Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 11, Episode 15 - Law & Order - full transcript

A reality show cast member kills one of his castmates during a heated argument. But was the confrontation staged, and who is ultimately responsible?

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NARRATOR:
In the criminal justice system

the people are represented by two
separate yet equally important groups,

the police
who investigate crime

and the district attorneys
who prosecute the offenders.

These are their stories.

I'm so sick of this mess. DIRECTOR
ON RADIO: Camera one, stay wide.

Hey, how do you justify not picking
up your own things, Amber?

DIRECTOR: Camera two, move in on Amber.
I'm just curious.

AMBER:
I don't justify it.

I just have a lot of other
things on my mind right now.

Is this about your cat?



Yeah, it's about my cat.

He's been missing for three
days and I'm really worried.

DIRECTOR: Okay, camera two,
pick up Rocky.

ROCKY: So, why aren't you
out looking for your cat

instead of sitting on your
ass reading magazines?

Where do you
suggest I look?

If you want,
I'll help you look for it.

You're sweet.

But what I really want
is a little support.

Meow.

Please.
Okay, two, follow Amber.

Where are you, Isaac?
Come on, baby.

(SCREAMING)

The kid's name is
Wes Tatum, 20 years old.



It looked like he went off the roof.
ED: Jumped or pushed?

Body's pretty mangled.
Hard to tell.

BRISCOE: So how long's
he been dead?

I'm gonna say two hours
Give or take.

Who found the body?

A group from upstairs.

What group?

You know that show, uh,
Deal With It?

Yeah, I know it.

They live in a loft
in the building.

Dead kid's a cast member.

Oh, yeah. Right.

So, where are
these kids now?

They were gone
when we got here.

What do you mean, "gone"?

Some of the production people said
the producers took them away.

Turn that light off.
We're taping.

No. You're not taping.

We just want to talk
to you for a second.

I said,
turn that light off.

Who are you?
I'm the production manager.

Where are the kids
who found the body?

They were taken back
to our offices.

On whose authority?

The executive producer's. Look,
they were pretty upset. We all are.

Oh, yeah, we could tell.

I'm sorry. I was just
trying to be journalistic.

Look, get on the phone
and tell the producers

we need to talk to
those kids right now.

Sure, sure.
But if you wouldn't mind,

first, we'd love to be involved in the investigation.
Maybe shoot some tape.

Hey, kid. This is not show business.
This is police business.

I understand.

Sorry, Lennie, that could've
been your big chance.

I'll wait for
the musical version.

BRISCOE: Wes Tatum was
from Upper Darby PA.

Two years of junior college.

Liked to skateboard
and play bongos in the park.

He'd have been better off
staying in Upper Darby.

Preliminary M.E. report lists
cause of death as a broken neck.

Internal injuries.

What about the tox screen?

Came back clean.

So, probably not
a slip and fall.

What about this
TV show he was on?

Deal With It? It's been on
the air for three years.

Every season
they go to a new city,

they take seven kids,
they put 'em in a house,

they give them a soft-touch job,
they pay all their expenses,

and they videotape them
doing everything

except going to
the bathroom.

Now, why stop there?

Well, other than the kids who
had access to the building?

The production company and
anybody they decide to let in.

Well, that's a fairly
broad cross-section.

Well, we got a call in to
those executive producers.

We'll try to narrow it down
a little more once we talk

to the cast members
who found the body.

I wanna find out the last
time that kid was on camera.

Lieutenant.

These are the tapes
from that show.

Looks like
you got your chance.

Hey, uh, aren't
we gonna be late?

Okay.

Deal With It. Never seen
it, already hate it.

COREY: We obviously feel
terrible about what's happened,

and as the
executive producers,

we'd certainly like to
help in any way we can.

Like, by taking
those kids away?

These kids are very
badly shaken, Detective.

We just thought a little time away
from the cameras would do them good.

It's quite a thing
to have had happened.

Oh, but I guess,
TV show or not,

we're all vulnerable
in this city.

So, you don't think
Wes' death

had anything to do
with the TV show?

Anything to do with
the TV show how?

You know, cast, crew.

You got a lot of people coming
in and out of this building.

MELANIE: Corey,
let me take this one.

We screen applicants
for our cast and crew

like it was security clearance for
a nuclear missile silo, so...

Missile silos can be
pretty close quarters.

Maybe things changed in the
course of living together.

Well, we're on top of
everything that happens,

so if a problem was developing,
we'd know about it.

Look, I don't want to
tell you guys your job,

but this seems fairly
straightforward to me.

Explain.

Someone was on the roof, a junkie,
a derelict, what have you.

Wes went up there, and
an altercation occurred.

And why would Wes
go on the roof?

We need to talk
to the cast members.

COREY: Can we at least
suggest that you look to

me and my wife for
any preliminary information?

