“Law & Order” is still on its game after 20 years, even if most viewers are unaware where NBC is hiding the show. It’s Fridays at 8 p.m., and make sure you’re watching/taping next week (Oct. 16) because the “ripped-from-the-headlines” writers are taking on Jon and Kate Gosselin. The episode titled “Reality Bites” focuses on the star of Larry Plus 10, a Jon & Kate Plus Eight-type reality show about a dad raising 10 adopted special-needs children after his wife is killed. “It seems to be coming at a good time,” Law & Order executive producer Rene Balcer told TVGuide.com. “Aside from people being amused, bemused, disgusted and shocked at their exploits, [people] are probably looking for some other perspective on it.” The episode spotlights the competition between two families, Larry Johnson’s and another clan comparable to that of Octomom Nadya Suleman as they compete to get their own reality show when Larry’s wife is murdered.
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South Park has no shame. On Wednesday’s season premiere, Trey Parker and Matt Stone took dead aim at the recent batch of deceased, overexposed celebrities — everyone from Michael Jackson to Farrah Fawcett to Billy Mays — and sent viewers rolling on their living room floors (and probably most of the celebs rolling in their graves.) It began with Kyle’s little brother Ike claiming “I see dead celebrities,” continuing with a spoof of “Ghost Hunters” and a wicked parody of “Poltergeist,” in which the Zelda Rubinstein character devises a plan (Walter Cronkite wants to go to the bathroom) to help save Ike. It turns out that the dead are stuck in limbo — they’re on a plane on the purgatory runway and bitching about the delay — because Jackson, who has taken over Ike’s body, refuses to accept he’s dead. The boys come to the rescue… by allowing MJ to live out his fantasy of being accepted as a white, female child. This episode is loaded with storylines. You gotta watch it.
The Phantom of the Opera is coming back, and this time he’s going to be haunting the Coney Island amusement park. Is this a good idea? In London on Thursday, Andrew Lloyd Webber announced a long-awaited sequel to his mega-hit. The new musical will be called “Love Never Dies,” and is due to open in the West End in March, coming to New York in November, 2010. Webber said he doesn’t regard the musical as a sequel: “It’s a standalone piece.” The musical picks up a decade after the original’s conclusion, and has the Phantom trading his Paris opera house hideout for Brooklyn’s amusement park. Webber said he wanted to produce a sequel because the original’s ending, which sees Christine leave the brooding Phantom for his rival, Raoul, was unsatisfactory. “Christine goes off with this boring guy, the Phantom disappears,” Webber said. He said he wanted to set the piece at Coney Island because, at its turn-of-the-century heyday, it was “the eighth wonder of the world.”
Tina Fey looks marvelous on the cover of the November Harper’s Bazaar. Fey tells the magazine that she expects to revive her Sarah Palin impersonation sometime soon, and describes her day-to-day schedule, thusly: “Work, come home, play, kid bounce, work again, go to bed.” Sound familiar?
An early Halloween treat on “Supernatural” tonight (9 p.m., CW). Paris Hilton plays “a monster who takes the form of Paris Hilton.” Series creator Eric Kripke told EW, “it’s a fun, irreverent episode about modern celebrity.”
“We had our wish list in the room of who would be the best spokesperson for a satirical monologue on modern celebrity and Paris Hilton was at the top of the list. We never expected in a million years that she would do it, but I spoke to her and she got the joke immediately. . . I give her a lot of credit for being a hell of a good sport. The fact that she was game to play the part speaks volumes about her sense of humor.”
Tim Russert‘s office will go on display next month at the Newseum in Washington. The office will be reassembled to look as it did June 13, 2008, the day the beloved “Meet the Press” moderator died of a heart attack at age 58. The exhibit at the journalism museum opens Nov. 20 and will remain through 2010. Tim’s office was “very homey, very much reflects his wide array of interests,” including politics, religion, family, music and his beloved Buffalo Bills, said Newseum exhibits director Cathy Trost.