Tuesday, October 03, 2006

NBC's Promos Blow

Tonight's LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT featured a Special Guest Appearance by the great movie actress Leslie Caron, who starred with Gene Kelly in AN AMERICAN IN PARIS more than fifty years ago and earned two Academy Award nominations for roles in LILI and THE L-SHAPED ROOM. Not one of NBC's on-air promos that I saw--and I saw several of them--mentioned Caron's performance. I admit that Leslie Caron means nothing to most television watchers under 40 (50?), but it's also true that the demographics for the L&O series tend to run high, and I refuse to believe that an appearance by a legendary movie star who hasn't appeared on episodic television in twenty years ago is not worthy of being marketed to the show's audience. If she was worth hiring, I believe she's worth marketing.

Ironically, in the same L&O promos I saw, NBC was touting a guest turn by Brooke Shields in the L&O: CRIMINAL INTENT episode that ran just prior to L&O: SVU. I realize that Shields had a long-running (but terrible) sitcom, SUDDENLY SUSAN, on NBC, but it would take some hard evidence to convince me that L&O fans are more excited about seeing Brooke Shields than Leslie Caron.

Appearing with Caron in the episode were James Naughton, a stage star with many TV appearances over the past three decades (including a lead role in the shortlived PLANET OF THE APES series!), Charles Shaughnessy, Fran Drescher's love interest on THE NANNY, and film star Connie Nielsen, filling in for star Mariska Hargitay during her maternity leave.

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