Alec Baldwin continues to leave public life, in a New York Magazine cover story called “Good-Bye Public Life” and now, in a role on one of the country’s most watched TV series. NBC made it official today that Baldwin will guest star as a controversial New York newspaper columnist, in an upcoming episode of Law & Order: SVU. Word of this guest gig got out earlier this month. But it wasn’t well known that Katie Couric will play herself — a TV show show host, that is — who grills Baldwin, as controversial New York newspaper columnist Jimmy MacArthur about the headline grabbing hate crime/rape case.
NBC wisely waited until Baldwin’s New York Magazine cover story came out and he was once again on the minds of the media to confirm he will play MacArthur, who questions the SVU squad’s motives during the investigation. Icing on the cake: show star Mariska Hargitay is directing — her debut.
“In our story, ‘Jimmy Mac’s’ reporting interferes with the investigation, which has a ripple effect when the case goes to trial,” EP Warren Leight explained in the announcement, adding that the chemistry between Baldwin and Hargitay “is palpable.”
The episode will air Wednesday, March 19.
“I’ve watched Alec on screen for so long and always hoped we would be able to work together some day. Having the opportunity to tell this story with him, having him bring his experience, depth, truthfulness, and fierce commitment, honestly feels too good to be true,” Hargitay said in today’s announcement.
Baldwin starred in, and won multiple Emmys for, NBC’s comedy series 30 Rock before migrating to MSNBC for a talk show that lasted just five weeks, before he was suspended after he was seen on video using offensive language toward a photographer in a street exchange.