Live ‘Wire’

Sep 20, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The return of “The Wire” for its third season Sept. 19 means all’s right with The Insider’s world.

HBO’s screening and party was a gathering of the extraordinarily diverse and watchable cast, the crew and the faithful-and not the signature all-HBO mob scene. Upstairs at the party one could find creator and executive producer David Simon, who said that if there is a fourth season-the line to sacrifice to the TV gods forms right behind The Insider!-the cast will have become as populous as Baltimore, the city in which it is set. He also said a fourth installment would make this season’s meditation on change and reform “seem like a light-hearted romp.”

One floor down was S. Robert Morgan, whose recurring character, known as Blind Butchie, is becoming a fan fave. Mr. Morgan, a D.C. actor and theater founder who has been blind for a decade as a result of macular degeneration, didn’t know until he asked while working on his second episode that his character was not initially written as blind. It was his audition that produced that life-imitating plot twist.

The Way to ‘Law & Order’

The city of New York has finally put Dick Wolf’s 14-year-old “Law & Order” on the map by naming an access road to the show’s studio Law & Order Way. The Insider hopes plenty of duplicates have been made to replace the street sign, certain to tempt souvenir collectors.

Meanwhile, the series has amped up its roster of consultants with the addition of, among others, judge-turned-legal-pundit Leslie Crocker Snyder and Dr. George Lombardi, once the physician to Mother Teresa. Look for episodes that will smack of the infamous Joel Steinberg child abuse saga, mob threats on the life of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and the case of New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, whose resignation and coming out raised more questions than they answered. Also look for new snap, crackle and pop with the addition of Dennis Farina as a cop named Fontana. It’s an homage to Mr. Wolf’s pal, producer Tom Fontana.

News Fashion Footnote

“Today” anchor Katie Couric didn’t just turn peer heads at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards in her summery green frock. She caused whiplash among average Joes on the street at evening’s end. A quartet of thirtysomething men warbled their appreciation from across the Midtown Manhattan street, and Ms. Couric’s almost coquettish waggle of her fingers in recognition set off another chorus. At that point, one of the men whipped out his cellphone and excitedly informed his absent girlfriend about the almost close encounter with Ms. Couric. It was sweet. It really was.