We just did look to you and your
wife for preliminary information.

Now we need to speak
to the kids.

Now.

Which one of you
found the body?

I saw him
out of the window.

It was pretty brutal.

So, you were all here?

I had just gone out
to get some food.

Wait. There's another kid
on the show, right?

Yeah, Jeremy.

Yeah? Where's he?
TRENT: He went out.

Did he know
we were coming?

That's sort of Jeremy, you know?
He likes to defy authority.

Now, what can you
tell us about Wes?

Have you watched the show?

Assume we haven't.

Wes could be difficult.

Difficult how?

Inconsiderate.
Like, oblivious to

what anyone else
was going through.

He talked about himself in the third person.
What does that tell you?

I don't know.

He was a jerk.

Did any one of you ever have a
physical confrontation with him?

Guys?

Jeremy might have had
a problem with Wes.

So, uh, where does Jeremy go
when he wants to defy authority?

All right, you guys wanna
talk about Wes, huh?

Yeah. We gather he wasn't
particularly popular.

Yeah. Yeah.

People made varying degrees of
accommodation for his behavior.

Well, let's talk
about you specifically.

Specifically?
Oh, I couldn't stand him.

How come?

Well, let's see. Aside from his being
a vain, shallow, passive-aggressive,

he was bringing his lowlife skater
friends into the loft, you know?

They'd eat all our food, they'd hit
on the chicks, I couldn't stand it.

Well, why didn't you
tell the show's producers?

What do you mean?
Like telling the teachers?

I'm not into that.
I confronted him myself.

Yeah? When?

Let's see, the point
at which I lost it

was when Amber's video camera
disappeared, you know?

She's all like, "I don't
wanna jump to conclusions.

"Everyone's always
blaming Wes." You know?

But, uh, I don't
stand on ceremony.

I called him out,
and we got into it.

Got into it how?

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I didn't hit
him or anything, you know?

I just told him how I felt
and that I was onto him.

And since?

We avoided each other,
you know?

Just out of curiosity,
where were you last night?

I was at a poetry reading,
Saint Mark's Church.

(ED LAUGHING)

Hey, it's on tape, fellows.

You can check it out 'cause
the show sent a camera crew.

Yeah. Amber's video camera
ever show up?

No. You know, she was all mad
at me, so I just let it drop.

But, I'm telling you, these skaters
are the ones who took it though.

Mind if I go?

Which one of you is Aaron?

Who wants to know?

Police department,
tough guy.

Come on, step away
from your friend a minute.

I'm watching for police
brutality, you put a hand on him.

Oh, you do that, ace.

When's the last time
you went to see Wes?

Wes who died?

Yeah. Wes who died.

Man, I don't go around there
with that lame-ass show.

Never?
Right. Never.

A little Abner Louima action, guys?
I don't think so.

That's a nice camera.

Hey!

The girl's daddy recorded the
serial number of the video camera,

then he reported it stolen.

Did Wes confront you
about stealing it?

No.

So you and your little thieving pals
come around, terrorizing everybody, huh?

We were there
because Wes invited us.

And what about Monday?

Did you receive an
invitation on Monday?

I should have
a lawyer here.

That's no problem, man.

That's right. You get
together with your lawyer

and figure out where you want
to say you were on Monday,

then when we
catch you lying,

you're gonna be that much closer to going
to prison for the rest of your life.

I had nothing
to do with this.

That's cool, bro, you just better
hope that a jury agrees with you.

Look, man, I wasn't
at the loft on Monday.

Where were you?
Tompkins Square.

Doing what?

Doing what, Aaron?
Selling pot, man.

How much did you make?

About 300.

Where's the money?

(SIGHS)

Spent about 80.

Lennie.

We got an admission that
he took the video camera,

but we also have a couple of
witnesses that put him in the park

at the time of the murder.

If we can believe
what he's telling us,

Wes helped him
steal the camera.

Did anyone in the house
know that?

Nobody said so.

They covering?

Well, according
to these producers,

none of these kids had
a propensity for violence.

The things they
complain about are

more or less the little
things that bother roommates.

These are what
they call "one-on-ones."

The kids speak
directly to the camera.

WOMAN: How do you feel about Wes saying
you have no talent as a musician?

He said that?

He said it stemmed from
a lack of racial identity,

that you were ashamed of
having a white mother.

That that's what
prevented you from

getting in touch
with your talent.

He dissed my mother?

Now, where the hell
does he get off doing that?

PEREZ: Next.

He said he slept with me?

WOMAN: Wes said
your ambition was

to be the girl all the boys
in the audience wanted,

and the most surefire way
to accomplish that

was to get
something going with him.

That son of a bitch!

And...

AMBER: He read my e-mail?

WOMAN: He not only read it,
he was posting it on the web.

And your picture.

