TCA Liveblog: “The Event,” “Undercovers,” “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” “Facing Kate,” Outlaw,” and “Chase”

 

12:20 p.m. Law & Order: Los Angeles

Dick Wolf had a 20-year-run with the original Law & Order which was just axed by NBC last season. It’s newest spin-off is still very young, with star Skeet Ulrich saying he’s only seen one script. During the panel, only one female character was discussed, and that was Skeech’s character’s wife, his ex-partner that left the force to stay home with the kids.

Post-panel I asked Dick about plans for other female characters.

There are three. The captain is a woman. There are two ADAs below Terrence [Howard] and Alfred [Molina].

And will there be any gay characters?

I don’t know; that’s not part of the litmus test.

Interesting, so it gives me the impression it’s not high on Wolf’s list of priorities. If one of the women on the show isn’t a lesbian, I think it’s really a missed opportunity. This franchise hasn’t had the best track record with putting gay women in prominent positions, unless they are finding their way out the door.

I am glad to hear there will be a female captain, though. When asked if she was cast yet, Dick said he couldn’t discuss that.

11:00 a.m. NBC Executive Session

NBC received an adequate rating from GLAAD this year, improving 5 percent from 2008-2009 but still lacking in regularly occurring gay and lesbian characters. I asked Chairman of NBC Universal Television Jeff Gaspin about the rating and if they had any plans for more LGBT characters in the near future, and he didn’t name any specific shows, characters or storylines.

You know, I was certainly disappointed with us because NBC has been such a huge proponent of the gay and lesbian community from years ago from An Early Frost and Will & Grace. You know, some things are cyclical and we’re just on a downslide in our stories and our scripts. I certainly expect that we’ll rebound.

In other words, "Yeah, it’d be cool for some more gays to make their way into our shows, but we’re not really that worried about it."

NBC President Angela Bromstad touched on two of our recently canceled shows with lesbian characters. On Heroes:

It was a great show. It was a four tremendous years for us. If we could replicate, it we absolutely would.

On FlashForward and how similar The Event seems to be:

We are going to do everything in our power to guard against doing a FlashForward [with The Event]. That was a great script and a really good pilot. It’s something we were afraid of competitively and we understand we did disappoint the audience. We take these lessons seriously. All I can tell you is the audience and critics will be, and rightly so skeptical, and we’ll have to prove it.

As of now, it seems NBC’s offering of lesbian or bisexual characters rests firmly in the hands of Carly Pope‘s new bisexual character on Outlaw. If Stephanie Hunt returns to Friday Night Lights for its final season as Devin, the lesbian teen, that will make two.

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