Friday, May 18, 2007

Balcer Lands at the Mothership (Again!)


Rene Balcer's back! (I thought that might happen, once I heard he was on set at "Criminal Intent" recently, but having him at the mothership again is even better than if he'd taken the helm at CI.)

Two apocrypha interviews with Balcer from over the years:

Balcer back on 'Law & Order' beat
Showrunner returns for 18th season
"Law & Order" vet Rene Balcer is returning to the mothership, signing on as showrunner for the skein's 18th season.

Deal comes in the wake of "L&O's" last-minute renewal by NBC. In addition to producer changes, "L&O" mogul Dick Wolf is expected to institute some cast changes at the show as well.

Balcer--who developed "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"-- dipped his toes back into the "L&O" waters earlier this spring when he agreed to serve as a consultant on the last few episodes of the season (Daily Variety, March 13).

New deal has him returning full-time, taking over showrunner duties from Nick Wooton.

"Rene's talent has been manifest since the first season of 'Law & Order,'" Wolf said. "It was under his watch that the show won the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy Award and his work on 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' was groundbreaking. Rene's return to 'Law & Order' signals a creative renaissance on the mothership that should carry us closer to my ultimate goal of beating 'Gunsmoke'."

Having joined "L&O" during its first season back in 1990, Balcer became showrunner/head writer in 1996. His four-year stint coincided with the skein's emergence as a top 10 hit and its first Emmy win as best drama.

CAA-repped Balcer teamed with Wolf to develop "Criminal Intent," which premiered in 2001. He served as "CI" showrunner until last year, when he handed off the gig to Warren Leight (but remained as a consultant).


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