Welcome to Danny Pino Online, your number one source for everything regarding actor Danny Pino. Danny is best known for his role as Detective Scotty Valens on Cold Case and Detective Nick Amaro on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Here at Danny Pino Online, we hope to provide you with the latest news, photos, and more concerning Danny. Be sure to visit us daily to see if anything is new.
December 10th, 2012  /  Jessica

While this reader asks a good question, I certainly hope that NBC doesn’t plan on canceling SVU anytime soon!

Question: Do you think NBC giving Law & Order: SVU two more episodes has anything to do with this season maybe being its last? Maybe NBC is giving it two more episodes to wrap things up? With Revolution doing well, Chicago Fire‘s ratings going up, plus two new dramas (Deception and Do No Harm) yet to premiere, NBC may have less holes to fill come next fall. — Sam

Matt Roush: Those are all some pretty big maybes, because most observers are expecting NBC to take quite a hit in the new year, with the NFL season ending and The Voice MIA until March. I wouldn’t read much into this expanded episode order — which also spurred questions in my mailbag once again about a possible new Law & Order spinoff (which I still feel is unlikely, but who knows) — although the one thing that seems clear is that NBC is happy with more, and not less, of this series. It’s not the power player it used to be, but there’s still value in having something with a following airing on NBC’s dead-zone Wednesday lineup. (I’m not convinced Chicago Fire is a long-term player. Again, the midseason will tell.) I’m not aware of any move toward shuttering SVU after this season, and would be surprised if it weren’t back next year.


December 7th, 2012  /  Jessica

Congratulations to Danny and the rest of the gang at SVU!

EXCLUSIVE: NBC has expanded the current 14th season of Law & Order: SVU to 24 episodes with the pickup of two extra hours. While the crime drama is showing its age, averaging a 1.7 18-49 rating in Live+same day this fall, SVU remains NBC’s best drama bet as a launching pad for new drama series and this fall helped launch Chicago Fire, which has received a full-season order. Airing with virtually no lead-in (NBC’s struggling Wednesday comedy block), SVU has improved its challenging Wednesday 9 PM slot by 55% in adults 18-49 year-to-year but the network aired the now-defunct Harry’s Law in the hour last fall. In Live+7, SVU, from Wolf Films and Universal TV, averages a 2.6/7 in 18-49 and 8.6 million viewers this season.

Source: here


November 2nd, 2012  /  Jessica

WHEN REPORTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE SURFACE AT AN ELITE PRIVATE SCHOOL, DETECTIVE BENSON (MARISKA HARGITAY) AND ADA BARBA (GUEST STAR RAUL ESPARZA) FACE OFF AGAINST A POWERFUL ADMINISTRATOR (GUEST STAR CHARLES GRODIN) TO EXPOSE DECADES OF SECRETS. ELLIOT GOULD AND ANTHONY RAPP ALSO GUEST STAR. A professor’s unusual encounter with Detective Amaro (Danny Pino) sends the SVU on an investigation into reports of sexual abuse at a prestigious private school. Stonewalled by the school board, Detective Benson (Hargitay) enlists ADA Barba (Esparza) and a retired teacher (guest star Elliot Gould) to help reveal a massive cover-up as more and more victims emerge. Also starring Ice -T (Detective Odafin Tutuola) and Kelli Giddish (Detective Amanda Rollins.) Also guest starring Buck Henry and Elizabeth Marvel.


October 31st, 2012  /  Jessica

ACHIEVING the milestone of 300 episodes is, for any television series anywhere, exceptional. To do it as a weekly crime series over 14 years in the most crowded genre and competitive market in the world is, simply, remarkable.

Tonight, the New York-based sex-crimes drama Law & Order: SVU hits this mark.

SVU (which stands for Special Victims Unit, an elite squad of detectives who police sexually based offences, which are considered especially heinous in the criminal-justice system) is the last iteration of Dick Wolf’s crime franchise that’s still in production. ”The Mothership”, as Wolf calls the original Law & Order series, lasted 20 years and more than 450 episodes. Its distinctive New York crime stories live on in reruns on pay TV where it has earned its dues as a modern classic.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent, notable as the home of Vincent D’Onofrio’s eccentric but brilliantly entertaining Detective Bobby Goren, eventually limped to 10 seasons. Law & Order: LA made it through a full year before being cancelled. (Trial by Jury, a less celebrated L&O incarnation, lasted just a few episodes, so let’s not talk about that.)

