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Friday, June 27, 2008

Vincent D’Onofrio Happy Birthday June 30

A big birthday is coming up for Law & Order Criminal Intent favorite Vincent D’Onofrio. On June 30, he’ll turn 49…and will probably want to stay there.

He was born on June 30, 1959, in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Gennaro and Phyllis D’Onofrio. According to Wikipedia, “His family moved frequently during his youth, and he grew up in Hawaii, Florida, and Colorado. He graduated from Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School in Florida in 1977 and attended a Colorado university for about 18 months. He then dropped out of college to pursue acting. He was accepted for study with the American Stanislavsky Theatre in New York City.”

Besides his current stint on Criminal Intent, Vincent is an accomplished movie actor. For the Stanley Kubrick film “Full Metal Jacket,” Vincent gained 70 pounds to make his role seem even more realistic. He has also both produced and starred in several films: Five Minutes, Mr. Welles (2005), Steal This Movie (2000), The Velocity of Gary (1998), Guy (1997), and The Whole Wide World (1996)

Have a great birthday, Vincent! Here’s a little birthday video so all Vincent’s fans can celebrate with you.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chris Noth: No Law & Order Movie Planned

Chris Noth and Jennifer Hawkins
Promoting LG Phones in Syndey, Australia

Chris Noth has been quite chatty lately, taking full advantage of all the attention he’s getting from the Sex and the City Movie, the new episodes airing for Law & Order Criminal Intent, and promoting LG phones in Sydney, Australia. Apparently someone thought there were plans for a Law & Order movie, which Chris has denied is in the works. Here’s the story from Contact Music:

LAW + ORDER star CHRIS NOTH has denied there are any plans to bring the hit crime show to the big screen - insisting the programme doesn't need any more incarnations.
The actor was a member of Law + Order's original cast between 1990 and 1995 and returned to the franchise in 2005, reprising his character for spin off show Criminal Intent.

The show, which has become the longest running primetime drama in America, now has two successful sub-series - Criminal Intent and Special Victims Unit, with plans for a British branch of the franchise - Law + Order: London - well underway.
And Noth insists that with so many different variations of the show currently showing on TV, there is no need to make a movie as well.

He says, "The problem with Law and Order is that it's on three times a day, six days a week. There are three different shows. I can barely watch it and I'm on it."

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Milena Govich, Jewelry Model

The National Jeweler Network has announced Milena Govich (Detective Nina Cassady, Law & Order) as a new “celebrity spokesmodel” for jewelry designer Donna Distefano. Is that a step up or down from “Detective Beauty Queen?” One can only wonder. Here’s the story:

Actress Govich to join Donna Distefano at JA
June 24, 2008

For the first time, jewelry designer Donna Distefano will participate in the JA New York Summer Show, and she's bringing along a special guest.

Accompanying Distefano at booth 939 in the New Designers section will be her celebrity spokesmodel, actress Milena Govich of Law and Order fame.

"I love wearing Donna Distefano," Govich said in a media release. "Even the paparazzi recognize it. When they go for the jewelry close-up and I tell them who I'm wearing, they already know!"

According to Distefano, her participation in the JA New York Summer Show, scheduled for July 27-30 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, is an important development for the company.

Until now, the designer has been working exclusively with affluent and celebrity clientele such as Sheryl Crow, Deborah Harry and Jess L. Martin. But demand for her opulent 22-karat gold jewelry has so outpaced supply, that she's expanding her retail business nationwide rather than waitlist potential clients.

The nationwide launch of her previously exclusive jewelry collection will coincide with the grand re-opening of her expanded gallery, showroom and atelier this fall.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mariska Hargitay and the Joyful Heart Gala

This is a little late, but it’s a picture and article about Mariska Hargitay’s first Joyful Heart Foundation Benefit Gala, held in New York in May. A few other Law & Order franchise favorites were also in attendance.

The link to the Joyful Heart Foundation web site can be found here.

Karastan Rolls Out The Red Carpet For Celebrity Gala

DALTON, GA, June 17, 2008—The first Benefit Gala for the Joyful Heart Foundation—an organization founded by Emmy Award-winning actress and Karastan 2007 “Statement Maker” Mariska Hargitay—was held in New York on May 20. Joining Hargitay as co-host was two-time Academy award-winner, Hilary Swank, who greeted more than 350 celebrities, business leaders and philanthropists on red carpet donated by Karastan.

