Alfred Molina now a detective on 'Law & Order: LA'

alfred-molinaImage Credit: Mike Coppola/WireImageWho’s going to replace Skeet Ulrich’s detective on NBC’s Law & Order: Los Angeles?

Alfred Molina — even though he’s already on the show playing a district attorney.

Here’s how that’s going to work:

Molina will continue to play Ricardo Morales, but it will be revealed that his character was on the Los Angeles Police Department for 15 years, having earned the detective rank. His frustrations as a prosecutor reach a tipping point and he decides to return to the police force.

Terrence Howard, whose character Jonah Dekker alternated with Molina’s Morales, will now be in every episode.

“We have the fortune of two world class actors on LOLA, and it was frustrating to have one on the bench every week,” says executive producer Dick Wolf. “It would be like having Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as your quarterbacks, playing alternate games.”

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Ulrich, Regina Hall and Megan Boone are leaving the series, which is currently in the middle of its first season. Hall and Boone both play lawyers on the show.

What say you, readers? Think NBC is gonna pull this off?

Comments (301 total) Add your comment
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  • Allie

    Skeet is leaving?? WHY???? He’s my favourite on the show. I’m not inclined to bother watching anymore.

    • Barry

      He’s doing an off Broadway play in NYC.

      • Robin

        I agree with you. Why bother watching it if Skeet isnt in it?

      • JohnJohn

        He went on another cruise, but did not realize Cleveland Brown was on that same cruise.

    • Bwana

      He has to go home and save the Town of Jericho…

      • Dmophatty

        Him and his buddy angus have to go perform som Miracles…

    • kirk

      I’ve been a fan of the Law and Order franchise since Chris Noth. I like the new LA setting and the titles being neighborhoods, of which there are endless choices. I’ll be sad to see Ulrich go – and I hope the show continues to succeed. Go LOLA!!

      • Carla in Houston

        The only reason I watch LOLA was for Skeet and Terrance Howard, so it sucks that 50% of my reason is leaving. However, I do like Alfred Molina, and this means both he and T.Howard get screen time every week. So it’s a good news / bad news thing for me. I think the plot device (DA to detective) is not very realistic, but so what, I’ll roll with it.

    • J.B.B.

      I agree with you TOTALLY!

    • Rock Golf

      The biggest question:
      Can L&O survive TWO BALD detectives?

      • babs

        LOL. Excellent point! Plus I agree with all those who find Molina’s character’s career shift hard to believe. Plus he so consistently overacts, I really don’t want to see more of him.

    • babs

      Sad to see Skeet go — he’s been one of my two favorites on the show. The other is — and thank goodness he’s staying — Terence Howard.

    • Rush

      “Throw me the idol, I throw you the whip.”

      They’ve got to work that line in at some point.

      • jar

        What???? Alfred Molina was that character Raiders of the Lost Ark? I can’t believe it! I love that line and movie

    • thrapston_cheeseley III

      Why would they shoot Skeet out of there?

      • lou

        because he was made out of cardboard… or at least the character was. we found out more about his partner with his quirks and lines than Skeet’s character.

    • ESTEL

      with skeet leaving no wonder its all repeats, i have no reason to watch it. what a loss to the show

    • Mike Higgins

      Skeet was one of my main reasons for watching as well……….you may loose me as a viewer too.

    • Viva Doc Ock

      Ricardo and his tentacles will tear apart criminals easily! Good casting! Can’t wait to see the tentacles on the small screen!

    • Bob

      From Wikipedia – He starred in the police and courtroom drama Law & Order: Los Angeles for only eleven episodes before being let go to due a creative overhaul. Nothing about a play. He was booted before he killed this show like his bad acting did to JERICHO. He is not creative! Very bland.

    • stu

      Skeet should stay & Terrence go.
      i agree the 2 actresses were lousy.

      • tessa

        i agree, i really have always loved Skeet since ‘Screem’…
        he was why i wanted to watch the show, but frankly it has no bite..Terence (i cannot stand) constantly overacting like he’s doing Macbeth…the two actresses were bland…its based in LA and it doesn’t have the LA feel of a ‘Southland’ or ‘The Closer’…get rid of Terance

      • Kat

        I agree!

    • Bob

      From wikipedia & they update quickly — He starred in the police and courtroom drama Law & Order: Los Angeles for only eleven episodes before being let go to due a creative overhaul. Because he can’t act he is not creative – – HE GOT BOOTED, FIRED ,LET GO. No play in his future.

      • Dan

        Wow, why are you so damn certain he doesn’t have a play in NYC? Broadway is pretty a pretty well confined area and news of him doing a show there would be known far and wide. But OFF-Broadway, it certainly could be happening or in the works. Off Broadway plays are ALL over the city (making them a pain the get to :/) and often aren’t scheduled for very long. He could’ve also had a play booked WHILE doing the show and flown back and forth between coasts (it’s been done before). Either way… unless you’re Skeet, you don’t know what’s in his future. Unfortunately the world at large (and Wikipedia) doesn’t care that much for off-Broadway.

      • kellybelly

        Yes, and Wikipedia is ALWAYS accurate about everything. (sarcasm)
        How do we know some troll didn’t just go in and edit that to mess with people.

    • jmac

      i only watched because of skeet. will not be on my list anymore.

      • MaryJane

        Maybe he was in the Broadway play “Spiderman”.
        Anyway, I haven’t been too impressed with this show and it hasn’t been a regular viewing for me, so, I guess it won’t make a difference.

    • renee

      yeah i loved skeet. hall was underutilized. megan won’t be missed.

    • bonnie

      My sentiments are the same as Renee – He and Terrence Howard are why I watch. Ever since Jericho I have been a follower of Skeet’s. He is never on long enough.

