"Law & Order" Takes Inspiration From Letterman Scandal - NBC4 Washington

"Law & Order" Takes Inspiration From Letterman Scandal



    "Law & Order" Takes Inspiration From Letterman Scandal
    How long can Dave Letterman keep himself the butt of the joke?

    David Letterman has had a year of big headlines.

    There was his triumph in the ratings over "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien," his much-publicized jokes and backlash about Sarah Palin's daughter, and most recently, it was the alleged blackmail scandal over his sexual relationships with junior "Late Show" staffers. And now it seems, Letterman's latest column inches are inspiring an episode of "Law & Order."

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    According to Rene Balcer, an Executive Producer of the long-running NBC show, an episode which takes inspiration from the late night talk show host's recent scandal, will shoot next week and air in January.

    But in true "Law & Order" fashion, Balcer said they're only starting with the headline. The details are different.

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    For starters, the talk show host is female, played by "The Daily Show's" Samantha Bee.

    Bee will play a married talk show host, though not one of any particular political leaning, whose affairs with women on her staff lead to blackmail and eventually a murder.

    "It adds a different twist to the blackmail aspect of it," Balcer said of having a woman as the person on the receiving end of such a threat. "Certain people in power basically avail themselves of certain privileges and whether they're male or female it doesn't really matter."

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    The Letterman-inspired plot twist actually forced the powers that be at "Law & Order" to rework an episode they had already worked up concerning blackmail.

    "My co-Executive Producer, Ed Zuckerman, and I were both in China this summer and we both read this horrific news item over there about a rather elaborate and blood thirst blackmail plot, which we thought would make the basis of a pretty great story about blackmail. We working on that since about the beginning of August," Balcer said. "When the Letterman thing happened, we sniffed it, rolled it around and said, well maybe we can meld elements of that story with the Chinese story."

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