Where?

Pornographic chat rooms.

I'll kill him.

Now, that doesn't sound
like little things to me.

The last time we spoke

you gave us the impression that
everybody more or less got along.

Everyone
more or less does.

That's not what it sounded
like in those one-on-ones.

Well, everyone gets along
perfectly, you have a flat line.

And if by chance they do
happen to get along,

you turn them
against each other?

Well, I'd prefer to call it
stirring the pot.

We take whatever conflicts are
already under the surface

and tweak 'em, that's all.

Well, do you think this stirring the pot
led to one of them going off the roof?

Absolutely not.

Well, we're gonna need to
hear that from them.

COREY: You already
talked to them.

That was when we thought everybody
was being straight with us.

No. You know what?

I'm done giving you guys
free reign to talk to my kids.

I'm gonna be like a mother
tiger with her cubs.

Does that mean you're gonna actively
interfere with the investigation

instead of just misleading us?

No. It means the kids are under
strict instructions not to talk

unless there's
an attorney present.

Oh, and don't try
and scare me with

what's gonna happen
if I don't cooperate.

I've been in network
television for 18 years.

I don't scare.

ED: Kids are all lawyered up,
producers aren't talking.

Who do we go to next?

How about the grunts who
actually do the work?

Don't you think there's a chance that
mother tiger's already talked to them?

Hey, they're at the bottom
of the food chain.

Chances are she's
never talked to them.

Producers know
you're talking to me?

Why? You have to clear
everything with them?

I do if I want
to keep working.

Nobody knows
we're talking to you, man.

Look,
there's a kid dead.

All we're asking is that
you tell us anything

about the cast
that might help us.

I'm just a driver.

Hey, I hear the drivers
know everything.

I know where they get picked up, I
know where they get dropped off.

They give you a schedule?

Once a week.

Anyone asks,
you didn't get it from me.

Oh, hey, a stiff wind must've
blown it out the window.

Thanks.

Well, after looking
at all the tapes,

we know everyone had
something against Wes.

Well, we may know
something more than that.

One of the drivers was a little bit
more forthcoming than the Kaufmans.

He gave us
a shooting schedule.

There's a camera operator,
a sound man, a director,

and a production assistant
present at those tapings.

And they have three different
crews, so they can either alternate

or they can have the cast at three
different locations simultaneously.

Well, how does that help us?

Well, one of the camera operators that
was working the night of the homicide,

he hasn't been
back to work since.

Yeah, maybe he caught
a cold up on that roof.

Well, let's see
how he's feeling now.

Gavin isn't here.

When'll he be back?

Couple weeks. I'm not sure.

What? He just picked up
and left?

He didn't pick up and leave.

He's in Montreal
working for the show.

Montreal? Why?

They always send the cast
on some kind of trip,

and Gavin's there
scouting locations.

Don't they have somebody
to do that?

Gavin's their best cameraman, it
makes perfect sense they'd send him.

Oh, perfect sense.
The day after a homicide?

What are you thinking,

he had something to do
with that kid's death?

Either that
or he knows something.

CLAIR: You're wrong.
ED: Clair.

Gavin's been with the show
since the beginning.

It's a little appreciation
for the work he's done.

What you need to do is get on the
phone and get your boyfriend here.

BRISCOE: If you don't,
we're gonna have to

contact the Canadian authorities
and have him arrested.

This is so unfair.

They're always looking for
interesting places to shoot,

interesting things for
the cast to do.

They sent me up there
to set it up.

How long you gonna stick
with that story, Gavin?

'Cause I'm just trying to
plan my day here, you know?

I don't appreciate
your sarcasm, Detective.

We don't appreciate your client not
telling us what happened on that roof.

GAVIN: I don't know
what happened.

Only it seems like
you do know.

Look, you're either the bad guy
here, or you're a material witness

obstructing
a murder investigation.

How do you figure that?

Your client ran away from
the scene of a homicide.

Didn't even bother
to call 911.

LAWYER: Which makes him
guilty of absolutely nothing.

The law neither obligates him to
report a crime he's witnessed

or to stick around to wait for
the police to show up if he had.

But whatever happened to
being a good Samaritan?

Victim of an overly litigious
society, I'm afraid.

ED: Yeah, well, we got another
victim, a 20-year-old

with a broken neck who
could've used a hand.

Gavin, you don't tell us
what happened on that roof,

I promise you,
lawyer or no lawyer,

I will make your
situation very difficult.

LAWYER: Is that a threat?
Mmm-hmm.

Oh, just consider it
the rantings

of an overly
litigious detective.

We may not be able to charge
your client, Counselor,

but now that he's here,
you and I both know

the D.A.'s gonna be able to
get a material witness order.

ED: Oh, they hold you
in jail for that.

What does he mean,
a "material witness order"?

