'Law & Order: Los Angeles' returns in April

alfred-molina-lola-320.jpgNBC will bring "Law & Order: Los Angeles" out of the creative-retooling shop next month.

The series, which went dark in December to reshuffle its cast, will return with a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. ET Monday, April 11. It settles into its regular 10 o'clock home the following week, taking over the spot currently held by "Harry's Law," which will have ended its season by then.

"We are pleased to welcome 'Law & Order: Los Angeles' back to NBC's regular lineup," NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt says. "['L&O' creator] Dick Wolf and his team have made some exciting creative changes, and we can't wait to re-introduce the show to audiences."

The biggest of those changes is the dismissal of Skeet Ulrich as one of "LOLA's" two lead detectives and his replacement by Alfred Molina, who previously played a prosecutor on the show. In the reworked show, Molina's character, Ricardo Morales, has left the district attorney's office "after he became frustrated with the system" and returned to his former job as a Robbery Homicide Division detective. Corey Stoll and Rachel Ticotin remain on the police side of the show.

In the coutroom, Terrence Howard -- who had been alternating episodes with Molina -- will continue as Deputy DA Joe Dekker. He'll be joined by former "Law & Order" (original recipe) regular Alana de la Garza, whose character, Connie Rubirosa, has relocated from New York to Los Angeles to be near her ailing mother.

"LOLA" averaged 9 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49 (including DVR use) in its fall run. NBC will probably be happy if the show can keep those numbers on Mondays, where it will air opposite two other established crime shows, CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" and ABC's "Castle."

Photo/Video credit: NBC