U adds Teuton twist to ‘L&O’ in Germany

Yakker to air alongside skein in effort to boost ratings

BERLIN — “Law & Order” will preem on Universal Studios Networks’ German digital channel 13th Street in March with the help of Michel Friedman, the controversial TV talkmeister and Jewish leader disgraced last summer in a cocaine and prostitution scandal.

Friedman will host a new show, “Im Zweifel fuer … Friedmans Talk” (Benefit of the Doubt … Friedman’s Talk), which will focus on subjects explored in episodes of “Law & Order” that are relevant to German society.

USN hopes Friedman’s yakker will make “L&O” more attractive to viewers. The crime series had a limited run on commercial web RTL in the 1990s but fared poorly against RTL’s own successful homegrown “Law & Order” clone, “Im Namen des gesetzes,” on the air here for nearly a decade.

USN Deutschland topper Wolfram Winter described Friedman as a “competent and sharp-witted host. As a professional attorney, he’s also the ideal person for a legal talkshow.”

Acting on tips and wiretaps from a prostitution ring used by Friedman, police raided his Frankfurt home and office in June, discovering traces of cocaine.

The scandal cost the conservative TV host, known for his caustic and combative style, the post of VP of Germany’s Jewish Council as well as two TV talkshows, which were pulled by pubcaster ARD and its affiliate Hessischer Rundfunk.

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