing stories/scripts for an ensemble cast show. And how to keep to a tight production schedule that keeps the show in the public's viewing "mind" and doesn't frustrate or lose the viewers they have. Its sounding like this show is in total disarray on the production end. Wasting money on poorly written scripts, wasting money for the cast to waste their time and effort for nothing, endless reruns in the middle of the viewing "season", these are the things that get producers fired and cause a show to implode. And this has all gone down on Ms. Hargitay's watch. And we already know the complaints about her part in it. In short, she needs to step down and get somebody in there who knows how to get this show's shit together....fast. IMO.

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1 hour ago, QueenMab said:

And this has all gone down on Ms. Hargitay's watch. And we already know the complaints about her part in it. In short, she needs to step down and get somebody in there who knows how to get this show's shit together....fast. IMO.

I have episodes piled up on my DVR and haven't watched them because I'm so tired of Ms. Benson.

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The reruns are the choice of the network, not the producers. They have like 3 episodes in the can, but NBC wants to highlight their shiny new Chicago shows instead.

I could probably figure this out if I cared to try, but didn't they film the Trump episode before the Trump Access Hollywood tape was leaked? When the script was green-lit, they probably had no idea how close to home it would end up being. They also probably had no idea that Trump would actually win, and thought they could just air it in the spring with little controversy. In an alternate universe where Hillary won, I don't think the premise of this episode would have bothered me if it had aired months after Trump lost.

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The election is way over. The World Series is way over. One Chicago show is the 8:00 lead in to SVU, the other two are different nights. They teased us with a new "Barba centric" episode and pushed that back to the end of the month. This Wednesday we get two, count 'em, two turkey episodes from the fall...again. In the middle of the winter/spring season. They're out of excuses. The network is airing these shows because that's all they got. This show's production staff has clearly become a bunch of ass clowns who DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY'RE DOING. So much for Hargitays' leadership skills. The show is a giant suckage, and again, on Hargitays' watch. Unlike Benson, she doesn't get to "skate" on this.

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Agreed, this show is in giant disarray and they have no idea what they are doing. Letting Mariska Hargitay call all the shots for the show has killed it, the show is nothing more than a project for her to give PSA's, and the current showrunners have no idea what the hell they are doing. The show is in clear disarray, and it is obvious to anyone who is paying attention. You know they just switched another episode as well, the Barba centered hacking episode got pushed back another week and we will have another new episode in its place on March 22. 

I am wondering if SVU will be renewed for season 19, or if it even should be. It is clear no one at NBC cares about the show, Dick Wolf doesn't care about the show, the showrunners have no idea how to run a show, they've alienated a lot of their fan base and people are just getting fed up with how obviously incompetent the showrunners are. This is what happens when you get writers who are just there to kiss Mariska's ass and when they've alienated all their fans except the die hard Benson fans and when they are clearly out of ideas. 

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The dead giveaway for me was all that "400th episode" bs. Pics of the cast smiling and hugging. Pics of Hargitay smiling and being hugged. Pics of cast eating cake and smiling. NOT ONE network honcho in the mix. Dick Wolf, "the creator" of the show didn't show up. Surely they would have a pic of them smiling and hugging him? Warren Leight, who with Esparza, created the character of Barba and helmed the show for years, didn't show up. There's your sign. NBC doesn't like Hargitay being "in charge" and they showed it. There's a lot of unhappy campers at NBC...and it looks like Hargitays' doing.

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There's a lot of strange ideas afoot in this thread.  MH does not run the entire production.  She's busy acting, promoting her charitable endeavors, and enjoying her vast wealth.  There's not enough hours left in the day for her to also be running the show, and why would she even want to?  You have to keep your lead actress happy, but she is not the showrunner.  That would be Rick Eid.  These MH conspiracy theories make things much more complicated than they need to be... the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, and it's clear enough that the arrival of a new showrunner coincided with a precipitous drop in quality of the show.

There's also nothing to be read into the 400th episode pics.  These are essentially press photo shoots scheduled during a regular work day, they are not pictures of a real party.  (Edit: I assumed the above reference was about the usual types of photo shoots they do for these milestone episodes -- where they just shoot it on the courtroom set, not an actual party venue -- but I did a quick search and did find some pics of what might be an actual event that included Dick Wolf  https://allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com/2017/01/tv-guide-celebrates-mariska-hargitay.html ).  Warren Leight would not show up because he's not running the show anymore, his absence is not a sign of anything.

NBC, and not the producers, sets the airdates.  The shuffling is probably because, as many have noted, these episodes have mostly been bad.  You shuffle the airdates around to put the stronger episodes first while you try to fix the others with new edits or reshoots.  (Which, as we have seen, usually only helps so much)

In any event, here's hoping for a season 19 with a new showrunner!

Edited by JyDanzig
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I'm not much of a fan of Olivia Benson, the character, these days. But @JyDanzig is correct: Mariska Hargitay is not the show runner and never has been. And "Producer" credits on shows such as these still usually result in little input and are about prestige and a bit more money.

Rick Eid (who has also been involved in other shows in the franchise) is the current show runner. The buck stops there, folks.

