May 23, 2017

Law & Order: Epatha May Stay, Meloni In, Erbe Back?


It’s spring, and a young man’s fancy turns to the soap operas at the various “Law & Order” shows.

I can tell you that sources say S. Epatha Merkerson may not be leaving “Law & Order” so fast. Even though Merkerson announced that she was exiting her role after 20 seasons, I am told that this is just a negotiating ploy. “L&O” grand poobah Dick Wolf is notoriously tough on money. But Merkerson is the show’s only tie to its past. She started there in 1993. Next season, if it’s renewed, “L&O” would become the longest running series ever. It doesn’t seem possible that NBC and Wolf won’t make that p.r. hook happen. And they can’t do it without Merkerson. So hold on. Lt. Anita van Buren may yet play out a final record breaking season.

And there’s more: Chris Meloni is now saying he’s staying with “Law & Order: SVU.” In February, he gave some quote that he was out. But “SVU” can’t function without Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, who’ve become savvy negotiators themselves. Merkerson probably took a page from their book. See how this works?

And finally: the word from the set of “Criminal Intent” is that Jeff Goldblum and Saffron Burrows are not getting along, that Burrows may not be working out, and the stage could be set for Kathryn Erbe–whom I reported exclusively months ago was purged along with Vincent D’Onofrio and Eric Bogosian–might be brought back around Episode 5.

To read more go to

Photo by NBC.


About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to

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  • April 8, 2010 | Permalink |

    she probably just wants more money

  • April 8, 2010 | Permalink |

    Her first appearance on Law and Order was actually on 1990 the 1st season on the show when she played Denise Winters the mother of a son who was shot. 🙂

  • April 11, 2010 | Permalink |

    ““L&O” would become the longest running series ever”

    I don’t think so……

  • April 21, 2010 | Permalink |

    So, how truthful is this? Next week is Episode 5 of LOCI and it is still Goldblum and Burrows. How do you know Erbe may be back as early as episode 5. That is a load of crock cuz they have already filmed quite a few episodes!

    And on the CI forum, someone was saying Merkerson is NOT going to stay, so I wonder what the truth behind this story is.

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