Friday, May 25, 2018

Law & Order: SVU May Never End


When Dick Wolf first pitched the idea for a spin-off of Law & Order based solely on sex crimes, producers worried that its potential failure would hurt the goodwill of its parent show. But now, as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit gears up for its 20th season — tying its predecessor — the series is gunning for Gunsmoke's record as the longest-running scripted drama in television history. And while showrunner Michael Chernuchin is intent on breaking that record should SVU get the greenlight for a historic 21st season, he has no plans of stopping after that.

"I don't see any reason why this show will end," the SVU boss told TV Guide. "[We're going to continue] until Mariska [Hargitay] says, 'let's end it,' because we're dealing with things that are on the front page in the papers every day. Now, more than ever."
He certainly has a point. The #MeToo movement picked up massive steam in October 2017 when a slew of actresses publicly accused now-disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment. The outpour of support from other women who shared similar experiences brought the sensitive topic to the forefront of national conversation — a fact not missed by Chernuchin, who wants to tackle the movement in an episode next season.

"This whole Me Too movement... it's everywhere. Even though we've been touching on it for 19 years, we may do a full-blown episode on that," he said. And it makes perfect sense. After all, SVU's DNA is rooted in these sort of ripped-from-the-headlines stories, so dedicating an entire episode to the massive movement isn't just inevitable, it's expected.

 As the series prepares to stake its claim as the longest-lasting scripted drama on TV, Chernuchin says he's focused on looking toward the future. He's so confident in SVU's sustainability, in fact, that he's never even given any thought to what this show's ending would look like. "No, I have not," he said. "If we start to get a whiff of the network saying this is the last year, then we'll dig our heels in and think about it. But until then, I don't really see a reason to think about it. I don't see the show going away."

But if he had to put a number on when to call it quits, Chernuchin already has one in mind: "I'd like to get to 500 episodes. That's a nice round number, isn't it?" he added.
With the show having aired it's 434th episode on Wednesday, that means Chernuchin is hoping for at least three more seasons of SVU before it bows out, which would bring it to a potential record-breaking 22 seasons. Here's hoping the SVU team gets to chance to see this dream through.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and Chadwick Boseman Among 150 Stars to Sign Letter on Gender Equality


Stars from film and television are calling for action against gender inequality.

Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and Chadwick Boseman are among the notable names who have signed a letter in support of gender equality. More than 150 stars have banded together with international charity ONE in the hopes of creating change.

Back in March, on International Women's Day, the organization published its fourth annual #PovertyIsSexist letter to world leaders, "demanding that they deliver powerful changes for women and girls living in extreme poverty." And now, Winfrey, Streep, Boseman, along with a myriad of other influential figures, are lending their support by signing onto the letter.

Other famous signatories from the entertainment industry include Reese Witherspoon, Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Portman, Mariska Hargitay, Mindy Kaling, Neil Patrick Harris and Yara Shahidi.

"We won’t stand by while the poorest women are overlooked," part of the letter states, expressing a dire need for "historic changes for women" in the #MeToo and Time's Up era. The campaign has also received support from those outside of show business, including former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Chelsea Clinton and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington.

Read the entire letter below, as well as a full list of signatories.

"Dear World leaders,

We’re putting you on notice.

For 130 million girls without an education. For one billion women without access to a bank account. For 39,000 girls who became child brides today. For women everywhere paid less than a man for the same work.

There is nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunities as men, but the gender gap is wider for women living in poverty.

Poverty is sexist. And we won’t stand by while the poorest women are overlooked.

You have the power to deliver historic changes for women this year. From the G7 to the G20; from the African Union to your annual budgets; we will push you for commitments and hold you to account for them. And, if you deliver, we will be the first to champion your progress.

We won’t stop until there is justice for women and girls everywhere.
Because none of us are equal until all of us are equal."


