Saluting Norman Lear at 100, Three-Way ‘Law & Order’ Crossover, Dramatizing the Thai Cave Rescue, ‘Good Fight’ Plays Ball

Stars gather to honor the legendary comedy producer Norman Lear, who turned 100 in July. All three Law & Order series kick off their new seasons with a crossover storyline. A Netflix limited series dramatizes the heroic 2018 rescue of a Thai youth soccer team from a flooded cave. The Good Fight tackles a topical case involving discriminatory hiring practices in pro football.

ABC/Christopher Willard

Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter

Special

Shouldn’t laughter come before music here? No matter, the living legend that is Norman Lear takes top billing in a star-studded tribute, honoring the man behind All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons and other groundbreaking TV comedies on the occasion of his 100th birthday this summer. Comedy performances, surprise reunions and renditions of his shows’ many iconic theme songs are among the highlights, with appearances by the likes of George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Rita Moreno, Rob Reiner, Jennifer Aniston, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Kimmel, Octavia Spencer, Anthony Anderson, Kristen Bell, Justina Machado, Tracee Ellis Ross and many more. All together now… Those Were the Days.

Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler, Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson in Law & Order
Will Hart/NBC

Law & Order

Season Premiere

Upending the usual order on which they air on Thursdays, the Law & Order franchise kicks off a new season with its first three-way crossover, titled “Gimme Shelter.” The action begins on Organized Crime when Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and SVU’s Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) are called in on the case of a young girl’s murder that’s being investigated by Law & Order’s Detective Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) and his new partner, Detective Jalen Shaw (Mehcad Brooks). As the trail leads to sex trafficking and a possible terrorist threat, the story moves on to SVU and ultimately to Law & Order, where DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) and ADA Nolan Price (Hugh Dancy) take on an international crime ring.

Thai Cave Rescue
Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Thai Cave Rescue

Series Premiere

What director Ron Howard was able to accomplish in two-and-a-half hours in his acclaimed Thirteen Lives movie takes Netflix six episodes. Less star-driven, the limited series Rescue was filmed entirely on location in Thailand including at the actual Tham Luang cave, where 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach were trapped during a flood. The desperate situation led to a global response as the world watched Thai Navy SEALs, British cavers and divers attempt a successful rescue.

Audra McDonald as Liz Reddick and Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart in The Good Fight
Elizabeth Fisher/Paramount+

The Good Fight

TV’s most inventive and enjoyable legal drama gets timely again, when Liz (Audra McDonald) teams with new partner Ri’chard (the great Andre Braugher) on a case tackling pro football’s Rooney Rule, requiring teams to interview minority candidates for senior authority positions including head coach. They’ve got the goods on a fictional Chicago team accused of skirting the practice, but as usual, there’s a twist. Their young colleague Carmen (Charmaine Bingwa) is in a bind of her own when her gangster client (Ben Shenkman) leans on her to subvert justice. As for Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), she’s just trying to stay positive, swearing off doomscrolling for 72 hours as she stops to smell all sorts of colorful flowers while riots rage on city streets.

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