Rambling Reporter


Law & Order Disorder: Law & Order: SVU hasn't been picked up for Season 13 as neither Christopher Meloni nor Mariska Hargitay has renewed their contract, but changes are afoot for the NBC stalwart. Word is, Meloni is holding out because he wants to direct some episodes (though his manager denies it), and Dick Wolf's camp isn't going along. Then B.D. Wong, a 10-year series veteran, was cast in the NBC pilot REM. If it's picked up, he'll bail on SVU -- possibly to be replaced by, believe it or not, Jeremy Irons, who guested as a sex therapist in two episodes this season. Whether Irons would appear in every episode remains to be seen -- and then there's the possibility of Showtime's The Borgias getting a Season 2, in which case he'd be doing double duty. An NBC rep tells THR the network never comments on contract negotiations.

Not Gaga for Britney
If there's one thing no one's ever disputed about Britney Spears, it's that the girl can dance. But after Spears performed live on ABC's GMA on March 29, the Internet was abuzz with how stiff and minimal her moves were. Much of the time, she basically sat in a chair and whipped her hair around. Even Lady Gaga's creative director Laurieann Gibson, choreographer-star of the new E! show The Dance Scene, was shocked by Brit's lack of effort. "Britney, goodbye," Gibson tells THR. "You can't put her on a stage like that. It was tragic. I just kept hoping it would turn itself around. It didn't."

Mourning Giorgio Baldi
The Hollywood community is still in shock over the sudden death of Tuscany-born restaurateur Giorgio Baldi, who passed April 11 while on vacation in Ensenada, Mexico. Regulars at his Santa Monica eatery for more than 15 years included Cher, Kate Hudson, Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Mike Ovitz, David Geffen and Quincy Jones. "Giorgio was a part of the family in our neighborhood," Wilson tells THR. "He treated everyone, including our family, like they were his, always giving us a special dish or a new wine to try. Tom and I are saddened to lose such a lovely, gracious, warm man. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family." Jamie Lee Curtis, another regular, offered her thoughts: "Giorgio Baldi and his entire family have welcomed and delighted my entire family for over 20 years -- many birthday and anniversary dinners and countless early-Sunday family meals. My family sends love and strength to his, and the flavors of his life will linger in all of our minds and taste buds forever. Grazie, Giorgio."


Social Networking
What was Justin Timberlake talking to Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance about April 5 in the garden at Chateau Marmont -- for an hour? It can't be the lead in Cianfrance's next film, The Place Beyond the Pines, with Ryan Gosling already cast for the motorcycle stunt-rider role. The pair was deep in conversation when a short-haired girl began waving at Timberlake, asking him to come to her table. It turned out to be his Social Network co-star Rooney Mara, who wanted to introduce them to her boyfriend, Charlie McDowell, a budding writer-director. But McDowell's got other credentials: His father is Malcolm McDowell, and his mother is Mary Steenburgen. And he's the creator of the popular blog Dear Girls Above Me, which he has supplemented with hilarious YouTube videos. In fact, pal Ashton Kutcher is developing it as a series for CBS. Talk about connections …