Upcoming episode will feature a female talk show host with a straying eye. Blackmail ensues.
It had to happen: David Letterman's blackmail scandal is getting the "Law & Order" treatment.
NBC's long-running drama is known for its ripped-from-the-headlines storylines. Now, there's word the show is planning an episode that plays off of Letterman's sexcapades — and mixes in a bit of a poke at ABC's "The View."
According to casting breakdowns released Wednesday, the episode will revolve around a character named Vanessa Carville. In her late 30s to early 40s, she's a "well-known celebrity talk show host, married with children" who — here comes "The View" riff — "along with a panel of other women, hosts a daily talk show."
The breakdown calls Vanessa "witty and very intelligent" (that rules out at least one "View" co-host). She's also either a lesbian or bisexual.
The other details:
"Over the course of a few years, she has had a series of short-lived affairs with some of the employees on the show and up until now has managed to keep them off the radar. Now she has been approached by a blackmailer who threatens to expose private photos and emails of hers unless she pays $3 million. Vanessa turns to DA Jack McCoy for help. She eventually decides to drop the charges, in order to spare herself and the women she had affairs with the embarrassment of having their private affairs made public."
So with one episode, the "Law & Order" camp is taking on two big targets: Dave Letterman and "The View." The latter move is particularly brilliant, since you know the ladies of "The View" will talk about the episode at some point, trying to figure out who the lusty character in the show is supposed to be. (Our nomination: Joy Behar. She's a pistol, that one — though we're not implying she's cheated on anyone. But she is smart and witty.)
Meanwhile, points to the producers for putting a twist on the sexual harassment storyline: A female authority figure is the one doing the sleeping around. Well-played, "L&O."
The real question is: Who should play "Vanessa"? We'd love to see Bonnie Hunt, an actual talk show host who also happens to be friends with Dave. But that fact, and perhaps her age, could rule it out.