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'Law & Order: SVU': Benson heads to Los Angeles

Zap2it, Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 4:17pm (PDT) "Law & Order: SVU" will try to help out the newest member of the franchise, "Law & Order: Los Angeles," with a character crossover on Sept. 29. No surprise there.There is a little wrinkle to the crossover, though: Fans will meet Skeet Ulrich's "LOLA" character in the "SVU" episode -- before his own show's series premiere. "SVU" executive producer Neal Baer explains how Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) ends up in Los Angeles to meet Ulrich's Detective Rex Winters.The Sept. 29 episode guest-stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as a woman who's afraid to leave her house after having been repeatedly raped by the same man. "[Benson] ends up going to Los Angeles -- she goes across the country, to Detroit and Chicago as well -- to open rape kits. There's a backlog of rape kits in this country in many, many cities," Baer says. "... A lot of perps are going free because the kits haven't been open yet or tested. So she's on a mission, and that takes her to L.A., which then takes her to meet Skeet Ulrich's character."Other bits of "SVU" news:- Other guest stars this season include "Lost's" Henry Ian Cusick and Joan Cusack in the season premiere, while Maria Bello, David Krumholtz, James LeGros and returnees Marcia Gay Harden, Christine Lahti and Gloria Reuben will appear later on. Baer says that the show may add another ADA character in addition to Paula Patton's recurring part.- Baer also says he's considering bringing back "probably one of our worst perps ever" may return later in the season. "We haven't really done that before, and we're actually thinking hard about it. So it's like, who is your favorite perp who could be coming back?" (Who'd you want to see back? Let us know in the comments.)- Cusick on why he jumped back into TV so soon after "Lost" ended and his character: I was looking to get back into TV as quickly as possible. I wanted to get away from Desmond -- it just seemed like I was no longer Ian Cusick, I was Desmond. So I wanted to just sort of shed that skin. ... It just seemed like this would be a really cool thing to get involved with. [The character] Erik Weber is a graphic designer. ... He's very quickly taken with [Benson] and tries to help them on a case."- Cusick's character also "represents something that [Benson] indeed might want," Baer says, though he won't say much more than that. Asked if what Benson wants is a child, Baer allows that "Maria Bello's character has a lot to do with this as well. That would be episodes seven and 10."- "SVU" has moved from its previous base in New Jersey into the Chelsea Piers stages that housed the original "Law & Order." A "calamity" in the season's fourth episode will mark the end of the old set, and the fifth episode will be the first shot on the new set in Manhattan."Law & Order: SVU" has a two-hour season premiere at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, Sept. 22 on NBC. "L&O: LA" debuts at 10 p.m. Sept. 29.Follow Zap2it and Zap2itRick on Twitter and Zap2it on Facebook for the latest TV, movie and celebrity news.Photo credits: NBC

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