Indeed, along with providing work to countless New York actors over more than two decades, Wolf’s legacy and the omnipresence of his series can be distilled to the ominous and evocative ”chung-chung” sound that breaks up segments of every L&O episode.

Sure, SVU is at times predictable. But fans will tell you that’s also one of its virtues.

Unlike The Mothership, through which Wolf regularly churned over cast members, the cast of SVU had remained stable until last year when the most popular character, Christopher Meloni’s combustible Detective Elliot Stabler, departed the squad room.

Stabler and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) constituted one of television’s most endearing (platonic) couplings. His withdrawal led to some forced changes that eventually rejuvenated the series.

Warren Leight, an L&O veteran, became show-runner. A new team of staff writers were recruited and two new actors joined the cast as lead detectives: former Cold Case star Danny Pino and The Good Wife’s Kelli Giddish.

For Pino, who was born in Miami to Cuban parents, the 300th episode’s significance was not lost. The 38-year-old has ”only” appeared in 27 episodes.

”It’s a drop in the bucket in comparison to the amount the show has amassed,” he says. ”But it’s an honour to be part of that.”

Every show’s set has it own specific dynamic yet, for Pino, SVU appears to hold a resonance beyond the screen.

”The fact that we deal with crimes of a sexual nature means survivors of these crimes are just that,” he says. ”They have to endure past an attack and beyond the abuse they have sustained. Yes, our show is fiction, but there are a group of viewers watching the show who are unfortunately dealing with the very topic we address.

”It’s not a show about homicide, because the main victim has to endure and survive beyond that. For a lot of these survivors [who are, in fact, viewers], the show serves as something more than entertainment. The letters I have received, and many of the people I have met, are an indication it has a resonance far beyond the screen.”

One of the hallmarks of the L&O franchise (with a few notable exceptions) is that the writers have rarely opted to delve into the private lives of the detectives. Each episode was self-contained, with a crime that was solved by the end of the hour. This is no longer the case on SVU.

We have in the past year watched Pino’s character’s marriage disintegrate. Meanwhile, his boss, Captain Donald Cragen (played by Dann Florek), was embroiled in a scandal involving a prostitute ring. This storyline led to – most shockingly for L&O – a cliffhanger season finale back in June.

”The case we are investigating is still ultimately the focal point,” Pino says. ”But revealing what a character’s backstory is … can expose a lot about how each character investigates that crime. Sometimes it’s good to explore what it takes for that particular cop to even show up at work that day.”

Pino says Wolf remains very much a part of the show. ”As far as I know, Dick watches all the shows and reads every script,” he says. ”He has a say in hiring a lot of the people involved.”

At this stage, SVU is living year-to-year. Last year its US network NBC reportedly came close to cancelling it. And although the show improved creatively, its ratings took a dive when Detective Stabler left.

In the US, its time-slot is tough; it’s pitted against Modern Family, Criminal Minds and The X Factor. ”We’re like the Australian soldiers at NBC,” show-runner Warren Leight said recently. ”They throw us in the toughest situations.”

Is Pino worried about cancellation?

”We’re confident we’re having a strong season and the show is compelling,” he says. ”Interesting scripts keep coming in from the writers. So although you don’t know what’s going to happen, there is a certain amount of hoping you will continue to be able to create this world.”

Source: here


October 25th, 2012  /  Jessica

In the cottage industry that was “Law & Order,” one show remains: “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

And this alone proves procedural shows can shine. Stories make sense, writing is tight, and actors are sharp. The result is a gritty drama celebrating its 300th episode Wednesday, Oct. 24.

Though the show shoots all over New York, its home base is a cavernous studio on a Hudson River pier. Here, actors, directors and producers speak with Zap2it while shooting the milestone episode.

This plot, as expected, deals with an excruciating topic — kidnapping. As a dad bends down to retrieve a $20 bill on a subway platform, a stranger snatches his 7-year-old son and jumps onto a departing train.

The cops are off and running, stopping at nothing until they find the perps. Three actors have starred on the show since the 1999 premiere: Mariska Hargitay, Richard Belzer and Dann Florek as Detectives Olivia Benson and John Munch and Capt. Donald Cragen.