    • Cassandra

      I think it SUCKS they killed him off too! so no coming back!

  • Melissa

    I found Skeet’s character boring. Glad he’s going, although this plot device seems a bit of a stretch.

    • BJohnson

      Not for L&O. With the shows having guest stars come on who were once cops now prosecutors or doctors, seems likely the opposite can happen in Wolf’s world.

      • oc

        works for guest stars but this is a regular character making a very unlikely career shift and one that would probably not be welcome in the same city since it creates a problematic dynamic

    • Nona

      Oh, thank god! I thought I was the only one, who found his character boring. I like Skeet and enjoyed him in Jericho but his character in L&O just wasn’t working for me. I won’t miss him.

    • Annia

      I’m guessing that Skeet didn’t want to “OVER ACTING” or “HOGGING” the spotlight for himself. Boring? I disagreed. Perhaps Skeet should just start hanging out with porn stars, using cocaine, jumping up & down on the couch, or start ranting racist remarks, to make him less boring? Nah, he is better than that. If you are not a fan, no matter what he does or how he acts, it’s never going to be good enough for you. He is obviously under-rated, under-appreciated for his talents & his captivating presence. No matter what, I don’t think his fans should worry. I doubt that he would starve to death. I’ll trade one Skeet for ten Tom Cruise any day!

    • Annia

      Oops, let me correct myself…I WILL TRADE 10 TOM CRUISES FOR 1 SKEET any day.

      • AB

        Yeah, but Tom Cruise isn’t involved in this show, dummy.

  • Rev

    No, Skeet Ulrich is not so charismatic, but Alfred Molina as a lead? no way

    • Overby

      Go and watch the movie ‘Frida’ with Molina as Diego Rivera to see how good he really is. Far as I’m concerned, he’s the only good actor on this LOLA and deserves recognition as the lead actor.

      • maryb889

        AGREED

      • Lincoln

        Period. Your comment is enough to shut every nay-sayer up. Molina is top notch. He’s excellent in Frida. Even in Chocalat. He’s in a league all his own. It’s almost shocking that he and Terrance have chosen to work on L&O.

    • Viva Doc Ock

      BLASPHEMER! You will kneel and praise at the tentacles of Doctor Octavius! Fool!

    • MaryJane

      I agree. While Molina is an okay actor, I guess, I can’t see him as a lead. They need to add someone with some charisma, or sex appeal, that’s probably why I haven’t been too much into this show.

  • Hillary

    he’s leaving and two of the female cast members are leaving too.

  • Chaz

    Ulrich is not that great an actor. Molina is an excellent actor. One does not have to be picture pretty to be a lead, particulary in an L&O series. Of course, this probably isn’t enough to keep me watching L&O LA.

    • maryb889

      Interesting comment … since this is exactly why I’ll stick with the show. Ulrich was boring me to tears. I hope Molina ramps it up … maybe little Lenny Briscoe-style!!! I’m looking forward to the change.

  • MyMy

    Skeet was the only reason I was watching. I’m done now.

  • Michael Sacal

    I like it. It sucks that the other guy is leaving, but this is a good idea.

  • seattlejohn

    what happens with Corey Stoll?

    • TBag

      Stoll is staying!(yay!) he’s gonna be partnered with Molina’s character, per Deadline.

    • Mole

      Detective Mustache remains on the beat!

  • Lisa

    I honestly don’t remember the other detective so it’s probably a good thing.

    I miss the mothership and their DA team.

    • California

      I really miss original recipe too =(

  • The Dude

    Honestly, this is a double-edged sword. Molina has been one of the bright spots of this mediocre show, so moving him to detective sounds pretty cool…on the other hand, that also means more Terence Howard (and as much as I loved him in “Hustle and Flow,” his performance in this show is one of the weakest in the entire L&O canon).

    • Dduellman

      “One man’s feast is another man’s famine.” I love Terrence Howard in L&O:LA.

    • Sunshine

      I have to say, I was wondering if I was the only one that was suffering through Terrence Howard’s performance..I can’t put my finger on why because I usually like him..Is he over-acting? What is it?

  • Barry

    When is NBC bringing the show back?

  • chacha

    NBC should have just kept the original L&O for another two years and broken a TV record.

    • nezzo

      agreed. with Terence Howard’s annoying character on every episode now, I really can’t be bothered with this version of L&O. Why are they getting rid of the good actors/characters from this series, particularly Regina and Skeet?

    • DivaSoulSista

      You said it chacha!

      • cc

        a big I hear ya on that one! Sam Waterston broke the mold with his role. I knew it would come to this.

    • Ap

      Indeed!
      I watched the new L&O: LA and hated it. I thought Lupes and Bernard were a great match in NY. Why did they cancel it and move it to LA?

      • BP

        Because it was too expensive to film in NYC vs LA. Stupid reason IMO, but true.

      • George Miron

        I too miss the “old” Law & Order… Never got interested in the LA and London versions

    • Steve Gaynor

      Absolutely! Also, I agree with getting Molina and Howard more exposure.

    • mojack

      exactly!

  • ben

    I thought both pairs of ADAs worked but that it was annoying they kept alternating. Why would they get rid of both of the female ADAs and have no idea about reception of Terrence Howards new counterpart ? I also think that Skeet Ulrich was a big reason that a lot of people I know actually watch the show at all.

  • katie

    I wish they were getting rid of terrence howard instead… I thought skeet had a good connection with corey stoll as his partner, which was part of the reason why i kept watching this version. i’ll give molina a shot, but mostly because i think l&o:la has the best version of the theme song…

  • Davey

    I liked Skeet more than the actor playing his partner. Oh well.

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