Who should join the 'Law & Order' cast?

94444__dennis_l[UPDATE: Producer Dick Wolf has just announced that Milena Govich, a star of Wolf's short-lived Convinction, will join the L&O cast, and that she'll play a cop, though it's unclear whether she's technically replacing Farina.]

The bodies have hit the floor: Law & Order (original recipe) is now short two cast members, as Dennis Farina, after playing Detective Joe Fontana for two seasons, is bowing out. The other opening is in the DA’s office: Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Borgia (Annie Parisse) died in the course of a murder investigation in the season finale. Being Jack McCoy’s assistant is a high-risk profession — though, to be fair, the untimely death of Claire Kinkaid (Jill Hennessy) wasn’t directly job-related.

So… who ought to be on deck to replace Dick Wolf’s fallen soldiers? I doubt anyone will ever truly replace the late Jerry Orbach, but let’s not shoot for perfection. In fact, it might be time to get away from the crusty-old-white-veteran model, and try pairing surviving L&O flatfoot Jesse L. Martin with a different sort of foil. Michael Imperioli’s name is being bandied about this office — he came in to sub for Martin during the filming of Rent, and he was back this season. I could see an interesting chemistry there. Failing that, I wonder if a female homicide dick would be out of the question? How about a hard-boiled dame pounding the pavement with Detective Green? How about — and I realize this is out of left field — Lily Tomlin?

As for the new ADA… well, we know by now that Jack McCoy isn’t going to hire anyone who isn’t a) female and b) easy on the eyes. Personally, I’d like to see him establish a highly combative relationship with a real hard-case, someone along the lines of Mary Lynn Rajskub, better known as Chloe of 24.

I’ll shut up before I start getting into the really off-kilter casting choices. (David Cross! Amy Sedaris! Why do I want to see anarchist comedians in the most "establishment" show on TV?) I turn it over to you. Brain-trust away! I want a prospectus and two solid gallows-humor quips on my desk in an hour.

addCredit(“Dennis Farina: Chris Haston”)

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  • Josh

    Didn’t they already announce one of the actresses / characters from ‘Conviction’ was coming over to ‘L&O’?

  • Karen

    Lily Tomlin? Amy Sedaris? If that were the case I’d definately have to start watching L&O again. So crazy it just might work.

  • Kari

    I think that this is the right venue for Jenny McCarthy’s return to television. I read on Ask Ausiello that the gal who was killed on L&O was let go because she wasn’t rhymes with “shuckable” enough. Well, according to Dalton Ross, Ms. McCarthy enjoys letting the world know of her shuckablilty, and we all know what a great actress she is. Bring it on.
    And, if we’re going to go with MTV personalities with adult entertainment ties, I think that Simon Rex is clearly the best choice for the detective opening.
    You know what would be better? Switch those – Simon Rex in the DA’s office & Jenny McCarthy shaking things up in the precinct. Okay, yeah, I love that idea.

  • jfms777

    EW should do an article: “L&O” and “L&O Criminal Intent”: can these be saved? Should they be saved?
    Both are so tired, and are miles away from the energy in “L&O: SVU.” Maybe it’s time to pull the tv plug.
    A female with Jesse L Martin would be good. But honestly: Martin’s performance is so wooden that Meryl Streep would have a hard time creating combustion.

  • Cliff

    Cynthia Nixon and Billy Campbell.
    or
    Susanna Thompson and Blair Underwood.
    or
    Ted Danson and Alfre Woodard.

  • TJ

    I’d like to see Dominic West from the “Wire” in the Farina/Orbach role, and Gabrielle Union in the ADA role.

  • Miles

    How about a switcheroo… let’s get a female detective in there, and a young male Assistant D.A.
    for the female detective I’d like to suggest — Ally Walker the ex Profiler… who I miss on TV…
    and for the young male Assistant D.A. I’d like to suggest myself… I always wanted to be on Law and Order, and I seem to be wasting my acting degree in the high rolling world wall street… (someone get me out!!!!)

  • Thataboy

    Lily Tomlin is a positively inspired suggestion. I think Amy Sedaris is too old to be Jack’s second though. Gabrielle Union, as suggested above, would be good. If you are going for subversive, go with Sarah Silverman :)

  • Sarah C

    How did Claire Kinkaid die? Out of the 892,000 eps that TNT has shown, I’ve never seen the one where she bites the dust.
    And Scott, since you brought up David Cross, I want Jeffrey Tambor as George Bluth as the DA.

  • Ceballos

    I know people are posting their off-kilter casting choices, but what’s the point? L&O has a formula that works for it, and it it hasn’t changed in the last 42 seasons that it’s been on the air, why would we expect it to change now?? The best we can hope is that, since they’re probably sticking to their prototypes, they cast interesting actors in these roles:
    I liked Michael Imperioli on L&O, but I suggest William Fichtner (needs work after “Invasion”) pretty much ALWAYS an interesting guy to watch.
    As for the young, pretty D.A.: I like Kate Mara (Brokeback Mountain, and 24 for a few episodes this past year).

  • Christopher

    Sarah-
    Claire was killed when her car was rammed into by a truck running through and intersection while driving a drunk Lenny Briscoe home

  • Jill

    I was going to say to bring back Kyle Secor’s Homicide: Life on The Street character–Bayliss…but I think they would have to rewrite history to make that work…but he would be great…and needs something to do now that Commander in Chief is cancelled.

  • matt

    They already released who would be taking over for Dennis Farina’s character…the chick from “Conviction”, Milena Govich, who played Jessica.
    Now that leaves us with who should replace Annie Parisse, and I say let’s go with Angie Harmon (she was arguably the best foil for Mccoy. Her character went to Texas for a job, so just bring her back!)

  • meredith

    I heard that the Conviction girl was taking over for Annie Parisse, not Dennis Farina…is that true?

  • Jane

    Call me crazy, but I think all of Scott Brown’s recommendations ae pretty sound. Comedians doing stoic drama has a tendency to work.

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