The Joyful Heart Foundation was established by Hargitay in 2004. The organization’s mission is to heal, empower and educate survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse and to help shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues. Hargitay’s interest in this cause stemmed from her role as detective Olivia Benson on the NBC series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where she became more conscious of just how difficult the healing process can be after a sexual attack. By working hand-in-hand with rape crisis centers, counselors and wellness practitioners, the Joyful Heart Foundation synthesizes all of the components of the healing process into their pioneering retreat and wellness programs.

“Karastan was proud to sponsor Mariska’s Benefit Gala and to support such a worthy cause,” says Connie Berry, director of marketing for Karastan. “We contributed red carpet for the entry and donated an 5 x 8 Plum Blossom rug for a library-themed auction package. The item was so popular that we agreed to donate another rug for a second package. Along with the rug, the package included a private party for four friends hosted by best selling crime novelist Linda Fairstein. The author is naming characters in her next novel after both winners, each of whom bid $16,000 for the literary package.”

Support of Mariska’s cause was evident by the many celebrities attending the event. Actors and actresses, such as Chris Meloni, Joely Fisher, Marcia Gay Harden, Stephanie March, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Elizabeth Reaser, Shawn Colvin and Jill Hennessey were just some of the attendees who helped raise more than $1.2 million dollars for the Joyful Heart Foundation.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Linus Roache on his “Acting Bug”

Linus Roache (Law & Order's Michael Cutter) spoke to the Toronto Sun while he was there promoting the release of his film “Before the Rains.’ Here’s the article:

Where did Roache get the acting bug? Ask his parents


He may be best known as one of the good guys on TV's Law & Order, but Linus Roache makes a mighty fine villain.

Roache, 44, stars in Before the Rains, a drama about love, greed and betrayal set in India in the 1930s.

In the film, Roache is Henry Moores, a British colonialist trying to expand his spice business. He is ambitious and hard working, and he appears to have an enlightened view of the country and its people. In fact, he's having an affair with his Indian housemaid, and when their relationship has dire consequences, Roache's character proves to be morally bankrupt.

Roache was in Toronto recently to promote Before the Rains when the film was featured at the film festival. The soft-spoken Englishman doesn't seem like anybody's idea of a nefarious character, but he's very articulate on the subject of his character's moral depravity. It's a subtle process, but, "It's one choice after another, until his soul is irretrievably lost," says the actor. "He's out there, ambitiously. He's not a wimp."

The challenge for him, says Roache, was staying within the context of the times.


Growing up in the south of England, Roache encountered some of these ex-Raj types in his childhood.

"I knew a lot of those guys through my mother, and those old married Raj guys, they had had mistresses. It was not even morally questioned. Having servants was normal too. So it was okay, if you were brought up in that culture -- but then you have an interesting dilemma as an actor, 'cause your modern sensiblity is, 'Oh god, they're not going to like me if I'm a little superior to the maid, or the foreman.' But that's chickening out of the truth of the moral context and social structure of the time. So you have to be true to it, and that also brings out the humanity of it."

Roache is the son of two actors, William Roache, who is one of the stars of Coronation Street, and Anna Cropper. His mother's role in The Jewel in the Crown meant that Roache first visited India at 16, and has visited many times since. Filming Before the Rains was his first extended stay in the Kerala area.


His own acting career began at age nine, when he played alongside his father on Coronation Street. After theatrical training and stage work for the next two decades, he made a big impact on film in 1994 as a gay Catholic clergyman in Antonia Bird's Priest. He has since appeared in such movies as The Namesake, Batman Begins, The Chronicles of Riddick, Beyond Borders, Find Me Guilty and Wings of the Dove. Roache won a Best Actor award at the Evening Standard Film Awards for Julian Temple's extraordinary film Pandaemonium, which also first appeared at the Toronto film festival.

On TV, Roache has been in Seaforth, Kidnapped and Law & Order, as well as the TV movie JFK and HBO's The Gathering Storm and Shot Through the Heart.