Adwoa Aboah, Model, Activist and founder of GURLS TALK
Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education Secretariat
Ali Hewson, Founder, Edun and Nude
Ali Nuhu, Actor
Amy Brenneman, Actress, producer
Amy Hepburn, Executive Director, Women1One
Amy Poehler
Amy Schumer
Amy E. Weaver, President, Legal & General Counsel, Salesforce
André Pienaar, Managing Partner, Founder, and Chairman, C5 Capital
Angelique Kidjo, Grammy Award-Winning Artist and Activist
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO, New America
Anne Wizorek, Author and feminist activist
Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post co-founder and founder and CEO of Thrive Global
Asa, Singer, songwriter, and recording artist
Bisola Aiyeola – Actor, singer, MC
Blake Lively, actor
Bobby Shriver, Co-Founder, ONE and (RED)
Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of ONE and (RED)
Caitriona Balfe, Actress
Cali, Singer and songwriter
Calum Worthy, Actor
Carole Wamuyu Wainaina, COO, Africa50
Carolin Kebekus, Comedian, actress, musician
Carol Hamilton, Group President, L’Oreal Luxe USA
Cassandra Bankson, YouTube Influencer
Chadwick Boseman, Actor, director, writer
Chelsea Clinton, Advocate, Author, Teacher, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation & Clinton Health Access Initiative & Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Chris Anderson, TED Curator
Cindy Beedie, Director, Cause We Care Foundation
Cindy McCain, Businesswoman, philanthropist, and humanitarian
Connie Britton, Actor and activist
Culcha Candela, Hip Hop, Reggae, & Dancehall Band
Cynthia Drakeman, Founding CEO of DoubleXEconomy, LLC
Daisy Ridley, Actress
Danai Gurira, Actor and award-winning playwright
David Burtka, Actor, chef
David Oyelowo, Actor
Dayle Haddon, Spokesperson, Activist, Author & Model
Deb Dugan, CEO, RED
Déborah François, Actress
Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Corporate Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, Cargill
Diane Whitty, Global Head Philanthropy Centre Private Bank, J.P. Morgan Private Bank 
Dunja Hayali, Journalist and news-anchor  
Elizabeth Banks, Actor, director, producer, co-founder of WhoHaha on YouTube
Ellen Chilemba, Founder & Executive Director, Tiwale
Elsie S. Kanza, Head of Regional Strategies – Africa, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum Geneva
Emilia Clarke, Actress
Emmylou Harris, Singer/Songwriter
Farah Ramzan Golant, CBE, CEO, Girl Effect
Felicity Huffman, Actor, Founder of WhatTheFlicka
Gavin Hayman, CEO, Open Contracting Partnership
Gayle Smith, President & CEO, ONE
Gina Rodriguez, Actress
Graça Machel, International advocate for women’s and children’s rights; former freedom fighter and first Education Minister of Mozambique
Hans Sarpei, Footballer
Hugh Evans, CEO, Global Citizen
Isha Sesay – CNN News anchor
Issa Rae
Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO, Acumen
Jake Harriman CEO, Nuru International
Jamie Drummond, Co-founder of ONE
Jan Delay, Musician
Janiece Evans-Page, VP, Fossil Global Philanthropy and Sustainability
Jennifer Fraser, Director of Data Center Engineering, Twitter
Joana Breidenbach, Entrepreneur and co-founder of
Joe Cerrell, Managing Director, Global Policy & Advocacy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
John Green, Author and YouTuber
John Prendergast, Founding Director, The Enough Project
Josh Bolten, President & CEO, Business Roundtable
Julia Gillard, Chair of the Board of Directors at the Global Partnership for Education, and former PM of Australia
Julie Gichuru, Founder and CEO of Arimus Media Limited and MIMI HOLDINGS LTD
Juliette Binoche, Actress
June Sarpong, TV producer and host
Kate Walsh, Actor
Kelly Ayotte, Former U.S. Senator for New Hampshire and New Hampshire Attorney General
Kelsey MacDermaid and Becky Wright (TheSorryGirls), YouTube Personalities
Kumail Nanjiani, Actor, writer, and comedian
Lauran Bromley, Bromley Family Foundation
Lena Dunham, Actress, writer, director, and producer
Letitia Wright, Actress
Mabel van Oranje, Initiator and Chair, Girls Not Brides
Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State, author, Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, and Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown
Malika Saada Saar, ‎Senior Counsel on Civil and Human Rights, Google
Maria Eitel, Founder & Co-Chair, Nike Foundation
Mariska Hargitay
Mark Suzman, Chief Strategy Officer & President, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Marne Levine, COO, Instagram
Mellody Hobson, President, Ariel Investments
Meryl Streep, Actress
Michael Sheen, Actor
Michele Sullivan, President, Caterpillar Foundation
Michelle Grogg, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development, Cargill
Michelle Monaghan, Actress
Mindy Kaling
Minh-Khai Phan-Thi, Actress and TV host
Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Founder of Celtel, and Founding Chairman of Satya Capital Limited
Mort Halperin, Senior Advisor, Open Society Foundations
Natalie Dormer, Actress
Natalie Portman, Actor
Neil Patrick Harris, Actor
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Former Minister of Finance, Nigeria, and former Managing Director of the World Bank
Oby Ezekwesili, Convener, Bring Back Our Girls
Olafur Eliasson, Artist
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Actress
Oprah, Chairman & CEO, Oprah Media Group
Pam Scott
Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the Center for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
Phoebe Robinson, Stand-Up Comic
Poppy Delevingne, Actress, model
Rachelle Hruska, Founder, Lingua Franca
Rashida Jones, Actor
Reese Witherspoon, Actress, filmmaker, business owner
Regina Scully, Founder and CEO, Artemis Rising Foundation
Robin Wright, Actor
Ryan Beedie, President, Beedie Development Group
Ryan Reynolds, Actor
Sarah Brown, Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education and co-founder of A World at School
Sara Nuru, Host and model
Sarah Degnan Kambou, President, International Center for Research on Women
Sarah Wiener, Chef and activist
Selmor Mtukudzi, Musician
Senta Berger, Actress
Shane Bigelow, SVP & Managing Director, Bernstein
Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Sibylle Berg, Author
Steve Evans, Executive Vice President, Owned Brands, Fossil Group
Susan A. Buffett, Chairwoman, The Sherwood Foundation and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation
Tanya Burr, Fashion and beauty vlogger
Thandie Newton, Actress
Theresia Gouw, Co-founder Aspect Ventures
Tina Fey, Writer, actress and producer
Tom Brady, New England Patriots quarterback
Tom Freston, Chairman of the Board, ONE, and Principal, Firefly3
Toni Garnn, Model, actress
Tony Prophet, Chief Equality Officer, Salesforce
Toolz Oniru-Demuren, Presenter & Assistant Director of Programmes at Beat 99.9FM, TV Presenter, and Media Personality
Valerie Amos, Former Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to the President of the United States & Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls
Uche Pedro, Founder, Bella Naija
Vanessa Mdee, Afro Pop Musician
Waje, Singer
Yara Shahidi, Actress and activist
Yemi Alade – Singer
Zachary Quinto, Actor and producer
Zain Verjee, Co-founder and CEO of aKoma Media, former CNN anchor
Zeinixx, Artist and Activist
Zendaya, Actress and singer

