|Few actors can shake off the major disappointment of a canceled series by immediately landing a role in one of the most successful television shows in history.|
That's what happened this year to Anthony Anderson, the latest addition to NBC's long-running hit "Law & Order." He was tapped to replace Jesse L. Martin, and Anthony's character of Kevin Bernard debuted in the middle of last season. He will be front and center again when the show returns for its 19th season.
"It was exciting," he said when we spoke recently. "I think `Law & Order' is the best-run show that I've ever worked on. I stepped into a well-oiled machine and didn't miss a beat."
But Anthony had high hopes for his Fox police drama "K-ville," the first series to be filmed in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina.
"They're vastly different," he said of "K-ville" and "Law & Order."
"It's like asking me which one of my children I love the most. I love them both, and I love them differently. Unfortunately, the writers strike happened right in the middle of (`K-ville') and lasted for four months. It's hard to keep a new show on the air when you're off the air for four months. That was the downfall for `K-ville,' but you know, we picked up the pieces and moved on with `Law & Order."'
Although Anthony has appeared in many memorable films - including "Transformers," "Hustle and Flow," "Barbershop," "Romeo Must Die" and "The Departed"
- he likes the schedule of a television series. He was part of the cast of FX's "The Shield" during that show's fourth season.
"I wanted to be at home with my family, and it just so happened that `Law & Order' took me to New York, away from my family, so, you know, be careful what you wish for," he said.
"But I just wanted to do television again, be a series regular on a high-profile one-hour drama, and that's what we got when we started with `K-Ville,' and that's what we're continuing to do with `Law & Order."
Hardin juggles again
It's always great to run into Melora Hardin, who's so great on the NBC comedy "The Office." This is a real showbiz trouper who juggles her TV gig with movie roles ("The Comebacks," "27 Dresses") and a music career.
Beginning Friday at the Hollywood Bowl, Melora will sing the role of Fantine in a three-day run of "Les Miserables" with a cast including Lea Michele, Brian Stokes Mitchell, J. Mark McVey and Michele Maika.
"It's an incredible cast," Melora said. "I don't think people, unless they are really die-hard fans, know that I'm a singer and a songwriter. But this is a whole different part of my voice because it's a really big, belty Broadway sound, and it's my first experience really doing this, and I'm just absolutely over the moon with enthusiasm and excitement.
"It's a total dream. I get chills just thinking about it. It's going to be a beautiful three nights."