He has had a lot of success for a guy who once seriously considered dropping out of acting entirely. By age 30, says Roache, he'd reached a lot of the goals he'd made for himself and wondered if acting was something with which he should continue.

"I walked away from it," he says, "and I thought, quite seriously, I wouldn't come back." After a period of thinking things over, however, "I missed the freedom acting gave me." Lucky for us.

Currently, Roache lives in New York with his wife, actress Rosalind Bennett.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sam Waterston Hamlet Update

Photos by Aubrey Reuben (from Playbill)
As readers of this blog already know, Law & Order's Sam Waterston is starring as Polonius in the Public Theater Shakespeare in the Park presentation of Hamlet, which opened recently at the Delacorte Theatre in New York’s Central Park.

Reviews were somewhat mixed. Variety says ”Sam Waterston's Polonius also overdoes the clowning,” but other reviews are more complementary.

Reviews aside, there was also a fundraiser for the Public Theatre, which helped raise $1.5 million. As always at these types of events. there are some photos of attendees. An article about the fundraiser is below, and a link to more pictures taken at the fundraiser can be found at Playbill’s web site, here.

Sam Waterston, Warren Spector Raise $1.5 Million at `Hamlet'

By Mary Romano

June 18 (Bloomberg) -- A bloody production of ``Hamlet'' entertained some 600 patrons at the Public Theater's opening night party in Manhattan's Central Park.

Those feeding al fresco on grilled sirloin and roasted salmon beside the open-air theater, included Public Theater board chairman and ousted Bear Stearns co-president Warren Spector, Steve Martin, Cynthia Nixon, Kathleen Turner and Andie MacDowell. The event raised $1.5 million.

``Hamlet'' presented Michael Stuhlbarg as the Prince of Denmark in his first leading role during these summer Shakespeare outings. He did not fare well according to Bloomberg's theater critic John Simon. Lauren Ambrose of ``Six Feet Under'' played Ophelia and Andre Braugher was Claudius in a modern dress production directed by Public Theater chief Oskar Eustis.

Sam Waterston, who played Hamlet when the play was last produced here in 1975, now donned the gloomy suit of Polonius, the pompous adviser to the king. His alter ego, district attorney Jack McCoy of television's ``Law and Order,'' would have protested the carnage on stage. The more delicate members of the audience gasped as Hamlet unhooked his sword and slashed the throat of his unloved stepfather Claudius.

The weather turned colder during the three-and-a-half hour performance, and the souvenir stand did brisk business selling $40 red and black Public Theater sweatshirts at intermission. Afterwards, quaint Belvedere Castle, which overlooks the theater, welcomed patrons and the cast with an open bar and music by Usher and Rihanna.

Stuhlbarg, 39, said in an interview that he's been fascinated with Hamlet since he was in high school. ``I was a teenager raging against the world, and he's raging against his world,'' he said.

Hamlet isn't the dream role for benefit guest Bobby Cannavale, nominated for a Tony Award this year for ``Mauritius.''

``I like Harry in 4, Harry in 5,'' he said about Shakespeare's King Henry plays. ``Henry is a bad ass. I like the warmongers.''

Speeches before the show honored board member and architect David Rockwell, whose credits include set designs for Broadway's ``Hairspray'' and ``Legally Blonde.''

Rockwell said in an interview that although beefing up donations has become challenging, ``I'm less worried now that we've completed this fundraising.''

``We just keep getting our mission statement out there that the Public Theater is embedded in the cultural landscape of New York,'' he said.

Tickets are free to Shakespeare in the Park to those who line up before the show at the Delacorte, with a limit of two tickets per person. Some tickets are available by registering online on performance days or by making a $160 contribution for one seat. Information: http://www.publictheater.org.

``Hamlet'' continues through June 29 at the Delacorte Theater; enter the park at 81st Street and Central Park West or 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Angie Harmon in New Lifetime Movie

Angie Harmon (Law & Order ADA Abbie Carmichael) will be starring in a new Lifetime movie titled “Living Proof,” a story about a doctor who created a breast cancer drug. The film is scheduled to air in October 2008 as part of Lifetime's annual awareness campaign "Stop Breast Cancer for Life". Here are the details:

Harmon, Peters join Connick in Lifetime's "Proof"

Mon Jun 16, 2008
Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Living Proof," the Lifetime movie about the development of the breast cancer drug Herceptin, has assembled a cast that includes Angie Harmon, Amanda Bynes, Bernadette Peters and Swoosie Kurtz.

