Dick Wolf on Law & Order: LA's 'Bold' Revamp: 'The Proof Is In the Pudding' - Will You Watch?

When NBC’s Law & Order: LA resumes its freshman run Monday at 9/8c, the look and feel will be so different, “I’d almost call it Law & Order: LA 2.0,” says franchise boss Dick Wolf. In fact, Wolf deems the double episodes airing next week “better than anything we did in the first 13…. Frankly, the proof is in the pudding.”

What all has changed? More like: What hasn’t? In the first new hour, Skeet Ulrich’s Detective Rex Winters is written out of the series, paving the way for Alfred Molina’s Ricardo Morales to transition to homicide detective, a job he held prior to joining the District Attorney’s office.

“Sometimes someone has to die so that everyone else can live,” Wolf says of Ulrich’s extraction. “It was a very, very painful call to make.” Additionally, Regina Hall and Megan Boone have left the series.

With Morales on the streets, partnered with Corey Stoll’s Detective TJ Jaruszalski, Terrence Howard’s Deputy DA Joe Dekker figures into every episode — and will be joined by Law & Order alumna Alana de la Garza, reprising her role of Connie Rubirosa.

Noting that de la Garza was “well-loved by the mothership audience,” Wolf says, “The opportunity to put her in was too good to pass up.”

“This is a very bold, very audacious step,” Molina said of his increased presence. “But on a personal level, I was very thrilled by the idea, because I love working.”

“Although the one-episode-on/one-episode-off regime was very luxurious,” he adds with a chuckle, “I felt like I was missing out on something. I just hope the audience is as enthusiastic as we are!”

Why didn’t Law & Order: LA get things so right the first go-round? Wolf says he was originally presented with a plan that had the original Law & Order bowing out with a final salvo of episodes in fall 2010, setting the table for LOLA‘s debut. But when the mothership instead got canceled wholesale last spring, “We were very much in a breakneck race to get [LOLA] on the fall schedule in time.” And having never shot a proper pilot, “This was basically a transition at 60 miles-per-hour, which is never the first choice.”

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  1. Charlie A says:

    Bye Skeet, bye bye LOLA as far as I am concerned! A great talent who caused me to watch the series! I am a long time Law & Order viewer and never watched the spin offs, but always followed L & O through all the cast changes! This ends the LOLA for me!

  2. Sarah says:

    I watched the first batch because because 1) it’s a form of Law & Order which I have loved from the beginning (1990) but especially since Sam Waterson and 2)because sweet SKEET was on it. I MIGHT watch it much later once the ratings have been counted. I’m about to watch my DVR recording to see the last of Sexy Rex. If you outright killed Rex then IMHO you killed LO:LA. I would love if he was actually in WITSEC and could return. One possibly acceptable Skeet-less solution COULD be his wife (Teri Polo) back on the force working with Rex’s partner and Molina either be a lawyer or someone else’s partner. Oh, and does Terrence need a partner now? How about Sam Waterson and/or Linus Roache (Alana too)? I love and miss them both. Thanks for your time and consideration.

  3. DEE says:

    I am not pleased with Skeet’s exit. The whole fall I am asking myself – why are they not expanding his role ?…esp with his family?? The writers suck and that is the reason that the series was grinding down to a halt. Plus I got tired of Terrance’s sobby court cases…..he looked like he was on the verge of crying every time. Plus – I suspect that Molina was either promised or got whiney about not having more air time. And like I have said many times to other boards…..it is hard to believe that a DA would go back to a detective…it is just not a real life senario. LOL does not flow well AT ALL…..boring…..I predict the show will flop…there are a lot of Skeet fans out there that are PISSED.

  4. Mortimer Hendrie says:

    Dick, have you outdone yourself this time around, or are you
    just living up to your name?

  5. Kim says:

    Detective Rex Winters was the most likable character on the show!! I prepared myself to watch the double episode after waiting so long for it to air, as soon as the first one ended I switched off the TV!! Hypothetically speaking if Stabler or Benson were killed off in SVU would anybody continue watching the show?? It’s common sense people(writers)!! I will definitely not be watching this show anymore.

  6. Margaret Tudor says:

    Skeet’s the only reason I bothered watching LOLA even with it’s lousy scripts. Now that Skeet’ gone, I’m gone and apparently judging by recent ratings-a lot of other fans are gone too. LOLA is D.O.A.

  7. jane simpson says:

    LOLA has just aired here in the UK – after only 9 episodes Skeet has been killed off – I could not believe it. So guess what Mr DICK Wolf?
    I wont be watching it any more (it airs on universal channel here) cos Skeet was the only reason I tuned in at all.Skeet deserves better and he’ll get it.