If the D.A. believes you possess
material information about a crime,

he can ask the judge to detain you
in order to compel your testimony.

I thought you said that I
didn't have to report anything.

You didn't.
Now they know about you.

Sort of changes things
a little.

Law's a funny thing,
huh, Gavin?

Look,
what happened is this.

I was up on the roof, and
then the two of them came up

and started going at it.

The two of who?

Wesley Tatum and Paul Wyler.

Now Paul confronted Wes.

ED: Confronted how?

And then Wes slapped Paul, and things
just got out of hand from there.

The next thing I know,
Wes is going over the side.

BRISCOE: And you were doing what
while all this was going on?

I'm shooting tape.

You got this on film?

No. I don't.
Well, who does?

I gave it to post.
To post-production.

The cameraman turned the tape in to
post-production that same night.

Post-production?

It's like the editors.

Well, how'd he wind up
in Montreal?

Hmm. A producer said
that he needed a break.

I bet they did.

Carmichael's faxing over
a warrant for the tape.

Oh, I'm not waiting for a warrant.
We have an eye-witness.

You go pick up the kid,
take Reina with you,

and when the warrant
gets here, go get the tape.

What, all by myself?

I'm not supposed to be
talking with you guys.

All right, let's dispense
with the preliminaries.

I got a search warrant here.
If you don't cooperate,

I'm gonna be forced
to place you under arrest.

You're gonna place me
under arrest?

I make $7.30 an hour,

I log video tapes
for the editors,

the producers don't even
call me by my right name,

and you're gonna place me
under arrest?

Justin, right?

Right. Justin.

All right,
take it easy, Justin.

All I want you to do is
tell me whether or not

you logged in a tape
the night of February 21st.

February 21st.

Right.

Gavin delivered a tape.

From the hand-held camera.
I logged it in.

Terrific. Now I'd like you
to get it for me.

Yeah, well, the Kaufmans said not to
talk to you without a lawyer present.

Yeah? Well, Paul Wyler's
the one we're looking for.

If he wants to have a lawyer
present, it's his right.

We don't know
where Paul is.

That goes
for the rest of you?

Come on, guys, there was
a fight on the roof.

We don't know if Paul pushed Wes by
accident, or if it was self-defense,

but there's a whole bunch of
ways that Paul can beat this.

You're not helping him or yourselves
by not telling us where he is.

I know where he is.

Amber!
It's enough.

The whole thing is enough.

I have a phone number
where I can reach him.

ED: So, let's call him
and arrange a meeting.

There's no chance
the tape's just lost?

I had the guy turn
the place upside down.

The tape's not lost.
It's missing.

Somebody took it.

Yeah. My money's
on Fred and Ethel.

Stay where you are.

Get out of the car, Paul.

Put your hands
on top of the cab.

How could you
do this to me?

I was trying to
help you.

Oh, yeah? Yeah, you're
doing a great job so far.

Paul Wyler, you're under arrest
for the murder of Wesley Tatum.

AARONSON: This
was an accident.

Then why didn't your client
come forward right away?

We have a cameraman who'll say your
client pushed Wesley Tatum off that roof.

That is a total misconstruing
of what happened.

CARMICHAEL: It's easy to say
with the videotape missing.

I've never seen
any videotape,

and I resent
the implication.

So you have no idea
how it came to be missing?

None. But that doesn't change
the fact that it's missing.

Meaning what?

Meaning without it, you have a
substantially weakened case.

Even without the videotape,
we have an eye-witness.

With a camera
in front of his face,

paying attention to a hundred
different things at once.

CARMICHAEL: Who viewed
the murder through a lens.

You keep mentioning lenses,
I'll keep asking for the tape.

You don't think I can punch holes in
that, you are very much mistaken.

She's right. If the jury hears
there's a tape of the crime

and we can't produce it...

They'll wonder why.
I wonder why.

You know, it wouldn't be pretty if that
tape showed up in the middle of the trial.

Get an order to show cause.

Start with the producers.

As my responding papers indicate,
Your Honor, neither myself,

nor my clients are in
possession of this videotape.

Your Honor, the People
have provided the court

with an affidavit from
the editor of the show

indicating there was a videotape
made, that it was logged in,

and that the only people who had
the authority to remove that tape

were the executive producers.

How about it, Mr. Behrens? Did
your clients remove the tape?

Unfortunately, Your Honor, any
response to the court's inquiry

would constitute a breach of
the attorney-client privilege.

Only if his answer is "yes."

Judge, assuming arguendo

that my clients, in fact, came to
my office with this videotape,

professional ethics would have
precluded me from turning it over.

To do so might have
incriminated them.

What did you do with it?

Hypothetically?

Hypothetically, this is
a homicide, Mr. Behrens.