Also joining Harry Connick Jr. in the movie are Regina King, Jennifer Coolidge, Trudie Styler, Tammy Blanchard, John Benjamin Hickey and Paula Cale.

"Proof" is based on Robert Bazell's book and centers on Dennis Slamon (Connick), the UCLA doctor who developed Herceptin. The movie is set to air in October.

Bynes plays Slamon's student assistant. Harmon portrays Lilly Tartikoff, wife of former NBC entertainment chief Brandon Tartikoff and the person responsible for raising money to continue Slamon's research. Blanchard portrays the first woman to receive Herceptin, while Kurtz plays her grandmother.

Peters plays the first woman to be saved by Herceptin, while Styler and Coolidge play participants in the drug study. King plays a breast cancer survivor, and Hickey is a friend and fellow scientist to Slamon. Cale portrays Slamon's wife, Donna.

"Instead of going to our Rolodexes, we went to our e-mail address books," said Craig Zadan, who is executive producing the cable film with Renee Zellweger and Neil Meron. He noted that Zellweger "wrote beautiful e-mails to people she had a personal relationship with, telling them what we were trying to accomplish with this movie."

Added Meron: "It is very heartwarming that the talent we've assembled easily recognized their ability to use their stardom and do something for the greater good, in particular breast-cancer awareness. People got it immediately."

Dan Ireland ("Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont") is directing from a script by Vivienne Radkoff.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Law & Order: Monte Carlo Unit?

A few Law & Order favorites were at the 48th annual Monte Carlo Television Festival on June 12th. Dick Wolf received an Honorary Gold Nymph Award recognizing his "extraordinary leadership and contributions to the entertainment industry".

On hand to help Dick celebrate were Law & Order stars Alana De La Garza, Linus Roache, and Anthony Anderson.

Please note: I am sorry, but the photos are no longer available.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mariska Hargitay Greets The Love Guru

Mariksa Hargitay (Olivia Benson, Law & Order SVU) only has a cameo in Mike Meyers' new film “The Love Guru, ” but her name plays a big part. The Love Guru – played by Mike Myers - uses her name as a blessing or greeting throughout the movie. Here’s a few photos of Mariska as she arrives with her son August at LAX airport, and also at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday when the movie premiered.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What’s Goin’ On With Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin and Marvin Gaye

According to yesterday's LA Times, Jesse L. Martin (Detective Ed Green, Law & Order) will be a guest presenter at the upcoming Tony Awards. The 62nd annual Tony Awards will be airing on Sunday, June 15, at 8:00 PM on CBS.

And while we’re on the subject of Jesse Martin, he’s going to have some competition for his Marvin Gaye film, which hasn’t yet started production. Apparently there are now two Marvin Gaye biopics on the horizon. One is the version titled "Sexual Healing," to be directed by and star Jesse and be produced by James “Tony Soprano” Gandolfini. The other will be called “Marvin” and will be directed by F. Gary Gray, and co-produced by David Foster. “Marvin” will cover Gaye’s entire life, from Motown, to his hit record “What’s Goin’ On” up to his death. Jesse’s movie “Sexual Healing” sets its focus on Gaye’s later career, as the filmmakers have rights to use songs only from his post-Motown career.

So Jesse, “what’s goin’ on” with the hold up on your flick? Let’s hope it gets going soon.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Vincent D’Onofrio Interviews with Cleveland Radio Station

Today, a Cleveland radio station conducted an over-the-phone interview with Law & Order Criminal Intent’s Vincent D’Onofrio. Sadly, the radio host likes to hear himself talk more than he lets Vincent talk. It’s no wonder that radio is a dying media.

Anyway, here’s the audio interview with Vincent, for what it’s worth. (I added some pictures so you'd be entertained while listening!)

