Sunday, May 26, 2024

Exclusive: “Law & Order Organized Crime” Will Get Special Appearance by Dann Florek, aka “SVU” Captain Cragen


I’m told there’s a big effort now to re-organize the very disorganized Chris Meloni show, “Organized Crime.”

One step in the right direction will be an appearance — probably for May sweeps — by Elliot Stabler’s old boss, Captain Cragen from “SVU.” Dann Florek will be checking in. The last time Cragen was seen was via Zoom on the “SVU” 500th episode.

This is just one of many course corrections taking place on “Organized Crime” now that Stabler’s nemesis, Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) is gone. Sources say that it’s time to get “Organized Crime” back in line with the “Law & Order” franchises.

In the last couple of weeks, Dick Wolf Productions ousted showrunner Ilene Chaiken and replaced her with Barry O’Brien, whose credits include “Castle.” O’Brien’s mandate, sources on the west coast say, is to bring Stabler into the real world and away from the lone ranger he’d become in pursuit of his wife’s killer.

Chaiken, says a Wolf insider, “didn’t understand about the Law & Order formula. She was also allowing Chris Meloni to rewrite dialogue and scripts. She was a chaotic showunner catering to an egotistical star.”

“Organized Crime” loses 1 million to 1.5  million viewers at the end of “SVU” on Thursday nights. More and more viewers were abandoning it because they couldn’t figure it out or just didn’t like it. Chaiken, I’m told, didn’t care. And Meloni, sources in the Wolf organization say, had no idea about the show’s poor reception.

At the same time. NBC has insisted that both shows have the same number of episodes, and line up. “You’re never going to see an Organized Crime without an SVU before it,” I was told.

The good news is that the revived “Law & Order” with Hugh Dancy, Jeffrey Donovan, and the returned Anthony Anderson is a hit, and everyone seems to like it. If all parties can realign “Organized Crime,” Thursdays will be calm, cool, and collected on NBC.



The Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced today the star-studded lineup of presenters who will take the stage at the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards. The show airs Sunday on TBS and on the CW Network at 8pm Eastern.

Issa Rae will present the SeeHer Award to Halle Berry, while Jimmy Kimmel will take the stage to honor Billy Crystal with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Additional presenters include Ava DuVernay, Carey Mulligan, Jamie Dornan, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Kristen Wiig, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mandy Moore, Zoey Deutch, Joel McHale, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, J.K. Simmons, Ray Romano, Ken Jeong, Alan Kim, Angelica Ross, Annie Mumolo, Dominique Jackson, Dylan O’Brien, Hailie Sahar, Indya Moore, Jacob Bertrand, Jung Ho-yeon, Kaci Walfall, Lee Jung-jae, Maria Bakalova, Mayim Bialik, Nasim Pedrad, Park Hae-soo, Ralph Macchio, Robin Thede, LA Rams Coach Sean McVay & Veronika Khomyn, Shawn Hatosy, Sonequa Martin-Green, and more.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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