They have grown close over 14 years, but in between scenes, they retreat to their own dressing rooms. Dogs belonging to Ice-T, Kelli Giddish and Belzer roam these rooms, and the thwack of a speedball echoes. Belzer, who plays the conspiracy-minded Munch, shows off his boxing moves. It is a good thing his character is armed.

Belzer talks about how grateful he is for this role. “Everywhere in the world I go, I get recognized,” he says. He’s been stopped in Istanbul, Paris and Vienna.

This series continues to work, Belzer says, because “every script is new. Every story is a case. That’s the genius. Every week there is a formula, but the writing is so good it never gets boring.”

That formula was used in the 1990 pilot for “Law & Order,” which Florek was in.

He recalls his first line from the first show: “Come on, fellows, I need something. I’m getting my butt barbecued.” He picked this over another role because “it was like nothing else.”

Florek infuses Cragen with a sense of decency. This season began as the cliffhanger ended, with Cragen implicated in a murder and cover-up involving city officials and prostitutes. During the course of the season, Cragen rebuilds his reputation.

“That’s what becomes the rest of my journey,” Florek says in his dressing room, which has a gadget that makes flatulence sounds and a Cragen pull-my-finger doll.

Florek can’t watch an episode when it first airs. “They’re always too fresh for me,” he says. “Normally all I see is what I think was missing. When I get to half a year later, on USA, I have emotional distance.”

Just as Florek was on the first “SVU” episode, so were four actors being brought back by showrunner Warren Leight for the 300th: Chris Orbach, son of the late, great Jerry Orbach (Detective Briscoe on “Law & Order”); Ramsey Faragallah, Mili Avital and Gordana Rashovich.

Leight, quick to note that he has done only 28 episodes and was “hardly taking a victory lap,” describes “SVU” as “the Jeep Cherokee of NBC. We just keep going, and we outlast them all.”

Another bonus in the 300th will be using footage from the first year, when detectives refer to an old and similar case. Leight considers the technological strides made since the premiere. “We survived the transition to talkies,” he says.

Jean de Segonzac, director of the first and the 300th episodes, has dealt with all of them. Surrounded by real maps annotating New York police precincts, de Segonzac considers why a show that plumbs the seedy underbelly of humanity can thrive.

“When my daughter was in eighth grade, all of her friends were obsessed with ‘SVU,’ ” he says. “I went to the movies as a kid to learn about life. What are their adults up to? Why are they behaving in this fashion?”

It’s a question the actors grapple with as they learn to leave the hideous subject matter at work.

“My coping mechanism is to be able to go home and talk about kindergarten,” says Danny Pino, who plays Detective Nick Amaro. In his dressing room, weights, a jump rope and Yankees memorabilia share space with photos of his sons. “In a way, it just ties you closer to the job; it makes it more visceral and personal. We have all spent time with actual SVU detectives.”

Giddish, who, like Pino, started last year, is more relaxed now that her character of Detective Amanda Rollins is established. She stopped having nightmares related to the show.

“It is a pleasure to be part of this show that has affected as many people as this has,” she says.

“SVU” touches such a raw nerve, especially among those who have been raped, that women write to Hargitay. Her response was to establish the Joyful Heart Foundation, a nonprofit agency to help heal the sexually abused.

It’s been a very long day on the set, and Hargitay wants to return to her three young children. As the rest of the cast heads out, she settles into a couch to reflect on how her character, Olivia Benson, evolved.

“She has matured so much,” Hargitay says. “She is a protective lioness, this fierce mother you want on your team and wants to right the wrongs.

“This changed my whole view of the world,” Hargitay adds. “I have gotten a whole awareness from this show. It changes lives. I have heard that so often, and it just absolutely thrills me.”

Source: here


October 23rd, 2012  /  Jessica

DANNY Pino says it’s impossible to appreciate the highs as an actor unless you’ve plumbed the lows of unemployment.

He’s an expert on the subject, having spent years in the doldrums before winning the role of Scotty Valens in Cold Case.

“I began to live this romanticised life of the struggling actor in New York and I’ve got to tell you that it becomes very unromantic after a short time,” Pino says.

“There comes a time when you get very sick of eating macaroni cheese and tuna three meals a day.”

The Miami-born actor has backed up Cold Case with a key role in Law & Order: SVU. When the widely respected Chris Meloni left the show last year, Pino was signed to fill the void as detective Nick Amaro.

