Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
starts off the new year with all original episodes, boasting a star studded January filled with guest star appearances by Brian Dennehy
, Paget Brewster
, Michael Michele
, Blair Underwood
, Kal Penn
and Adam Beach
; as well as an "SVU" directorial debut for actor Eriq LaSalle
, reuniting him with some of his former ER
The original slate kicks off on Tuesday, Jan. 2, when venerable actor Brian Dennehy and Paget Brewster appear in the episode "Scheherazade." Dennehy plays a dying man (Jud Tierney) who wants to come clean about his criminal past. His dark secrets have the potential to close a number of unsolved cases. Tierney won't speak to the authorities unless he sees his estranged daughter Sheila (guest star Brewster) so Dets. Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson feel compelled to make the reunion happen.
On Tuesday, Jan. 9, Eriq LaSalle joins the series in a different role, as director. LaSalle's "SVU" directorial debut reunites him with former "ER" cast mates Michael Michele ("Kevin Hill") and Mariska Hargitay
. In this episode, "Burned," a messy marital estrangement and subsequent custody battle pits Valerie Sennet (Michele) against her estranged husband Miles Sennett, played by Blair Underwood. As the detectives investigate and separate fact from fiction in a "he said-she said," the case takes a gripping and grave turn.
"SVU" airs on Tuesdays at 10 P.M. ET/PT.