Monday, January 3, 2005


When Jerry Orbach passed away a week or so ago, he had only completed three of the first six episodes of the latest spin-off from 'Law & Order', 'Trial By Jury'. Luckily for us who were fans of his work, we'll be able to see these when the show premieres in March. And we'll be able to say goodbye one more time to a great TV character.

But TV is a business, and I get this feeling that even as Orbach was dying, the suits were already trying to figure out who should replace him on the show. Not as Lennie Briscoe, obviously, but as another seasoned, veteran detective now retired and working for the D.A.'s office.

It would have to be somebody with the "oomph" to convey the experience of a cop who had seen it all in NYC, I would think. An actor who generated not only star power, but also the believability of his character's years in the trenches.

The other day the New York Daily News published pictures of those celebrities who attended Jerry Orbach's memorial service. And among them was an actor who worked with him in a movie back in the late 1980s. And just looking at him in his trenchcoat as he entered the chapel convinced me that the producers of 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury' should at least consider this suggestion, if not actually approach him with an offer.

Brian Dennehy.

Like I said, it's just a suggestion. But I think it's a winner from the perspective of not only the producers - who would be getting a powerhouse of an actor, - and of Mr. Dennehy - who would have the luxury of a settled location for working and in the heart of the theatre world to boot! - but also from the vantage point of the audience.

Hopefully somehow this suggestion has already come to mind for those who have some say in the casting......


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