Monday, May 21, 2018

Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay in Conversation & DEAR WHITE PEOPLE Events Added to PaleyLive LA Spring Season


The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills announced today the latest selections for its PaleyLive Spring 2018 season: Creating Great Characters: Dick WOLF & Mariska Hargitay in Conversation will be held on June 4, 2018, and An Evening with Dear White People will take place on June 5, 2018.
"We're honored to present these two acclaimed programs that tackle some of today's most pressing social issues," said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center's President & CEO. "We look forward to welcoming Dick Wolf, one of the most prolific and creative minds on television, renowned actress Mariska Hargitay, and the talented cast and brilliant mind behind Dear White People, for what promises to be two very entertaining and educational conversations."

On Monday, June 4, two-time Emmy-winning and Grammy-winning producer, Dick Wolf, creator & executive producer of the Law & Order franchise, will be joined by Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress, Mariska Hargitay, for a special conversation on her defining work on season nineteen of the NBC series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Hargitay, who plays Lieutenant Olivia Benson on the series which this fall will premiere its twentieth season, currently serves as an Executive Producer and has directed multiple episodes of the long-running series. Hailed as one of the most prolific and honored producers of all time, Dick Wolf's other series include Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, CHICAGO MED and the upcoming F.B.I.

"Mariska has been the heart and soul of SVU for nineteen years and this is the first time the two of us will have the opportunity to have an in-depth public discussion about the evolution and future of SVU," said Dick Wolf, creator & executive producer of the Law & Order franchise.

The cast and creator of the critically acclaimed Netflix series Dear White People will take part in a special screening and panel conversation on Tuesday, June 5. Justin Simien, Creator, writer, executive producer, & showrunner; Logan Browning, "Samantha White"; Antoinette Robertson, "Colandrea 'Coco' Conners"; Ashley BlaineFeatherson, "Joelle Brooks"; Marque Richardson, "Reggie Green"; DeRon Horton, "Lionel Higgins"; and John Patrick Amedori, "Gabe Mitchell" are scheduled to participate. Brought to life by a gifted ensemble of actors, Justin Simien's vivid and thoroughly engrossing series tackles issues that are both timely and timeless. Currently in the midst of its well-received second season, Dear White People is produced by Lionsgate for Netflix.

