September 1, 2014

Elyria
Clear
73°F
test

New ‘Law & Order: SVU’ episode to echo Cleveland kidnapping case

This publicity photo released by NBC shows, from left, Danny Pino as Detective Nick Amaro, Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins and Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” (AP photo)

This publicity photo released by NBC shows, from left, Danny Pino as Detective Nick Amaro, Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins and Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” (AP photo)

LOS ANGELES — NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” will be paying tribute to its ripped-from-the-headlines heritage this season, the drama’s executive producer said.

The show returns for its 15th year at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday, picking up on last season’s cliffhanger finale that had New York City police Detective Olivia Benson (series star Mariska Hargitay) held at gunpoint by a rapist.

It will be followed by a second new episode at 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday, this one with a story line about kidnapped girls that echoes the Ariel Castro case in Cleveland.

In upcoming episodes, a politician will run into trouble over “sexting,” while another plot will focus on a celebrity chef and the shooting of a young African-American man — an apparent mash-up of Paula Deen’s racial-slur woes and the Trayvon Martin case.

“We use headlines as a jumping off point but we utilize them as a way to explore the issues that underline these stories,” producer Warren Leight said.

While fiction, the episode about the chef demonstrates “how we all profile people one way or the other when we pass them on the street,” he said.

The new season represents “a significant reboot” of the crime drama, said creator Dick Wolf, adding that Hargitay and the show have never been better.

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is the sole remaining first-run U.S. series in Wolf’s “Law & Order” franchise.

  • Phil Blank

    Why?
    Haven’t we seen and read enough about this in the media and on the web?
    Or are the writers that incompetent that they can’t think of anything to write about themselves and are relaying on actual events to put money in their pockets?
    If you can’t do your job, maybe someone else can!

    • galvestonduck

      One of L&O’s best-known trademarks is “ripped from the headlines” stories. But what they do is allow a storyline to be *inspired* by a real-life story from the news. They almost never tell the story as we know it. There are always twists and turns. We aren’t hearing the same story all over again. We know Paula Deen didn’t shoot Trayvon Martin, so clearly that episode will follow twists that we aren’t prepared for.