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Friday, June 6, 2008

"Capricorn One" Being Remade

Don't look now, you're being remade

OK, you’re wondering, why is this on a Law & Order site? Well, fans of Sam Waterston know why. Sam starred in the 1978 sci-fi thriller Capricorn One, based on a book written by Peter Buchman. The movie is about 3 astronauts (played by Sam, James Brolin, and O.J. Simpson) who get trapped in a government conspiracy after a failed manned Mars launch. The original movie also starred Elliot Gould as a reporter investigating suspicious happenings surrounding the event. When it’s discovered that the life support system of the Mars shuttle is faulty, NASA launches it without the astronauts, instead hiding them away on a faked Mars stage, and forces the astronauts to participate in the cover up to make the public believe they are still headed to Mars. When something goes awry with the real Mars mission, the public are led to believe the astronauts are dead…which means the astronauts realize they will REALLY be dead soon. They escape from their captors, and well, it doesn’t end very well for Sam’s character – although his character, quite the comedian, meets his fate telling a corny, awful joke.

News of the remake has been buzzing for a while, but over the last few days, a director – John Moore – was finally announced. Personally, while I enjoyed Sam in this film, the rest of the cast was dismal (O.J. Simpson and Elliott Gould, for starters) and maybe a remake will be better than the original. Wouldn’t it be great to give Sam a role in the new film, playing one of the government conspirators? It would be an interesting twist.

Anyway, let me be honest here, I was just looking for an excuse to post photos of Sam Waterston from the movie.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Benjamin Bratt Cleaning Up?

Photo from A&E
After fighting crime on Law & Order(as Detective Reynaldo Curtis) and then fighting a deadly virus in the recent remake of The Andromeda Strain, Benjamin Bratt comes back to television with a dramatic series called "The Cleaner”. He will play William "The Cleaner" Banks, former heroin junkie turned "extreme interventionist." It begins airing on A&E on July 15, at 10 p.m. ET. (Is this the manly version of TNT’s “Saving Grace?”)

A&E’s show web site describes “The Cleaner” as follows:

The Cleaner," inspired by the true story of a real-life "extreme interventionist," stars Benjamin Bratt as William "The Cleaner" Banks, who, after hitting rock-bottom from his own addictions after the birth of his daughter, strikes a tentative deal with God. Now along with his unconventional team, he helps people get away from their addictions by any means necessary.

The show also features Grace Park, who is currently a Cylon on Battlestar Galactica.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Dennis Farina Formally Charged

Well, I suppose this time, Dennis Farina (Detective Joe Fontana, Law & Order) wasn’t “authorized. “

As reported on my blog here on May 11, Dennis was caught with a handgun while boarding a flight at the LAX airport. Several sources have now reported that formal charges were made. Here’s the story from one of those sources, People Magazine:

Dennis Farina Formally Charged for Carrying Gun at LAX

By Ken Lee
Originally posted Wednesday June 04, 2008 06:00 PM EDT

Law & Order star Dennis Farina was formally charged Wednesday for carrying a loaded .22-caliber handgun in his briefcase through Los Angeles International Airport security, city prosecutors said.

Farina was charged with three misdemeanors: Carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a loaded weapon in public, and possession of a weapon in a secure area of an airport.

If convicted on all counts, Farina faces a maximum penalty of 30 months in jail, and $3,000 in fines.

Farina, 64, was arrested last month after airport screeners found the gun as he prepared to board a plane.

The actor was reportedly apologetic, explaining to airport police that he had forgotten the gun was there before he drove to L.A. from Arizona for a flight to Chicago.

A rep for the actor was not immediately available for comment.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sam Waterston “Hamlet” Photos

Sam Waterston and Lauren Ambrose
all photos by Michal Daniel

In early May, I wrote about Law & Order's Sam Waterston starring in a production of Hamlet, here. (I like to call it “Samlet.”) Playbill has just published some great photos from the performance, link and article follows (more pics at Playbill link):

PHOTO CALL: New Hamlet Plays in Central Park
By Ernio Hernandez
03 Jun 2008

Michael Stuhlbarg, Lauren Ambrose, Sam Waterston and Margaret Colin star in the Public Theater's latest Shakespeare in the Park presentation of Hamlet.

Public artistic director Oskar Eustis stages the William Shakespeare tale with Stuhlbarg in the title role at the Delacorte Theater.