"I'm honored that Dear White People was selected for the 2018 PaleyLive Spring program, and I'm excited to reunite with our exceptional cast to discuss the series with true television fans," said Justin Simien. "The Paley Center plays an important role in encouraging discussion about the cultural impact and social significance of television, and I can't wait to take part in the conversation."

PaleyLive programs offer television fans the rare opportunity to engage with the cast and creative teams of their favorite programs in intimate settings held at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. All PaleyLive programs are selected by the Paley Center to not only expand society's understanding of the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, but also for their ability to educate and entertain the public.

Tickets to both events are on sale now to Paley Center Supporting and Patron Members. They will go on sale to Paley Center Individual Members on Friday, May 18, 2018 at 9:00 am PT; and to the general public on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 9:00 am PT. For more information, panel updates, and to purchase tickets, please visit

'The Real SVU': We kicked open the courtroom doors and got justice for sex-crime victims


I helped create 'Law and Order: SVU' 20 years ago. Now I'm telling the story of how the pioneering 'Real SVU' pursued justice for sex-crime victims. By Linda Fairstein

There were no Special Victims Units in any police or prosecutors officers in America when I graduated from law school in 1972.  I was offered a position — the seventh woman to join the legal staff of 200 men — in the great office of the Manhattan District Attorney. 
I met my first rape victims one year later, when I was 26 years old. I had already learned the very ugly truths about cases of sexual assault: They were the only crimes in the penal laws of every state that required more evidence than the word of the accuser to allow her to go forward. Most days, no matter how credible each of them was — woman, man or child — I had to tell them that our legal system deemed them not competent to repeat their stories to a jury nor to seek justice in a court of law.
When I became leader of the newly created sex-crimes unit in our office in 1976, my three colleagues and I had no template to guide us in doing our work. We fought first to change the archaic laws that had been handed down to us from 17th century British jurisprudence — literally, to kick open the courtroom doors to allow victims to testify
We then had to develop ways to work shoulder to shoulder with the New York Police Department's Sex Crimes Unit, to learn how better to investigate these cases so that any evidence in support of the victim’s case could be preserved. There was only one advocacy group in the city to which victims could turn for emotional support — a grassroots organization, most of its members survivors themselves who had been denied access to court years before.
We accomplished more "firsts" than I can count on fingers and toes. We were first to devote resources to taking date and acquaintance rape cases to trial; to recognize and address the special needs of child victims; to call out the potential lethality of domestic violence situations; to deal with drug-facilitated rapes and the issues unique to their investigation.
We were first to creatively apply to a judge for court-ordered surveillance of a health care professional’s office when we had credible evidence that he was molesting sedated patients; to understand the needs of victims who were raped by addicts using dirty needles at the height of the 1980s AIDS epidemic, making the crime a virtual death sentence; first to use DNA — even before judges ruled it admissible in court — to both exonerate and incriminate scores of suspects. 
And those things were all accomplished by the mid-1980’s. The list of innovative and courageous approaches my colleagues took in moving these cases forward is — and continues to be — breathtaking.
Twenty years ago, while I was still leading what is now known as the Special Victims Unit, I had a call from Dick Wolf, creator of the Law and Order television series. He was in pre-production of a spinoff that he called Law and Order: SVU. He wasn’t asking me to be part of his team, but he was hoping I would spend time with two of his leading actors — Mariska Hargitay and Stephanie March — to explain our work. Not only did I enjoy that opportunity, but it was the start of two friendships I cherish to this day.

People often commented that Wolf had ripped my professional life from the headlines, just as he did with the crimes he showcased. In fact, this series, one of the most popular in the history of television, brought the issue I have cared most about in my professional life out of the darkness. It shined a terrifically bright light on subjects that often were unspeakable before he set them down in our living rooms.
I stayed in that job for 30 years, because I thought it was the most important work I would ever do. I continue my advocacy for victims of violence to this day. I watch with enormous satisfaction as women step forward to say "me too," remembering a time that there was a stigma attached to every one of those accusers who had the fortitude to get as far as a police precinct or my office. 
I applaud their bravery and their strength, and I know that the blueprint for the path every single one of them followed was forged by the women and men who have made these investigations and prosecutions their life’s work for the last four decades. There is a real SVU in Manhattan, and I am fiercely proud of its stories.
Linda Fairstein is a former Special Victims’ prosecutor, a best-selling crime novelist, and the host and producer of THE REAL SVU, a Lifetime special airing May 21. Follow her on Twitter: @LindaFairstein


Thursday, May 10, 2018

And the award goes to?


“Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay will receive the Crystal Nymph Award at 58th Annual Monte Carlo Television Festival on June 15. The award recognizes a stellar body of work by a major international actor or actress, with last year’s recipient being Dame Helen Mirren. Outside of her work on “Law & Order,” where she is also a producer, Hargitay produced HBO documentary “I Am Evidence” this year, about the backlog of hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits sitting in storage across America.

'Law & Order: SVU' Season 19 Wraps Production


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was officially wrapped production on season 19, according to Mariska Hargitay.
Hours before NBC greenlit season 20 of the crime drama, the lead actress took to a photo of the cast and crew celebrating in the show's courtroom set.

"Mile 19 of who knows how many," Hargitay wrote. "Running strong. Your stamina, your perseverance, and relentless forward movement blow me away. So proud to run with you."
The shown had wrapped up exterior scenes on the two-hour season 19 finale back on May 4, according the SVU writers' Twitter account.

They shared a behind-the-scenes snap as the show prepared to finish its interior work. That two-part episode will air on May 23, with a previous filmed episode airing on May 16.

'Law & Order: SVU' inches closer to the record books with Season 20 renewal

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is one step closer to making history.
NBC has awarded a Season 20 renewal to the veteran spinoff of "Law & Order," placing it alongside that flagship series as well as "Gunsmoke" as the longest-running live-action TV drama series.
Although the Emmy-winning "Law & Order" was poised in 2010 to make it to a 21st season and break "Gunsmoke's" record, NBC canceled it in May of that year. Creator Dick Wolf tried to keep the show afloat, including shopping it to TNT, but his efforts were unsuccessful. (Reruns of the original series continue to air on the cable network.)
More recently, Wolf had planned a potential "Law & Order" revival in 2015. However, he ultimately turned his attention to launching a new spinoff of the franchise — the anthology series "Law & Order: True Crime" — and a law-centered "Chicago" franchise series titled "Chicago Justice."

"Law & Order: SVU" is now positioned to pick up where "Law & Order" left off. The drama continues to perform steadily on Wednesdays, particularly with delayed viewing factored in.
One of the key factors in its continued popularity is star Mariska Hargitay, who has been with the drama since its inception and is now an executive producer. Fittingly, this past season of "SVU" saw original "Law & Order" writer Michael Chernuchin come onboard as showrunner.

Several of those working on the series have made no secret of their desire to reach Season 21, most notably using the #breaktherecord hashtag on Twitter over the course of Season 19. ("SVU" already stands as the longest-running scripted live-action series currently on the air, ahead of both "NCIS" and "Grey's Anatomy.")
Meanwhile, "Gunsmoke" is starting to fade from the record books on several fronts. It was recently surpassed by "The Simpsons" as the scripted series with the highest number of episodes when the animated series hit 636 episodes. "The Simpsons," aptly, marked the occasion with a special homage to the classic western series.


Monte-Carlo Television Festival To Honor Mariska Hargitay With Crystal Nymph Award


Law & Order: SVU star is set to be honored with the Crystal Nymph Award at the 58th Annual Monte-Carlo Television Festival which takes place June 16-20. The Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress will receive the award at the fest’s opening ceremony on June 15.
Hargitay is in good company when it comes to previous recipients of the award which recognizes a stellar body of work by a major international actor or actress. Last year, Academy Award-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren was honored with the Crystal Nymph Award.

In addition to playing Lieutenant Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU, Hargitay serves as an Executive Producer and has directed multiple episodes of the wildly popular NBC procedural.

Inspired by her work on the show, she founded the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004, whose mission is to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse; support survivors’ healing; and end this violence forever. At the heart of their advocacy work is the “End the Backlog” campaign, which aims to eliminate the backlog of hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits sitting in storage across America, so that survivors can get the closure they deserve. In addition, she produced I AM EVIDENCE, an HBO documentary film on the issue that premiered in April.

Lastest Post

'Law & Order: SVU' Actress Mariska Hargitay Opened up about Her Family in a Candid Interview

From: "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" actress Mariska Hargitay shares never-before-known facts about how...