Author Scott Turow: Some law-show scenes 'couldn't happen'
The author of such best sellers as "Presumed Innocent," "The Burden of Proof" and "Reversible Errors" tells Zap2it, "Somebody may beat me with a wet noodle for this, but the truth of the matter is that I don't watch any show every week. I catch them periodically. I happen to be a big viewer of TNT because I do watch basketball, so I saw that [the law show] 'Franklin & Bash' was heavily advertised.
"My mother, may she rest in peace, loved 'Law & Order'," Turow adds of another element of TNT's lineup, "so I saw an enormous amount of that show when I visited her. People talk about 'The Good Wife,' and it's set here in Chicago, so I've certainly seen that. But can I tell you that I've seen every lawyer/courtroom show on television? No."
A former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Turow also is a partner in a Chicago law firm and the current president of the Authors Guild. His most recent novel -- "Innocent" -- becomes the first offering of the "TNT Mystery Movie Night" when the franchise premieres Tuesday, Nov. 29.
A sequel to "Presumed Innocent," which became a hit 1990 movie, the tale casts Bill Pullman in Harrison Ford's earlier role as Rusty Sabich. Once a murder-accused prosecutor, Sabich is now a judge back in the hot seat ... this time for the slaying of his wife (Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden, seen in flashbacks as the character first played by Bonnie Bedelia).
If it seems incredible Sabich would be in a similar position again, Turow credits the dilemma to "people making the same mistakes twice." He also insists on keeping his scenarios plausible, something he doesn't feel television always manages.
"I have my own framework," he reflects. "I remember watching an episode of 'The Practice' years ago, and I have enormous respect for (producer and ex-lawyer) David Kelley, who I know a tiny bit. He's written lots of great television, but there was a scene where the judge made a defendant drop his pants in court because he was a peeping Tom.
"I understood that in dramatic terms, but it riled against everything I know about the law. My disbelief is no longer suspended then, but I don't think that's a judgment of morality or quality. It's just that in my experience, those moments couldn't happen."