Hypothetically,
somebody took that tape,

and whoever it was better
tell me what happened to it

or where it is, otherwise,
hypothetically somebody's going to jail.

Judge, are you ordering me to
disclose the location of this tape?

Now you've got it, Counselor.

Well, in that case,

at this time I would like to direct the
court's attention to in rem filing

New York State Supreme Court
index number 75936.

What's the relevance of that?

Well, the videotape's in the
basement of this courthouse.

(SIGHS)

I'd like to know
on what basis

a potentially crucial piece
of evidence was concealed?

Nothing was concealed.

I was merely safeguarding the confidentiality
of a privileged communication

by filing the videotape as
an exhibit to an application

seeking direction from the
court as to how not to engage

in an obstruction
of justice.

Once again, in English,
Mr. Behrens.

Your Honor, uh, suppose your
client comes into your office,

drops a gun on your desk,
and tells you

he just used it
to kill his wife.

Now, the disciplinary rules
governing attorneys

would forbid me from turning
that gun over to the police

because to do so
would incriminate my client.

At the same time I, uh...

I can't keep that gun
in my office.

So you filed the tape
with the civil court?

Yes.

It still constitutes concealment
of material evidence.

And we still don't know who it was who
turned over the tape to Mr. Behrens.

Judge, again,
as I said before,

I'm not at liberty to reveal that.
Nor will I.

Careful, Mr. Behrens. I don't like being
told what counsel will and won't do.

I apologize, Your Honor.

Trouble is, Judge,
I'm not really sure

whose interests
Mr. Behrens represents here.

Which is a clever way
for Mr. McCoy to access

privileged information
through a back door

he wouldn't otherwise be
entitled to through the front.

Relax, Mr. Behrens. I'm not going
to make you kiss and tell.

However, I see no problem with the People
now being able to view the videotape.

Judge, since my client is
the defendant in this case,

I'd like the opportunity to
prepare a motion to suppress.

CARMICHAEL: On what grounds?

Obviously it was someone from
the show who removed the tape,

which means there's no violation
of the Fourth Amendment.

I agree. There's been no search
or seizure by the police.

In any event, you'd have no standing
to contest it even if there were.

Now let's see what
we're talking about here.

Judge, then I object to
the court viewing the tape

before I've been given
an opportunity to do so.

Objection noted, Counselor,
and overruled.

Now if there are no other lawyers
who have something to say,

the court wants to
see the tape.

PAUL: Look, I just want to know, was
it you that let Amber's cat out?

What's it to you?
Was it you?

What are you, Amber's big,
strong protector now?

I want you
out of the house

Oh, really? Why? So you could tell
Amber how big and brave you were?

Oh, shut up. Shut up.
Oh, maybe you'll get lucky.

Shut your mouth, Wes.
Hey, look.

You want to get
in Amber's pants,

you gotta do a little more than just talk.
Get off me, man.

That the best you got?

You're not gonna
mess with me, man, okay?

Let's see, was it me
who let Amber's cat out?

Yeah, I think it was.
Oh, yeah?

Let me go!

(BOTH GRUNTING)

(WES SCREAMING)

Mr. McCoy.

I think we're ready
to talk about a plea.

I'm not sure there's anything
left to talk about, Ms. Aaronson.

Trust me. There is.

Dying declaration?

Apparently, the fall
didn't kill him.

At least not before
Paul Wyler spoke to him.

What did he say?

Wyler will testify
that before he died,

Wesley Tatum told him he'd been sent
up on that roof to pick a fight.

It was staged?

Only no one told
Paul Wyler about it.

More dramatic
if he didn't know.

Then who did know?

Well, apparently they were smart enough
not to put it in a production note.

Production note?

Yeah. It's how the producers know what's
gonna happen from episode to episode.

They take each kid,
talk to them once a week,

find out what their plans
are outside the loft,

and then that helps them
to decide

which ones they're gonna
follow with a camera crew.

And the night of the fight?

They taped Jeremy
at a poetry reading.

No mention of the roof.

So how'd this cameraman
know to be there?

Everyone in the crew is listed
in their production reports.

Time in and time out.

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 4:00
to 12:00, 12:00 to 8:00.

That's eight-hour shifts.

Everything after that,
time and a half?

Yeah. This cameraman on
the roof worked 15 hours.

I went up there because I
thought I might grab something.

The footage of an argument
on the rooftop,

the night sky, building
lit up in the background.

So no one told you to
go up there beforehand?

Gavin's got pretty good instincts
for where to be. No one has to.

We're asking
if anyone did this time.

Look, man, all I do
is run a camera.

You put in for
seven hours of overtime

in a company where no one
ever puts in for any.

Are you gonna tell me that
wasn't by pre-arrangement?

You can't pre-arrange
what happened.

Are you really prepared to
deal with the consequences

of when we find out
you're lying?

