''Angel'' costar Elisabeth Rohm has signed a deal with the NBC drama

By Sandra P. Angulo
Updated April 24, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
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When the 12th season of NBC’s ”Law & Order” begins production in New York City next week, Sam Waterston will yet again find himself with a new legal cohort. Elisabeth Rohm, a recurring guest star on the WB’s ”Angel,” has just signed to replace Angie Harmon, who played assistant district attorney Abbie Carmichael for the past three seasons. Rohm, who will be the fourth to play opposite Waterston’s executive ADA Jack McCoy, was recruited after Harmon announced earlier this month that she was leaving the Emmy winning drama to marry New York Giant Jason Sehorn and pursue other projects.

According to several casting directors, Rohm, 28, is exactly the kind of actress Dick Wolf had to find for the fenale ADA role, played by Harmon and her predecessors Carey Lowell and Jill Hennessy. ”The looks really matter, because let’s face it, there’s really no one else to look at on the show,” says one casting director who has worked with Wolf. ”He needs a hottie.” Janet Hirschenson, cofounder of The Casting Company in Los Angeles, adds that Wolf’s formula of giving the ADA role to a ”30ish lesser known actress” obviously works, if only for a few years at a time. ”In a way it’s better to get a lesser marquee name, because it’s the show itself that is actually the star.”

Not that German born Rohm is a Hollywood neophyte. In addition to her role as a hard nosed former police detective on ”Angel,” Rohm — who studied drama at Sarah Lawrence College — appeared on ”One Life to Live” for a season. Most recently, she played a Wall Street analyst on TNT’s first original series, ”Bull,” which debuted last summer. From ”Bull” to ”Law & Order” — well, that shouldn’t be too difficult a switch.

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