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02/22/2017 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, News, TV Shows

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Cold Case alum Danny Pino is set as a lead opposite Chris Noth and Leven Rambin in Gone, a 12-episode procedural drama series for NBCUniversal International Studios, Germany’s RTL and France’s TF1. The series, which eyes a launch in winter 2017-18, was created by Matt Lopez (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) based on Chelsea Cain’s novel One Kick.

Gone tells the fictional story of Kit “Kick” Lannigan (Rambin), survivor of a famous child-abduction case, and Frank Booth (Noth), the FBI agent who rescued her. Determined never to fall victim again, Kick trains in martial arts and the use of firearms. She finds her calling when Booth persuades her to join a special task force he created dedicated to solving abductions and missing persons cases. Paired with former Army intelligence officer John Bishop (Pino), Kick brings her unique understanding of the mind of a predator. Bishop is initially skeptical about bringing Kick onto the team, but over the course of the season, he will come to appreciate her unique skill-set and they will become a formidable crime-solving duo.

Gone is executive produced by Lopez, NBCU International Studios’ EVP Scripted Programming JoAnn Alfano, former Dexter executive producer Sara Colleton, along with Kim Moses and Barry O’Brien.

Pino most recently starred opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Tony Shalhoub in CBS’ critically praised series Braindead. He previously played Detective Nick Amaro on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for multiple seasons, and starred for seven seasons as Detective Scotty Valens on Cold Case. He also recurred on ABC’s Scandal. Pino is repped by ICM Partners and GEF Entertainment.

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03/03/2016 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, News

Danny Pino is joining “Scandal” in a recurring role, Variety has learned exclusively.

The “Law & Order: SVU” and “Cold Case” alum will appear in an arc during the current fifth season. Per Shondaland’s typical spoiler lockdown strategy, there’s no word on Pino’s character description nor how many episodes he will appear in or when they will all air. However, since he will be recurring, he’ll be playing a role that’s more than case-of-the-week territory.

‘Scandal’: Darby Stanchfield Teases Abby’s ‘Major Change’ in the White House

While ABC has not made any character details available upon Variety‘s request, just for fun, one point of speculation falls under the umbrella of potential love interest for Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), as her relationship with Jake (Scott Foley) is quite complicated and she has split from the president (Tony Goldwyn), who’s enjoying a new flame in the series’ recent storyline — if Fitz has a new lady, it only seems fair Ms. Pope should enjoy some new romance, too. (But, for the record, Pino could be portraying any sort of character, love interest or not.)

Pino starred on “SVU” from 2011 until departing in 2015. Prior to that, he starred on “Cold Case” on CBS, and he’ll return to the network this summer, as a series regular on “BrainDead,” from “The Good Wife” creators Robert and Michelle King.

As for other new additions to “Scandal,” Joe Morton, aka Papa Pope, was upped to a series regular this season.

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11/30/2015 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, News, TV Shows

Cold Case alum Danny Pino is returning to CBS with a starring role opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead in BrainDead, CBS’ upcoming summer series from The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King. The comic thriller, from CBS TV Studios, centers on Laurel (Winstead), a young, fresh-faced Hill staffer whose first job in Washington, D.C., leads her to discover two things: The government has stopped working, and alien spawn have come to Earth and eaten the brains of a growing number of congressmen and Hill staffers. Pino will play Luke, Laurel’s older brother, the Democratic Whip Senator from Maryland.

This marks the third back-to-back series for Pino. Following a seven-season run as Detective Scotty Valens, the male lead of CBS’ crime procedural Cold Case, he segued to NBC’s Law & Order: SVU where he co-starred as Detective Nick Amaro for the past four seasons.

The Kings executive produce BrainDead with Ridley Scott, David Zucker, Brooke Kennedy and Liz Glotzer for CBS Television Studios, King Size Productions and Scott Free Productions. Aaron Tviet and Johnny Ray Gill co-star.

Pino is repped by ICM Partners and manager Geordie Frey of GEF Entertainment.

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04/27/2015 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, SVU

Law & Order: SVUfans were both surprised and elated when it was revealed late last season that Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Amaro (Danny Pino) were sleeping together. But with hardly a mention of the two being romantic since that episode, TVGuide.com user Jessica asks: Are they actually still together?

“We had a scene in [the last episode] that had to be cut for time,” executive producer Warren Leight tells TVGuide.com. (You can watch a very subtle hint in the deleted scene here.) “There have been little glimpses. You see Kelli play all the time that she’s worried for him, caretaking of him in certain ways. She’s protective of him, but not so he would notice and object to it.”

Although Leight admits that the duo’s feelings are real (“She cares for him and he’s got to figure out where his life is going. A guy who is getting over a divorce — there’s always a few bad years,” he says), don’t expect a major declaration of love any time soon. “They’re not supposed to go out; it’s against all departmental regulations,” Leight says. “So whatever is going on between them is furtive and sporadic, and neither one of them would want to call it a relationship.”