I can't stand this.

GAVIN: Clair, I gotta work.

No. Not like this.

The producers knew that something
was gonna happen between them.

They sent Gavin
to get it on tape. Okay?

Done.

Amber, I was just...

COREY: I don't know, why don't
we just trim the headshot

and go directly
to the kitchen?

Well, still we're gonna
be long 40 seconds.

That's a wrap.

How did you get in here?

With this.

You're both under arrest for
the murder of Wesley Tatum.

You can't arrest us.
We have a show to finish.

Consider yourself canceled.

We got your message,
Mr. Kaufman,

but you're both
represented by counsel.

If you have something to say to us,
you need to go through Mr. Behrens.

Behrens? His only
interest is the network.

He doesn't care
what happens to us.

Yeah. He came
down to see us.

To make sure we didn't
talk to anyone.

We fired his ass.

What was Behrens
afraid you'd say?

First off,
I want to be clear.

We never set our people
against each other.

We watched those tapes.
That's exactly what you did.

Never like that. We knew
our kids, Ms. Carmichael.

Wes and Paul
were both volatile.

It wasn't a situation
we'd have allowed to happen.

We're not responsible for sending
those kids up to that roof.

Who was?

You have to understand,
this was our first hit show.

After almost 20 years.

You pitch and you pitch,
and then you go in

and some kid
with jelled hair says,

"Sorry, we're going
in a different direction."

But not this time.
This time they said "yes."

Who?
MELANIE: Byron Stark.

He's the network vice president
in charge of current programming.

The kid with the hair gel.

Hmm.

According to the Kaufmans, Stark didn't
trust them to get a real fight going.

So he stepped in
and started it himself.

Have you arranged to
have him to come in?

I don't want to do that.

Well, he's a network
vice president, Jack.

Don't you think we should give him
the opportunity to surrender?

From the portrait
the Kaufmans paint,

I doubt very seriously if this man even
believes he can be asked to surrender.

I don't want to give him the
chance to destroy evidence

when he discovers
he's mistaken.

Pick him up.

BRISCOE: Byron Stark?
Yeah?

I told them to
wait outside.

New York City Police
Department, Mr. Stark.

We need you to
take a ride with us.

That's funny. (CHUCKLES)
I beg your pardon.

No, that's good. That's a great bit.
Who sent you over here?

Is this Brillstein
put you up to this?

This ain't a joke, sir.
We need you to come with us.

Maybe we should
come back later.

Stay where you are.
You guys are both terrific.

You should leave your head shots and
resumes with my assistant outside.

Cuff him. What? Are
you kidding me?

No, we're placing you
under arrest.

All right,
now I'm getting mad.

Call Brillstein. Tell him
this went way beyond funny,

and then stay by the phone so
when these idiots drop me off,

you can have a car sent
to pick me up.

Where are you taking him?

You can't be serious about
charging a network vice president?

Do we look
as if we aren't serious?

Don't you people understand entertainment?
Wes was playacting.

You forgot to tell that
to Paul Wyler.

It's a reality show.
Understand?

If Wyler had been
told that it was fake,

his reactions wouldn't
have been real.

So you pit one kid against another
in order to get better TV ratings

and to hell
with their well-being.

These kids want to be on the show.
They beg to be on it.

And millions of
Americans watch.

How badly
could I be treating them?

JACK: Let me give you
a quick sketch of what

a manslaughter case
might look like, Mr. Stark.

Someone incites someone else,
over whom they have authority

or influence, to commit
an act of violence.

They arrange for
the violence to occur.

It does, in fact, occur,
and leads to someone's death.

I didn't intend any harm.

Your actual intent
is irrelevant.

So, suddenly a television show's
responsible when some kid goes nuts?

Not a television show,
Mr. Stark. You.

Who's after ratings
now, McCoy?

JACK: What was your
relationship with Wesley Tatum?

Wes would go out of his way to provoke
people as a way of getting attention.

Did one such provocation occur sometime
before the night of February 21st?

Yes, sir.

Would you tell the court
what that was?

Amber, one of the girls
in the loft,

had a cat she was very attached to.
The cat disappeared.

Amber told me that Wes
left her with the impression

that he deliberately
let the cat outside.

Did you say something to him?

I told him I wanted
to talk to him.

What was his response?

He suggested that
we go up on the roof.

And what happened
when you got to the roof?

He admitted about the cat,

he taunted me,
and then he slapped me.

And what did you do?

I lost it.

I mean, uh, he said something
about Amber, and I just snapped.

We started fighting.

Uh, then somehow I wound up
pushing him over the side.

Would you tell the court
what you did following that?

When I got to him,
he was lying there,

his eyes looking
right up at me.

I could see he wanted
to tell me something,

so I leaned down and...
Objection.

Dying declaration,
Your Honor.