Waterston appears as Polonius opposite Ambrose as Ophelia with Andre Braugher as Claudius and Colin as Gertrude.

The company also includes David Harbour as Laertes, Kevin Carroll as Horatio, Hoon Lee as Rosencrantz, Piter Marek as Bernardo and Fortinbras, Greg McFadden as Guildenstern, Julio Monge as Osric and Francisco, Paul O'Brien as Voltemand and Priest, Gilbert Owuor as Marcellus, Jay O. Sanders as Ghost, Gravedigger and Player King and Miriam Silverman as Player Queen.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Law & Order’s Rene Balcer to Participate in Mystery Writers Festival

Rene Balcer, an executive producer for Law & Order Criminal Intent, and more recently for Law & Order, will be participating in the International Mystery Writers Festival this month in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Here are the details from the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer:

Crime Shows to Be Represented: 'CSI' Creator, 'Law & Order' Writer Both Will Attend Mystery Writers Festival

By Beth Wilberding, Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.

May 31--The creator of several popular television series and the head writer of another well-known show will both be at the International Mystery Writers Festival, Discovering New Mysteries at the RiverPark Center.

Anthony E. Zuiker, creator and executive producer of the "CSI" franchise, and Rene Balcer, head writer for "Law & Order" and co-creator of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," will make Writers' Reel presentations, attend cast parties that are open to the public and participate in other events at the June 12-22 festival.

Zev Buffman, president and CEO of the RiverPark Center, said festival organizers wanted to bring stars to the festival but needed a legitimate link to bring them.

"It will help draw people ... I love that we got both giants to be here," he said.

Officials found connections to both men because of the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Awards. Three of the productions from the 2007 mystery festival were nominated for Edgars for best play this year, and "Panic" won.

Balcer has been nominated for several Edgars and has won three: one for Best Television Episode Teleplay for the "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" episode "Want" in 2005, and two for Best Television Episode for "Law in Order" in 1999 and 2000 for "Bad Girl" and "Refuge (Part II)."

Zuiker, who also writes episodes of "CSI" and its spinoffs, was nominated for an Edgar in 2006 for Best Television Episode Teleplay for the "Grave Danger" episode of "CSI."

"They're the best of the best," Buffman said.

Zuiker will be at the mystery festival June 21, and Balcer will be at the festival June 16.

"I always thought of 'CSI' as a modern Sherlock Holmes in many respects," Zuiker said in a phone interview.

He said he was looking forward to coming to the festival to share his experiences as a writer as well as to listen to other writers.

"Mystery, in my opinion, is a storyline that has missing pieces to a puzzle," Zuiker said. "I believe that 'CSI' does that very well."

Zuiker's day will include co-presenting the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Award to Gene Hackman and Dan Lenihan for "Escape from Andersonville -- a Novel of the Civil War."

At 9 that evening, he will participate in Writers Reel on the BB&T Plaza at the RiverPark Center. Zuiker will show clips from "CSI" and discuss the show. He will also do a question-and-answer session. He is scheduled to do a master class or panel June 22.

He is also scheduled to be at the Angie Award ceremony June 22, where he will receive the Ira Levin Award. Levin was an author and member of the mystery festival's executive committee, and he died last year.

The award is given to somebody who has come from behind to be a success, Buffman said, and it won't be awarded annually. Before creating "CSI," Zuiker was a tram driver at Las Vegas' Mirage hotel, according to the RiverPark Center.

When Balcer comes to the festival June 16, he will teach a master class for the Young Adult Theatre Academy in the afternoon, then make short appearances before a couple of the festival productions that day.

He will also do a Writers Reel session at 9 p.m.

Buffman's and Balcer's paths crossed years before the mystery festival was created. Buffman was called back to Israel in 1973 to serve as an officer during the Yom Kippur War. Balcer covered Buffman's unit as a combat cameraman for Canadian media, Buffman said.

Bringing in the men behind "CSI" and "Law & Order" provides a fresh perspective and broadens what a mystery is, said Travis Estes, director of sales and marketing for the RiverPark Center.

While some associate mysteries with magnifying glasses and period pieces such as "The Final Toast," the television shows use forensic science to solve mysteries, he said.

"I think it's going to help us build that younger audience," Estes said.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, All Things Law & Order.