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04/08/2015 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, Spoilers, SVU

Warren Leight looks ahead to next season in the wake of the show’s early renewal.

It took 15 seasons for Law & Order: SVU to make a mother out of Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), but now there’s no slowing her down. Following several health crises earlier this season, baby Noah catches the measles on Wednesday’s new episode in the midst of a potentially dangerous outbreak.

“Because his immune system has been compromised, Olivia delayed getting him his measles vaccine until he was healthier,” says showrunner Warren Leight. “That’s a bad set-up for her.”

Law & Order: SVU is well versed at ripping from the headlines. But even Leight admits the writers “struggled to find a way” to write about the recent measles outbreak in California on a show devoted to sex crimes. In the episode, SVU begins investigating pornographic photos from a high school house party when several suspects in the case are diagnosed with the measles. “We got there,” says Leight. “But it was a journey to get there.”

And the journey is far from over for Sgt. Benson and her team. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Leight about the upcoming trial of Noah’s paternal father, Olivia’s search for a No. 2 and some possible romance in season 17.

You earned an early renewal in February. How has that affected your storytelling?

It let me arc out a season knowing there was another one to come, knowing that I could put seeds in for things that I hope will sprout next season as well. We still adhere to the self-contained storyline format, but we really have been doing a lot more long-form storytelling. It allowed the show to breathe a little bit. … Where will baby Noah go? What’s his storyline going to be? I could think in a different time frame about things like that. Some of it will be made more clear by the end of the season, but it allowed us to make some turns that we might not have otherwise been able to.

What are some of these seeds that will start popping up as the season comes to a close?

We had one episode in which we found out that this horrible pimp Johnny D. is actually Noah’s father, and we’re going to be heading to the trial of Johnny D. in the final episode of the season. That trial is more complicated because we’re also heading to the adoption of baby Noah by Olivia at the end of the season.

What is Olivia’s mindset going into this final episode? She has had a lot of challenges with Noah this season.

Olivia is fierce. She’s had, in prior seasons, foster kids taken from her care. She does not want to let that happen. She knows the system better. She’s doing everything she can and I think she had a little bit of a reality check that you can’t work 24 hours a day and be the single parent of a one-year-old with health issues. She had to actually learn, and is still learning, to delegate a little more. … She has to prioritize so we’ll be seeing her begin to search for a No. 2 in the station house. Is somebody going to step up and take the Sergeants exam is another story point that’s going to be coming up towards the end of the season – someone that she can delegate to a little more.

Wednesday’s episode also deals with Amaro and his son. What can you say is coming up for him?

Amaro is having a tough year here. Things haven’t broken his way. That marriage is obviously gone. His wife and kid are in California and now Gilberto’s family, we’re learning, may be moving as well. He’s looking for a change or a role in this episode and trying to connect to his son and stay connected to his son. He’s dealing with the reality of not being where you want to be in your life at 40. I think he thought everything was laid out the way some men do and the last thing they thought they’d be is alone at 40. That’s also part of the last third of this season; watching him try to find his place in a post-family world.

Does that mean he might be the person who applies to be Olivia’s No. 2?

That’s in play. What is everyone’s status? Can she stay on as acting commander and chief of the squad? Does she need to step up and take the Lieutenants exam? If she does, does anyone step up with her? We always like to play the reality as much as we can, which is they’ll stick a sergeant in that job for awhile, but eventually they’re going to want somebody in there with a higher pay grade. If she doesn’t step up does that mean an outsider is coming in? These are the questions that are being asked as the season winds down.

Are you thinking about adding a new face to the show?

We’re beginning to try to have some outside influence on the squad room so it’s not quite so insular as it got over the years. … We may float a few people in from time to time next year on their way to other places.

One of those people is Tucker (Robert John Burke) and he recently took Olivia out for a drink. What can you say about Olivia and him going forward?

Tucker is evolving as a human being and he has respect and affection for Olivia. At this point they’re like old warriors who’ve gone to battle so many times, they probably have more in common than she does with the young folk in her squad room.

Is that a romance something you’re thinking about pursuing next season? Before Noah, fans used to speculate a lot about her love life.

In the first year of being a single parent with an immune-suppressed infant while running a squad room, the chances for romance have been few. I think it is one of the questions we have for next year: Will that turn for Olivia? I don’t think she needs a romantic partner to be complete. I think sometimes people want that for her. … Her life has changed and I think for the better, and there’s more balance. She can see Tucker as a human and maybe there is some common ground there. He’ll be seen a bit more in the final episodes of the season.