Which must be made by a person
contemplating their own death.

There's no evidence Mr. Tatum
believed he was dying

at the time he made
the statement.

He'd just been pushed off
a rooftop, Mr. Behrens.

I'd think that qualifies.
Your objection's overruled.

What, if anything, did
Wesley Tatum say to you?

He, uh...

He just looked at me.

It was, uh...

It was hard
for him to speak.

He said, "What'd you
do that for, man?

"Didn't you talk to 'em?"

And I just looked at him.

Then he said,

"It was an act."

Did you ask him
what he meant by that?

Yeah.

What did he say?

Nothing. He died.

I have no further questions.

Did you ever meet
Mr. Stark before?

PAUL: Once, at one of those network press
things kicking off the new season.

I think he was at
my casting session.

But did you know him
to be involved

in the day-to-day
production of the show?

No.

He ever give you any directions
as to how to behave?

No.

He tell you to go up
on the roof with Wes?

No.

Did he tell you to physically
assault Wesley Tatum?

No.

No further questions.

What was the role of the defendant
in the production of Deal With It?

He championed the show
when we first got going.

When the show took off,
he thought of it as his.

How frequently did he
talk to you about it?

Every day.

Did he ever talk to people on
the show other than yourself?

All the time. He talked to directors,
he talked to cast members,

he'd show up when we were
taping the one-on-ones.

JACK: How about casting?
Was he part of that process?

MELANIE: Bryon
had the final word.

The final word?
Then there was disagreement?

I didn't want Paul Wyler
or Wes Tatum.

Why not?

Wes just wasn't
a team player.

Conflict is one thing.

Perpetual obnoxiousness, that's
an entirely different matter.

JACK: And Paul Wyler?

He had a very questionable
psychological profile.

Corey and I just didn't think
Paul could handle the stress.

But the defendant
thought he could?

Oh, Byron Stark thought that
would make good television.

Especially if Paul
couldn't handle it.

Objection.
Sustained.

Jury will disregard.

Did the defendant ever conduct
an off-camera interview

with any member
of the cast?

On one occasion.
With Wes Tatum.

Present at the time?

Yes.

Would you tell the court what you
heard the defendant say to Mr. Tatum?

He told him the show needed
fireworks going into sweeps.

He told Wes he was
our "go-to guy,"

that was the expression
he used,

and he wanted Wes to get something going
physically with one of the cast members.

Did he specify with whom?

He went through a list
of possible altercations.

Was Paul Wyler among them?

That was Byron's first choice.

JACK: Nothing further.

What else was on the list
of possible altercations?

MELANIE: Walking in on Amber while she was
getting dressed and refusing to leave.

Hiding Rocky's insulin.

Telling Jeremy he questioned the
historical accuracy of the Holocaust.

Did he do
any of those things?

No.

Are you aware of Byron Stark telling
Paul Wyler to push Mr. Tatum off a roof?

No.

Are you aware of Byron Stark telling
Paul Wyler anything at all?

No. I'm not.

No further questions.

I've worked in network
television since I was 22.

It's a very
competitive business,

and I want to win
as much as anyone.

Would I have someone physically
hurt or placed in real jeopardy?

Not for anything.

You did have a conversation
with Wesley Tatum, did you not?

Yes, I did.
What'd you say to him?

I wanted to know
how he felt about

being the quote-unquote
"bad boy" of the household.

How did he feel?

I think Wes had
a sense of humor about it.

He knew that as much as
it was a reality based show,

it was reality manipulated
to make for good storytelling.

Did you suggest to Wesley Tatum that
he instigate a fight with Paul Wyler?

No. I did not.

BEHRENS: Did you suggest to Wesley Tatum
that a fight take place on the roof?

No.

Well, what did you
suggest to Mr. Tatum?

That provided
he was comfortable with it,

the petty squabbles,
the interpersonal conflicts,

"Who ate all the cookies
and didn't say anything?"

could make for
good television.

Did you have any indication
that this suggestion

would lead to physical violence and
ultimately to Mr. Tatum's death?

None whatsoever.

Nothing further.

No indication your suggestion
could lead to violence?

BYRON: That's right.

Had you read the psychological
profiles of either one of these kids?

No. I did not.

But the executive producers objected
to this suggestion, did they not?

Melanie and Corey wanted
to proceed more cautiously,

but in the end they were
on board with my decision.

So it was your decision?

Yes.

What are sweeps, Mr. Stark?

November, February, and May, that's
when ad rates are set based on ratings.

What affect does this
have on programming?

You try to put your
best foot forward,

event programming, special
episodes of current series.

You try to schedule the most
promotable shows you can.

That's not just me,
that's everybody.

When did your conversation
with Wesley Tatum take place?

I'm really not sure.