SVU is one of TV’s all-time great success stories. It premiered in 1999 and on November 1 celebrates its 300th episode.

> > In a world where 13 episodes is considered a success story, 300 episodes is incredible. How has SVU managed that?

It begins with the writing and after that it’s the producers, directors, crew and actors. There is a synergy required to accomplish one hour of TV, much less 300 hours that are compelling. SVU is probably the grittiest of the network cop shows. We go to great pains to make it realistic. We take (real stories). But sometimes what you see on screen is tame compared with what happens in real life. It’s unnerving to think we have to tone down some of the stories we do.

> > How have fans of the show responded to you?

I’ve met people on the street and they say they are moved by what we do. There is a community of people who are survivors, who have been abused or in abusive relationships. I think there is hope in our show because it shows a road to being not a victim, but a survivor.

> > What was it like coming in following the departure of Chris Meloni?

I had to come in and not be Chris Meloni. I had no desire to step into his shoes. I spoke to (the producers) for a very long time about who Amaro would be. Also, I didn’t want to play the same character I’d played on Cold Case.

> > At what point did you feel that joining the show was a good decision?

That feeling arrived immediately. Everyone was welcoming. It’s been great creatively, too. We are now getting to see the underpinnings (of Amaro), and the demons all of us have who are in the squad.

Source: here


September 26th, 2012  /  Jessica

Warning: Spoilers! Read at your own risk!

If May’s season finale of Law & Order: SVU was meant to send a message, it was received loud-and-clear. The shocking cliffhanger (a dead hooker in the bed of Dann Florek’s Captain Cragen) was a drastic departure for the long-running procedural. Viewers can thank showrunner Warren Leight for this dramatic turn of events. Leight stepped into the show amidst its biggest shake-up ever: Christopher Meloni’s highly publicized departure after 12 years. “Any show on this long would have needed to change, some rejuvenation,” affirms Leight, “and [Chris] leaving, in a way, opened up a lot of new possibilities. The thing that you worry about most is the thing that often works in your favor.”

Heading into season 14, which premieres tonight. SVU has some momentum to maintain. Leight is confident that introducing some new faces (Paget Brewster, Adam Baldwin) and dynamics (key word: suspicion) will be just the trick. If the show’s performance as NBC’s highest-rated drama finale last season is any indication, he may be on to something. Read what Leight has in store for SVU‘s double-barrel opener below, plus see how a certain ultra-popular erotic novel makes its way onto the show.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve been very conscious that SVU is the last Law & Order show on the air. With a year under your belt and a season underway, how is SVU 2.0 shaping up?
WARREN LEIGHT: This year, I’ve made some changes in the writing staff, the producing staff. Everyone understands what the goal is for this year. … So, just in terms of the way we run the show, people are a little more on. I know who my actors are, they know who I am. It’s easier to write for people when you knew what their strengths are. I know everyone’s strengths, and now what I want to do a bit of this year is make some of the actors feel a little bit uncomfortable, push them out of their comfort zone. Last year I had to learn their comfort zone so this year I can tear them down. [Laughs]

You said everyone on the writing/producing staff had the same goal in mind. What is that goal?
I don’t want anyone to look at this show 14 years in and go, “Oh, this is tired,” or “They’re going through the motions.” I want people to go, “This is as fresh as anything that’s on right now.”

Certainly, the end of last season was a big departure with the Cragen cliffhanger…
I wanted a cliffhanger, and that was definitely not part of the [creator and former showrunner] Dick Wolf culture. It was outside what people expect for the show. A little bit, I want to shake up expectations. There will be more storylines about our lead characters, a little bit more emotion between them. I would like to see more of the interpersonal dynamic between our detectives. There’s obviously going to be a big investigation after the dead hooker is found in Cragen’s bed, and there’s going to be a lot of fallout from that investigation.

You said everyone has secrets. Such as…?
[This season tracks] a tale of corruption through NYPD, through the DA’s office, through the upper echelons of government. How our detectives react to that, and who’s trusting whom as this investigation goes on is pretty interesting. For example, it’s not like Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Amaro (Danny Pino) have been partners for 12 years and know everything about each other, so there’s a little room for suspicion. Room for suspicion is a wedge.

And you’re really ripping their worlds apart.
Oh yeah.

Even if they did trust each other, this would be a massive ground shift.
It’s never good when your boss is arrested, is found in bed with a dead hooker. That’s never good. Especially if he’s the captain of your unit at the NYPD.