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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01/21/2015 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, Sneak Peeks, Spoilers, SVU

This week’s Law & Order: SVU is one of those especially brutal ones that directly affects one of the main characters. On the heels of the recent episode in which Detective Rollins (in a devastating performance by Kelli Giddish) revealed that she was once raped comes an intense look into Detective Nick Amaro’s (Danny Pino) past.

In the Mariska Hargitay–directed “Padre Sandunguero,” Nick’s father, Nicolas Sr. (played by veteran actor Armand Assante), shows up at the precinct. He’s there to invite Nick to his May-December wedding. Amaro is visibly traumatized. He hasn’t really spoken to the man at length since he was 15. And with good reason.

In an interview with the EW Community, Danny Pino explained what Nick is feeling:

“I think that seeing his father is a very complicated thing for him,” Pino explained. “I think Nicolas Armaro Sr. is Nick’s biggest trigger. We’ve been seeing certain things about Nick for the last three and a half years. Seeing him act erratically and violently at times. And not quite known why that is. I think in this episode, that trigger comes walking in the door. It’s fear of what this means for his stability and his recovery. He’s in anger management; he wants to keep his job. It shakes his foundation.”

Nick Sr.’s wedding turns violent, and Nick is forced to look back at his traumatic past with his father—and maybe even testify against him. This also pits him against against his family, who insist on seeing his father as the loving, benevolent man he appears to be (but actually isn’t).

“I think we all carry some of that with us,” Pino said. “And to see a character having to face it alone, having his family essentially turn on him and buy what Nick considers to be a con, it’s an incredibly painful thing to go through.”

Behind the scenes, Pino said he was “incredibly grateful and happy and excited and nervous every day” about working with Assante, a Hollywood mainstay.

“He’s incredibly dynamic [and] prepared. When you work with an actor who is so prepared, there’s a tendency to be, I think, married to one way of doing a scene or expressing something. That is so not the case with Armand. His preparation allows him to be free and present and imaginative, which causes the other actors in the scene to be ready for anything.”

And what about taking direction from iconic SVU veteran (and someone Pino considers “a very close, very dear friend”), Mariska Hargitay?

This was Hargitay’s second time in the SVU director’s chair. Pino said her direction enabled him to unearth some of his character’s deeper emotions.

“There was a level of safety, familiarity, of trust that allowed for a lot of that emotional exploration,” the actor explained. “She’s responsible for setting a tone for the set, a level of comfort and confidence. Her understanding of storytelling. She has a very keen understanding of that and what she wants. She’s kind of a champion of that.”


The episode airs Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 9/8C on NBC.




01/21/2015 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, Spoilers, SVU

On screen, Olivia Benson has been pulling double duty all season long on Law & Order: SVU, juggling her duties as a new sergeant and a new mom. Off screen, actress and producer Mariska Hargitay can sympathize. Wednesday’s episode (9/8c, NBC) marks Hargitay’s second time in the director’s chair, this time for an episode introducing the estranged father of Det. Nick Amaro (Danny Pino). “It’s an invigorating process for me,” the Emmy winner tells TVGuide.com of her time behind the camera. Hargitay also spoke with TVGuide.com about Benson’s “challenges,” Season 16’s new directions and her SVU future:

You already have a packed schedule on SVU, so what made you want to add to that and direct again? Mariska Hargitay: You know, I loved it. I feel like I’ve been here so long and have found certain rhythms that I find help people stay in the moment. It’s a love of telling stories, of telling the story my way and being able to shape the story. But also my love for actors and my appreciation and respect for the process, but I also love helping to create an environment where I can get an actor’s best work. Just loving the creative process and finding the unexpected.


This episode is a big one for Danny Pino because we get to meet his character’s father [Armand Assante]. What kind of conversations do you have before filming?
Hargitay:
It was so beautiful and so great and exciting to work with both Danny and [Assante]. Both of them were so willing to take risks and try different colors. For Danny, it was very exciting because it was this chance to explore a different side of his character. Armand, it was just a great moment-by-moment surprise. Danny and I talked about opposites and trying things differently and finding the humor and the lighter moments, or the unexpected response, or never knowing what was going to happen next. Finding light in dark or dark in light, trying to switch up the moment and how full a moment it can be.

What new sides do you think viewers will see to Danny’s character in this episode?
Hargitay:
The episode is obviously about fathers and sons and wounds and denial and covering up and our commitment to cover things up to protect those vulnerable areas within us, which we will try at all costs to protect. Amaro’s a cop and he’s a protector and he’s had a lot of rage and anger, and this story line is about finding out what’s under that and why? What is he protecting and how far will he go to protect it?

The squad has undergone lots of changes this season: Rollins just took a break and Carisi joined the team, and Nick started out the season as a traffic cop. Why is it important to shake up the team?
Hargitay:
A) It’s interesting and B) different chemistries bring out different things. But also, that’s life, right? People go through their personal journeys and they bring their personalities and journeys to work, and I think it’s more compelling to tell the story of someone trying to do their job with all the baggage from their past. I think it just enriches it so much to know, why is Rollins so guarded? Why is she defensive? Now we know and now we feel for her so deeply. … We all see Amaro’s anger, so we try to rally around him. We all saw that Rollins was hiding something. Just getting to know these characters that we love.

