Sunday, February 12, 2006


TV producer Dick Wolf has done pretty well for himself when it comes to being an overlord in the TV Universe. (I am a mere caretaker.) Currently, he has three TV series filling up slots in the NBC schedule - 'Law & Order', 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit', and 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'.

And when I say "slots", I mean that sometimes these shows are used to plug the holes in the sked when other shows tank.

He's had his own failures in the past, of course - 'Deadline' and 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury', which were both part of the 'L&O' franchise in their own ways. Although to be fair, 'Trial By Jury' was a very good show but NBC was nervous for better ratings almost immediately and so 'twas untimely ripped from the schedule.

He's also produced a reality show in the 'Law & Order' mold, and now has a new series to be set in his Toobworld bailiwick - 'Conviction'. This show will feature Stephanie March as ADA Alexandra Cabot, who used to be a regular on one of his other shows, 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'.

So even though he's molded a reality show to fit the 'L&O' mold (Mmmmmm.... Now I want a Jell-O mold.), there's one corner of the TV market in which Dick Wolf has not conquered with the 'Law & Order' brand......

Saturday morning children's programming.

It must keep him awake at nights, I'm sure! Lying there in his bed stuffed with 'L&O' revenue; gazing up at the ceiling; wondering how he can finally corner the market in kiddie TV with 'L&O' characters.

And this week, he could have found just what he was looking for in the news.....

From a report filed by WCBS-TV reporter John Slattery:

"Talk about an unlikely investigator for the Brooklyn D.A. It's a cat named Fred, who was specially deputized to help in a sting operation that resulted in the arrest of a former veterinary technician, Steven Vassall, 28, of East Flatbursh.

Brooklyn DA Charles J. Hynes said Vassall allegedly masqueraded as a vet, even doing surgery.

The DA believes Vassall may have been practicing for the last seven years. What was odd was that he didn't work out of an office. His practice was strictly house calls.

Hynes showed reporters an undercover videotape. Investigators had set up a sting in an apartment, using Fred the cat as bait. Vassell allegedly agreed to neuter Fred for $135... and then he was arrested."

'Law & Order: Pet Squad' or 'Undercover Pets' or 'Felony Felines'..... So long as the title was preceded by 'Law & Order', Dick Wolf would be happy.

Maybe they could bring in Moose, the Jack Russell terrier who played Eddie on 'Frasier', to be the cat's partner. I don't think Moose has found much gainful employ since 'Frasier' went off the air, save for a few "Coach" print adverts.

Perhaps a special guest appearance by Dog, the basset hound owned by 'Columbo', and the cockatoo from 'Baretta' could appear in a very special episode during Sweeps - "When Celebrity Pet Owners Go Bad".

And as a network crossover to please the hierarchy on the Peacock Throne at NBC, why not an episode featuring the bad driving skills of Toonces from 'Saturday Night Live'? (It was mostly a puppet in those sketches, but the real Toonces has already joined John and Gilda and Phil and Danitra and Uncle Mike in that big Studio 8-H in the sky.....)

Of course, in the long run Dick Wolf would probably pass on the idea. It's not like the Animal Planet network hasn't already done this kind of story several times over. So this new concept to present stories "ripped from the headlines" would end up being de-clawed.......


"Never trust a female, even the four-legged variety."
Number Six
'The Prisoner'

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