I know Paget Brewster is coming in as the head of the D.A.’s Public Integrity Unit. I’m sure she’s going to shake things up a little bit…
That is to the DA’s office what IAB is to cops. They watch everything. They know everything. … Paget is stepping into a war between two escort agencies. She’s stepping into four or five unsolved murders. It begins with the police commissioner’s bachelor party. She’s got to figure out who to trust — and fast. Benson wants to earn her trust because she’s hoping maybe Paget will realize Cragen is innocent — as Benson knows Cragen must be. Paget is looking desperately for someone. … The two of them, basically, are trying to work together. Benson is trying to work with her in hopes of proving Cragen’s innocence, and Paget is trying to enlist her support because she doesn’t have too many other people she can trust.

We’re also bringing Adam Baldwin in as a new captain. He’s a substitute or temporary captain, but he’s stepping into a unit that’s openly in revolt, basically. … He’s going to try and start to put his own imprint on this department. [It’ll] push people a little bit out of their comfort zones.

NEXT: A closer look at Olivia’s arc, and — you knew it was coming — SVU takes on 50 Shades of Grey

Going back to Olivia. She went through a lot of changes last season.
When the season began, she was feeling untethered and wary of the new people [after her partner of 12 years left the unit]. She was beginning to form relationships with Amaro particularly and with Hayden (Harry Connick Jr.). Then it all kind of blew up in her face. Then her captain — who was her rock last year after [Stabler] left — they had some very strong scenes together. Clearly, the captain is a father figure to Olivia. I can’t imagine anything shaking her up more than to find out that he’s possibly not who she thought he was.

And in the midst of this, Dean Winters is back as Cassidy, Olivia’s ex/colleague. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
It’s a good thing and a bad thing. He’s an interesting guy, and he’s not the kid he was from those early SVUs that he was in. He wasn’t right for this unit, and he wasn’t too sharp. He wasn’t well-educated. He’s obviously survived and been doing dangerous work for three years. But can you trust him completely? Certainly Amaro doesn’t.

I can’t imagine the time would be right any time soon for Benson to consider motherhood or a serious relationship.
I think it’s hard. As the season opens, her new partnership is in trouble — with Amaro. Her captain is in serious trouble. The unit she’s worked for is falling apart. She has a new captain she’s supposed to somehow deal with. The DAs she’s worked with are under a cloud of suspicion — or she’s not allowed to talk to them. When it rains, it pours.

I’m hoping amongst all this seriousness and turmoil, we’ll get some good Fin (Ice-T) comic relief in there. He’s my favorite.
Fin’s character is a survivor. He provided a lot of stability for Rollins (Kelli Giddish) last year. We have a scene where Adam Baldwin’s character looks at Fin early on and basically says, “Last I heard, departmental dress code is business attire,” and he looks at Fin.

So Fin is probably the most equipped to deal with the shifting tides, but even he is going to have some issues?
Whether or not Fin actually responds to that… [Laughs] Fin undercover would be in a suit and tie, I think.

What else can you tease this season?
We sort of have two premieres this year. We’re back on Sept. 26 then we got off the air until Oct. 10. That episode deals with the author of a book called 25 Acts, which is a woman’s journey through the world of domination and submission. So we’re keeping time, we hear.

Law & Order ran for 20 seasons. Do you see SVU lasting for another six years?
The idea is not to run on fumes and make sure everyone who’s here wants to be here and wants to keep it alive. There is no end to the number of topics in the news that make for interesting episodes for us and interesting issues to explore. … Raising awareness about certain issues is part of what makes the show valuable. I don’t think we ever want to sensationalize rape or the victimization of people. What we want to do is get people aware of issues in our society and get people thinking and talking about them, and shed light on the dark corners of this world. That’s a valuable function. … I would love to see [how things go this year]. I think most people assumed we wouldn’t make it through last year. It was nice to get a little attention, show that the show had a reason to exist. We’ll see….

SVU premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET.

Source: here


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Welcome to Danny Pino Online, your number one source for everything regarding actor Danny Pino. Danny is best known for his role as Detective Scotty Valens on Cold Case and Detective Nick Amaro on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Here at Danny Pino Online, we hope to provide you with the latest news, photos, and more concerning Danny. Be sure to visit us daily to see if anything is new.
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