Back in 1998, Susan Green and I wrote the only companion book on the popular legal drama Law & Order. Besides being in the rare and charmed position of having the show's creator, Dick Wolf, give us complete access to cast and crew, we were also allowed complete autonomy to write what we wanted. With that freedom in mind, we both opened up to the possibilities the book offered in terms of content. For instance, we thought why not have other voices besides ours. We quickly conceived a chapter which would include a number of other people who also had an intelligent and probing perspective on the program. After soliciting a number of people, we were thrilled to see that all of them agreed to take part. They included civil rights attorney William Kunstler, former Ontario Premier Bob Rae and theatre and film critic Steve Vineberg. Unfortunately, our publishers didn't share our enthusiasm for broadening the scope of the book and all the pieces were turned down. Speaking with Steve Vineberg recently on the phone, however, he reminded me that he still had that piece he wrote, which was about how a number of great performers provided what he termed an actor's paradise on the show, and it was still unpublished. Since Steve now writes for Critics at Large, that terrific essay has now finally found the home it was once denied.
Critics at Large.