Retooled freshman drama Law & Order: Los Angeles will return to the schedule with a two-hour episode on Monday, April 11 and will move to its regular Monday 10 PM time period the following week. “We are pleased to welcome Law & Order: Los Angeles back to NBC’s regular lineup,” NBC’s chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “Dick Wolf and his team have made some exciting creative changes and we can’t wait to re-introduce the show to audiences.”
LOLA will see Alfred Molina in his new role as Detectives Ricardo Morales, partnered with Tomas “TJ” Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) as they pursue cases through the diverse City of Angels. As part of the creative overhaul of the show, which included the departure of 3 regulars, including Skeet Ulrich, Alana de la Garza, veteran of the mothership Law & Order series, is joining the series, reprising her role as Deputy District Attorney Connie Rubirosa. Staying put is Terrence Howard as Deputy District Attorney Jonah “Joe” Dekker.
Earlier this season, LOLA averaged a 2.5/7 in adults 18-49 and 9.0 million viewers overall. The show launched to some gripes from die-hard Law & Order fans that the newest installment has strayed from what made the first 3 Law & Order series work. In the new incarnation of LOLA, the producers are addressing that, making the series closer in feel to the others, darker and less “blue sky” than its original run in the fall.
L&O creator Dick Wolf is credited with coming up with the plan for changing up Molina’s character after discussing the future of the show with Greenblatt shortly after he joined NBC. Word is Greenblatt has been very invested in the show and was looking for ways to better balance the show, on which he felt the real heft of acting was in the second half, in which Molina and Howard were alternating as 2 DAs. Wolf’s plan allowed for both actors to be on the series full-time and have them throughout each episode, adding weight to the first half.