I look forward to the addition of Alana De La Garza!

New cast members add spice to “Law & Order”
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Yes, “Law & Order” is back for another season (its 17th), which is a bit like saying the sun is back for another rise. Four more seasons and it ties “Gunsmoke” as the longest-running drama in primetime history, and it would be a mistake to bet against precisely that ultimately happening. Creator Dick Wolf, in fact, has said he is determined to achieve nothing less.
It’s easy to see why this procedural is virtually trend-proof and cancel-resistant. You get crime, punishment, action, solid character interplay and a nice, generally tidy resolution within the space of 48 minutes. Life itself should be so uncannily reliable. And we have one more detail that is nothing if not splendidly redundant: There’s new regular cast incorporated seamlessly into the “L&O” neighborhood. Out are Dennis Farina and Annie Parisse, in are Milena Govich and Alana De La Garza in moves that carry a nice little dollop of diversity.
Govich (a regular on Wolf’s short-lived “Conviction”) plays Detective Nina Cassady. Meanwhile, De La Garza (who logged a season on “CSI: Miami”) portrays assistant DA Connie Rubirosa, the show’s first Latina prosecutor. It’s notable that a show on the air this long can still achieve “firsts” of anything.
The season opener, titled “Fame,” carries forward the comfy and compelling “L&O” formula, with a cop killing story line that dances around the edges of headline issues: paparazzi, immature young starlets a la Lindsay Lohan, a self-involved white rapper and knotty details of journalistic shield laws. Jesse L. Martin, S. Epatha Merkerson and Sam Waterston are back to provide the guiding backbone of a clockwork concept that just keeps rolling along, a singular oasis of creative stability in a notoriously fickle television world. Long live the king.