Saturday, April 30, 2011

Readying (or Not) for the End of ‘Intent’

NY Times
By BRIAN STELTER
Published: April 29, 2011

“Hey, Vincent!”

Vince Carannande, who was walking his dog in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village of Manhattan on Wednesday, spotted the actor Vincent D’Onofrio, whom he has watched on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” since the television drama had its debut in 2001.

“Glad to have you back!” Mr. Carannande shouted from across Seventh Street, where a scene in one of the last episodes of the show’s 10th season was being filmed at Vazacs Horseshoe Bar, also known as 7B.

“Thanks a lot!” Mr. D’Onofrio, who had taken off the previous season, shouted back.

Almost every New Yorker seems to have a story — or many stories — about coming across “Law & Order” crews and stars on the streets of the city. “They use this bar like once a year,” Mr. Carannande said with a touch of pride in his neighborhood. But he may not see the familiar film crews there as often in the future. This season of “Criminal Intent” could well be its last.

Twelve months after NBC canceled the original “Law & Order” without warning, NBC’s cable sister, USA, is winding down “Criminal Intent,” a spinoff that focuses on a fictional version of the Major Case Squad of the New York Police Department. This time, notice has been given: USA has billed the episodes that start on Sunday as “the 10th and final season” in news releases since last fall. The channel ordered only 8 episodes, down from 16 last season.

Unless the executives at USA and NBCUniversal, its parent company, change their minds, a second New York production of “Law & Order” will be taken off the streets, leaving only one remaining in the city: not coincidentally, the highest-rated of the three, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

“To have a show in New York go down is not good for New York,” Mr. D’Onofrio, who lives in Manhattan, said on Thursday. He added, “The fact that we managed to do these eight more episodes gives a lot of people eight more episodes of income.”

But the sense on the set of “Criminal Intent” this week was not one of melancholy or inevitability. Not everyone believes that the show is actually ending.

Dick Wolf, the creator of the “Law & Order” franchise, “never says never,” said Chris Brancato, the executive producer of “Criminal Intent” this season. True to form, Mr. Wolf — who won several stays of execution for the original “Law & Order” before its demise last year — said on a recent conference call with reporters that he hoped “enough fans will come out so the powers that be reconsider their decision.”

Mr. D’Onofrio, who plays Detective Robert Goren, said he found the end date “hard to believe”; Kathryn Erbe, who plays his partner, Detective Alexandra Eames, said, “I’m in denial of it.”

And if it does actually end? Well, then, “Criminal Intent” will close with its two original stars, an impressive feat, since the show has been on for a full decade.

The Goren and Eames characters were written off the show at the start of the ninth season. “I had had enough for a while,” Mr. D’Onofrio said, noting that “most people don’t ever get to do a show for this many seasons.”

Without the two, the show’s ratings — which had been slipping for years — eroded further. The ninth season, televised last spring and summer, drew an average of 3.6 million viewers, down from 5 million two summers earlier. (“Criminal Intent” was primarily an NBC show until 2007, when it was shifted to USA, and NBC began showing repeats at later dates. NBC will rerun the 10th season, starting May 30.)

When USA elected last May to bring the series back for one final short season, the channel’s executives set about signing Mr. D’Onofrio and Ms. Erbe for farewells. “They basically asked me to come back to finish it, so I did,” Mr. D’Onofrio explained.

On Wednesday the actors were working on Episode 6, “The Last Street in Manhattan,” involving a murder in Inwood, the borough’s northernmost neighborhood. The corner of Seventh Street and Avenue B, eight miles south of Inwood, had been plastered with fake signs for West 218th Street because the show was not allowed to shoot in the episode’s real setting.

“It’s a hot zone,” said Amanda Slater, a unit production manager, meaning that the city had banned filming for a period because of complaints about too many film shoots in the neighborhood.

Mr. Brancato shrugged off the location change. The Inwood setting was “almost nicer than what we wanted to portray,” he said half-jokingly.

Across Seventh Street, on the periphery of the park, several dozen East Villagers were lingering in the sunshine to watch rehearsals. A few even brought chairs, evidently planning to stay awhile.

Others strolled by without knowing that the police officers standing next to the bar were extras — or that their police cars had pieces of paper on the seats identifying their owner, Movie Time Cars. A siren was heard down the block, but it couldn’t be determined whether the alarm was real.

When Mr. D’Onofrio crossed the street to pose for photographs with the residents, Irene Siwik, who lives on St. Marks Place, was first in line with her camera.

“I’m glad you guys are back,” she told him. “I love the show.” She had not heard that it was two months away from its series finale. “I’m still mad that they’re taking away ‘All My Children,’ ” she said, referring to the soap opera that ABC recently said it was canceling.
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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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