Tuesday, March 30, 2010

INTERVIEW: "LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT" EXECUTIVE PRODUCER WALON GREEN

Futon Critic } 3.30.10
By Jim Halterman

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent"
kicks off season nine tonight on USA with a few departures - original cast members Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe - and some notable arrivals - Saffron Burrows and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio - within the Major Case Squad of the New York City Police Department. What isn't changing is its ripped-from-the-headlines plots and its special guest stars, including Lorraine Bracco, Tracy Pollan and a soon-to-be-cast big name actor to play Jeff Goldblum's father on the show. Showrunner/executive producer Walon Green told our Jim Halterman yesterday that despite the changes the show has gone through "Criminal Intent" is still the same show fans have stuck by through thick and thin. Green also talked about making the cast changes work for the show, what prompted the quirkiness in Goldblum's character and he didn't mince words about why he's more than happy to not be working for the broadcast networks any longer.

Jim Halterman: With the cast shake-ups taking front and center in the season opener, is it safe to call this season a 'game-changer?'

Walon Green: Inevitably, these are different people playing different characters so, yes, that part of it is a game-changer. The DNA of the show is not any different. It's still a show that's more about the 'why' than the 'how' of crimes and still very, very slanted to the exploration of these apparent behaviors that tend to mystify and upset us. It's a different show but it's the same show.

JH: How did the decision come about for Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe to depart? Was it a mutual decision since they'd been on the show from the start?

WG: It was mutual. It came over a period of time and didn't just land on the end of last season. Vincent had considered moving on prior to this last season and his contract was up. He originally did the show and did 22 episodes. I wasn't on it then but it had to have been a nightmare for him to carry a show like that. Then they split it into two-12 episodes where he shared it with Chris Noth. Then it went to USA and it was eight and eight sharing it with Jeff. I think the feeling was that he had done it. There was also a feeling that doing 16 episodes it could have been two detectives and didn't need to be four and that would be a way to go. They can do 16 episodes and it's hard but 22 is a real killer.

JH: Cast changes aren't anything new to the 'Law & Order' franchise but how did you and your fellow writers/producers approach it?

WG: The only time I did it before was when Jerry Orbach came onto the original 'Law & Order.' I was showrunner at that time and he replaced [Paul] Sorvino but that was done mid-season. It's much easier to do it at the beginning of the season except everyone felt, and rightfully, that you couldn't just open the season and Vincent and Katy would be gone so we thought 'Let's do a two-parter that explains the story.' Their departure is, in fact, the story of the show and they would pass the baton. Then it was just a matter of coming up with a story where you could peel so much of the onion in one episode and there's still a lot left to peel.
Full article

Thanks Linda!

5 comments:

wilmingtonfan said...

So we were right. They planned for JG to be the main detective since they brought him on. That's how i read between the lines in this interview. Waylon Green was the showrunner for the G/E episodes last season. It sure doesn't sound like he was trying to get VDO to stay on. He wanted 16 episodes from one detective beginning with this season.

Jane said...

I don't think Vincent wanted to stay on in face Walon is saying that Vincent wanted out for a long time, to be honest this is probably true if Chris hadn't come onboard we would of being saying goodbye years ago.

janethyland said...

It was obvious. Alot of us knew this.

The Goren story ended with Frame when all the writers left and the rest was a bridging loan.

Diane said...

Walon may be very happy about everything, including Vincent and Kate departing, and that happening within a 2 episode arc, but if he thinks the rest of us are thrilled, he hasn't been 'listening' for about the last 6 months. Or maybe he thinks like Dick Wolf, that 'it's all about the stories'....Yeah right!

gyang333 said...

Yeah, i thought that as well wilmingtonfan. I'm not going to claim premonition, but when they scaled the show back to 16 episodes, I thought to myself, how can they continue going on with the 50/50 split in episodes? I knew something had to give, but it's too bad that Vincent has to leave, and bringing in an actor like Jeff Goldblum, what did you expect to happen? He's not going to stay around and play second fiddle! With Chris Noth, it wasn't so bad because he played an established character from the L&O universe... Had he never left, this would never have happened.

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[CURRENT PROJECTS]

List of films in production.

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson

"TENN" [TBA]

A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

"American Falls" - [TBA]

In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

'Purgatory' [TBA]

'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

"A Fall From Grace" [TBA]

Detective Michael Tabb knows the city of St. Louis inside and out. He has felt its true heart, as much as its dark underbelly: but he does not know who, in both the dark and light - is taking the lives of young girls.

Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

"Supreme Ruler" [TBA]

A man campaigns to become the leader of the Buffalo lodge.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Hank Dory
Ron Livingston as Steve
Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy

"The Monster Next Door" [TBA]

"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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