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James Hibberd

They Might Collar Ernie in the Bert Passion Killing

July 21, 2006 6:17 PM

Dick Wolf, creator of the “Law & Order” franchise, took critics by surprise when he announced at his Press Tour session that there will be another “L&O” series debuting Aug. 14.

A video clip introduced “Law & Order: Special Letters Unit,” a parody attaching Wolf’s brand to the PBS children’s series “Sesame Street.”

Mirroring “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” there was a purple-pink Mariska Hargitay monster, an orange Chris Meloni monster—named “Maloney”—and a green monster that completely embodied Richard Belzer, all on the hunt for a missing “M.”

“This is the ultimate cultural accolade,” Wolf said, noting he’s already gotten a similar cultural nod from Mad magazine.

“I feel like a tobacco executive, hopefully hooking 4- and 5- and 6-year-olds,” he said.

Wolf also called rumors that Sam Waterston was leaving the “Law & Order” mother ship “totally salacious.”

And the never-shy Wolf took on ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson, who earlier in the week complained of this year’s Emmy nomination process, which shut out “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” in many key categories.

“I massively disagree with Steve McPherson’s assessment,” Wolf said, lauding “SVU’s” Meloni and his first lead actor nomination after seven years on the show. The new system “opens up a closed process,” Wolf said. “The proof is in the pudding.”

One critic asked why seemingly every actor who appears on Broadway has appeared on one of the “Law & Order” shows, at least according to their credits in the playbills.

“I’ve long said if you go to the theatre and they do not have a ‘Law & Order’ credit, they’ve just gotten off the bus or they are really bad.”


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