Ask that the day-planner
for Byron Stark

be introduced into evidence
as People's Exhibit 19.

JUDGE: So ordered.

Reading from the day planner. "Meeting
with Wesley Tatum, December 17th."

Okay.

December is when you plan for
February sweeps, is it not?

I suppose so.

And was the altercation
between Paul Wyler

and Wesley Tatum
part of that plan?

Absolutely not.

Ask that this memorandum be introduced
into evidence as People's Exhibit 20.

So ordered.

This memorandum says that it
was issued by your office,

does It not, Mr. Stark?

Yes.
Read us the title.

"Sweeps Dreams."
Read us the entire title.

"Sweeps Dreams, Cleaning
the Competition's Clock."

Under "Proposed Programming
for Sweeps Dreams,"

what's listed for
the show Deal With It?

"Wes takes on the world."

It does not say, however, "Wes
has a fight on a rooftop."

It doesn't say, "Wes dies."

But he did die,
didn't he, Mr. Stark?

BEHRENS: Objection.

Withdrawn. Nothing further.

I don't think that's
what we're talking about.

I do understand
what you're saying.

Yes. Yes. Thank you.

Fifth call from Hollywood. Everybody's
very concerned about the First Amendment.

More like their fall season.

Is it possible Stark
was just talking?

He knew that talking
to Wesley Tatum,

there was a better than 50-50
chance he'd be taken seriously.

I'm just not sure
a jury's going to send

this clean-cut young executive
to prison on the basis of

something he might've
said casually.

Do they ever do that?

Do what?

Well, say things casually.

Whether it's missing children
or triumph over illness

or 20-year-olds hanging
out at coffee houses,

it just seems they adhere to trends
in a pretty calculated manner.

Melanie Kaufman testified there was
a list of possible altercations.

He had research done.

JACK: What is a media
consultant, Mr. Cardorette?

I run focus groups, interpret data,
and advise networks on programming.

Did you ever have occasion
to advise the defendant?

Yes.

Would you tell the court what
it was you advised him to do?

I said his demographics were skewing
too far over to females 13-to-25.

I said the network needed to
address an erosion among males

the same age group, and
also to broaden their reach

by not conceding
the 26-to-49-year-olds.

How, if at all, did that apply
to the show Deal With It?

Well, the show had,
and has,

an enormous untapped
potential, in my opinion.

Since they change casts and
venues every three months,

I provided input on how
they could help themselves

by who they cast
and where they shoot.

Also, in the kind of events our focus
groups told us an audience wanted to see.

And what kinds of events
were they?

The data showed that the target
audience for this show wants conflict.

Someone to root for.
Someone to root against.

And an escalating conflict
between them.

And did you convey
these results to Mr. Stark?

Yes, I did.

I have no further questions.

Is Deaf With It the only show of the
defendant's on which you do research?

No. I do research
on all his shows.

And have you advised him that conflict
needed to be heightened on other shows?

Objection. Irrelevant.

Goes directly to the prosecution's
theory of causality, Your Honor.

I'll allow it.

Mr. Cardorette?

It's quite common for a focus
group to come back with

a stated preference
for heightened conflict.

Did you advise Mr. Stark
of that on other shows?

Yes.

To the best of
your knowledge,

was anybody ever killed
or injured as a result?

To the best
of my knowledge, no.

Nothing further.

Re-direct, Your Honor.
Proceed.

Mr. Cardorette,
did the defendant

ever ask you to conduct
specific research

as to any members of
the cast of Deal With It?

Yes.
What did that entail?

I was given a list
of varying preferences,

for example, least
objectionable character,

character most desirable to
go away with for the weekend,

things of that nature.

What about the

character the death of whom would
be most cause for celebration?

Yes.

Was that the exact name of the category
given to you by the defendant?

Yes, but I don't think it was
intended to be taken literally.

It's simply dramatic license.

Dramatic license.

Tell us, Mr. Cardorette,

who was it on the show the
audience wanted to see dead?

Wesley Tatum. Hands down.

JACK: Nothing further.

What are you
looking for, McCoy?

Man two.

How much time?

Two-to-six.

I've never gotten so much
as a speeding ticket.

He is the vice president
of a network.

Who set in motion events
that led to someone's death.

Shouldn't make me responsible.

Which is a position you're certainly
free to go to the jury with.

They'll decide whether
or not you're responsible.

I'm not sure that being a network vice
president is gonna help you there.

Take the offer, Byron.

Was it me who
let Amber's cat out?

Yeah, I think it was me.
Oh, yeah?

Let me go!

(BOTH GRUNTING)

(WES SCREAMING)

Pretty horrifying.

And the news organizations can't
wait to get their hands on it.

I already have
their subpoena.

You think they'll air it?

It's reality television.

Truth is, when Stark
gets out of prison,

they'll probably make him
a network president.