This season has seen Benson become a mom while still being in charge of the squad. What have you enjoyed about this latest chapter for her? How do you think being a mom has changed her so far?
Hargitay:
That’s what’s been fun for me to play this season, growing that aspect of her personality. Playing Mama Bear to her squad, Mama Bear to the victims, Mama Bear to Noah, she’s in charge of all these people and still figuring out how to do it. Her job is totally new. Part of her job is to keep herself alive now in a new kind of way for Noah. Where before she’d be so singularly focused on getting it done and being fearless and now it’s like, wait a minute, I got to get it done, but at the end of the day, my most important job description is caring for this child. It’s been fun to evolve the character in that way. Everything is different now. Everything.

Last season was a big one for the show with the “Save Benson” trilogy. How do you think SVU has kept up that momentum and continued to keep things fresh this season?
Hargitay:
It feels like these writers are a bottomless well of ideas. Because I have to say that there was concern after last year and the depth that we went to of how they were going to sustain it. But I think the show this year has been so compelling and so interesting and has gone off into such interesting directions. It’s fun to see our other characters get fleshed out, like the Rollins episode or the Amaro episode. I want to see a Carisi episode and I think everybody else does too. And that’s been really exciting to watch. I have to say every week I’m pleasantly surprised at how these shows come together and how they are still so compelling. We get really amazing guest stars. I think we have a first-rate cast and really strong writing that absolutely keeps me glued to the show. I think that the writing has been pretty darn incredible and I’m still in.

Why do you think the show still has more stories to tell?
Hargitay:
I look at the news everyday and see the issues and crimes we deal with continually making headlines and being debated as legal issues pushing new and renewed legislation — such as the Violence Against Women Act — and as social issues affecting women and society as a whole. SVU is able to start conversations and humanize these problems. We are able to show all sides of an issue, as we did with our Domestic Violence episode this fall, in an episode that portrayed of institutionalized racism (and was nominated for an NAACP Award), the episodes where we both educated and explored the rise in rapes on college campuses — and even in the episode that explored the problem of the rape kit backlog. I feel very fortunate that our show is in a position where we can start a conversation on national TV about these issues in a way that people can empathize with and see the human element involved. We tell stories that matter, stories that can change the lives of individual viewers — and stories that can change the tenor of the conversation and viewpoints of our entire audience.


Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.

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11/11/2014 Meghan 0 Comment(s) Articles, Spoilers, SVU

I can’t wait for the SVU-Chicago P.D. crossover! How will the two police teams get along? — Sarah
SVU showrunner Warren Leight says there will definitely be some sexual tension when the two squads join forces. “Lindsay and Halstead have this unrequited crush on each other, and you have Rollins and Amaro with a down-low affair going on,” he says. “There’s a moment or two when it seems like one group notices something about the other. We tease a little bit with that.” Leight also says that going to Chicago will bring out a new side to the characters, particularly Amaro. “[He is] much more physical than he gets to be on our show,” he adds.

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10/15/2014 Jessica 0 Comment(s) Articles, Spoilers, SVU

I’m so glad that Amaro is back on the squad on Law & Order: SVU! What’s coming up for him? — Whitney
It’s still pretty unclear exactly what’s going on between he and Rollins these days. But while most of the squad is oblivious to the underlying tension between them, their personal connection could cost them dearly when a dangerous, highly emotional suspect starts to develop feelings for Rollins but begins to suspect something is going on between her and Nick. Uh-oh!

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09/29/2014 Jessica 0 Comment(s) Articles, SVU

NBC is staging a three-way crossover for Law & Order: SVUChicago Fire and Chicago P.D., TVGuide.com has learned.

The episodes, to air November 11 and November 12, will begin with an incident on Chicago Fire (Tuesday, 10/9c) that then teams the P.D. squad to the New York City based SVU investigators the following night (9/8c). Then, theSVU team travels to Chicago for the final hour of the event at 10/9c. Lindsay (Sophia Bush), Halstead (Jesse Soffer) and Voight (Jason Beghe) will appear on SVU and Rollins (Kelli Giddish), Amaro (Danny Pino) and Benson (Mariska Hargitay) will appear on P.D. No one from SVU will appear on Fire.

“(Benson) and Voight share some great scenes,” Chicago Fire and P.D. executive producer Michael Brandt told reporters on Monday.

While SVU and P.D. crossed over last season when Det. Lindsay traveled to New York, and P.D. and Fire have crossed over quite a bit, this marks the first time that all three shows will be working together. Are you excited?

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