Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chris and Mariska: Bigger pay, longer stay

Looks like Chris and Mariska will be sticking around, albiet with fatter paychecks. Yay us! From The Hollywood Reporter:
"Law & Order: SVU" stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni have signed lucrative deals, valued by sources at more than $330,000 per episode for each actor.

The two-year pact makes Hargitay the highest-paid actress on television, surpassing "The Closer" star Kyra Sedgwick, who recently secured a rate of
$250,000-$300,000 per episode of TNT's hit police drama.

Meloni would join the top tier of TV actors, closing in on the highest-paid actor on broadcast TV, Charlie Sheen of CBS' "Two and a Half Men."

Sources said NBC and the show's producers briefly considered replacement
scenarios, sending out feelers to several male actors, but they ultimately
opted to stick with the show's original leads. The hit show is currently in its eighth season, and was recently picked up for a ninth.

Through a representative, "Law & Order" franchise creator Dick Wolf declined comment on any specifics of Hargitay and Meloni's deals.

"Obviously, I'm thrilled that Chris and Mariska have decided to stay with a show that they've made an indelible stamp upon as we move into our ninth
season," Wolf said.

At the announcement of the early pickup last week, NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly was asked whether "SVU" could continue without its
two stars.

"The 'Law & Order' brand has proven before that it can be stronger than any one performer if it were to ever come to that," he said. "But they are
stars, and I certainly hope they're going to be our stars for the run of the show."

"SVU," the first spinoff of the long-running "Law & Order," is the strongest of the three "L&O" series ratingswise and the only one already picked up for next season.

Last year, Hargitay and Meloni were nominated for an Emmy for their work on the show, and Hargitay won for best actress in the drama series.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Jerry Lives On

Thanks to an eagle-eyed apocrypha list reader and, of course, Gothamist, apocrypha has recently learned that Jerry Orbach is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

According to the Daily News article:

Beloved actor Jerry Orbach embodied the quintessential New Yorker, living his life with wisdom, wit and generosity.

Now two lucky women will see the world through his eyes.

The Broadway and TV star donated his eyes when he died in December 2004, giving sight to two women who needed new corneas.

"I cannot remember a day that went by where he didn't say, 'I want to donate my eyes,' " Orbach's widow, Elaine, recalled yesterday.

A prostate-cancer patient at the time of his death at age 69, the Bronx-born Orbach did not donate any other organs, she said. "He never wore glasses. He could read in the dark, practically - just this wonderful vision he was so proud of."

For 12 seasons, he played menschy wise-guy detective Lennie Briscoe on TV's "Law & Order," making him the ideal face of a new donor-recruitment campaign by the Manhattan-based Eye Bank for Sight Restoration, said the organization's spokeswoman, Noel Mick.

"He widely appealed to people," Mick said. "Hopefully, it will increase donations in the New York area. We're in need," she said, noting the bank needs 1,100-1,200 annual donors.

Elaine Orbach said one of the actor's corneas went to a woman who needed a nearsighted eye, and the other went to a woman who needed a farsighted one.

"I wonder if they have an overwhelming desire to watch 'Law & Order' or maybe sing '42nd Street' all of a sudden," she mused.

Radio and TV announcements voiced by Orbach's son Chris began airing two weeks ago, and print versions are running in the Daily News. Subway ads debut this month, Mick said.

Jerry, we still miss ya!