I get being annoyed by the current scope of the show. I do. But I don't think it is due to Mariska Hargitay. I think those above at NBC/Dick Wolf Productions think she is the centerpiece, though, so Benson gets the glory, right or wrong. And considering how most talk positively about her, I assume Hargitay is well respected/liked.

Time will tell if there's a S19 (and, unless MH wants out, I'm pretty sure there will be!) and who will run the show, if not Eid himself. But ratings are lower, anyway, thanks to its age. I don't think this season has a lot of bearing there, but I could be wrong.

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Come on, we all know that Mariska calls all the shots. She doesn't have the showrunner title, but we all know that she has a huge input on the writing of the episodes, it is clearly shown by episodes such as the last one which feel like a PSA for her organization and the way she is allowed to preach nonstop, and the way she is portrayed as some kind of saintly figure, it is clear she has a ton of creative input over the show, whether the writers admit it or not, Mariska is the only one who really cares about this show as it is just her pet project. Dick Wolf only cares about his Chicago shows and NBC certainly doesn't care about this show. The showrunners are incompetent and have no idea about what to do and the episodes are always being changed around and the show is in chaos. 

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Well, people can defend or explain in detail the mechanics of television production all they want, but, the truth is this is what a person gets for setting themselves up as "Queen Bee" on an ensemble show. When her name is on the credits as "Executive Producer", clearly uses the writers to promote her personal politics/agendas that are so insane uber left even this 60s flower child is choking on the nonsense, the "ripped from the headlines" scripts suck, the actors kiss her butt like their lives depend on it, and proceed to "phone in" their performances while she hogs 40 out of a 44 minute show even when it doesn't make sense for her to be there.....you can't blame a disgusted viewing audience for blaming her. She wanted to be big bossy pants of it all.....then that's where the buck is going to stop...with her. Sorry :)

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You are absolutely right, and everyone can see it. It's clearly Mariska's show, she uses it to promote herself, her organization and her agenda. Mariska is clearly the queen bee now and hogs up all of the screentkme and storylines, and it is obvious to anyone who watches that she has a huge input over the storylines. The show should be renamed the Olivia Benson hour, it is all about her, every episode, and it is clear by the way everyone involves talks about it that it is all about Mariska and that she always gets her way and that her ego is out of control. When you let one star take over the show, this is what happens, chaos and disorder behind the scenes. 

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9 minutes ago, Xeliou66 said:

it is clear by the way everyone involves talks about it that it is all about Mariska and that she always gets her way and that her ego is out of control

The cast and crew professing that they like her doesn't suggest to me "out of control ego" or PR spin when they could just as easily not say anything. Unless you're suggesting Mariska is the real life Kate Burton in the wine company episode, and they're all being forced to say positive things against their will.

Plenty of (male) lead actors have gotten producer credits on their respective long-running shows and no one faults them personally for the shows' successes or failures- not to mention the obviously gendered criticisms like queen bee and bossy. Bryan Cranston on Breaking Bad, Jon Hamm on Mad Men, Michael C. Hall on Dexter- the Dexter conclusion was garbage and I don't recall people faulted Michael C. Hall personally like they do with Mariska. She's not calling literally all the shots. If she were, why do the Warren Leight fans seem to think there's such a drastic difference between the episodes of this season and last season? Why are the types of cases different this season? Why is there less Noah, and why did they cut Robert John Burke- a recurring character dating 15 years- so abruptly after such a longtime build-up to Benson's relationship when Mariska loved Tuckson last summer? Why did the episodes run on time last season, but not this season? It's not like this megalomania you're describing appears overnight. She may be the face of the show as the lead, and the writers and producers (all of them) may think more Mariska is what people want (who knows, maybe marketing suggests they do, we represent a small portion of fans), but I strongly disagree that issues like network episode scheduling issues, or inconsistent writing quality lies at Mariska's feet when those responsibilities are not hers.

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Yeah, this conception of Mariska as some sort of deranged egomaniac who has somehow seized sole control of someone else's multi-million dollar property is just not reality.  Even if you know nothing about how TV or this show is made, you can see it plainly on the screen.  Neal Baer SVU is distinct from Warren Leight SVU is distinct from Rick Eid SVU.  This is internet message board insularity run amok... the reason Benson is featured is because the producers and network correctly understand she has become the main draw for most viewers, most of whom are casual fans who never wade into internet commentary, so their views are not represented here.  Again, this is just not a situation that needs a complicated and over-dramatic explanation, when the truth is simple and straightforward: the star is featured because she is the star.  She is credited as an EP because that's what happens when you headline a successful series for 18 years, not because she seized the title in a bizarre campaign of diva terror (this whole exchange is putting me in a mind to dial up the first episode of "Feud: Bette Vs Joan"...  @skittl3862, good call on how gendered this criticism is... that went right by me, somehow)

But, you know, I'm also a believer in letting people get what they want out of a show.  I have my own hate-watches.  If it gives some viewers a more viscerally satisfying viewing experience by constructing this version of Mariska as the wicked queen... I guess have at it.

Edited by JyDanzig
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Okay, this Mariska talk really has gone as far as it can before it goes in circles, and it's really not "Media". So let's live and let live and like, hate, or feel nada for Mariska Hargitay and move this back to Media stuff, please and thank you!

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