Octomom and Jon & Kate have battled it out on the cover of the tabloids and now they’ll be doing so in primetime, or at least fictional versions of them will.
“Law & Order” Executive Producer Rene Balcer told AccessHollywood.com that next Friday’s episode of the popular NBC drama is inspired by the headline-grabbing parents and their big broods.
In the episode, which stars the franchise’s usual cast including Sam Waterson as Executive District Attorney Jack McCoy and Alana de la Garza as Assistant D.A. Connie Rubirosa, a Jon & Kate-like family battle it out with a Nadya Suleman-inspired brood.
“Two families with multiple kids [compete] to land a reality TV contract,” Balcer told Access. “Out of that, a murder occurs and then, as the episode goes on, suddenly our lawyers get roped into the reality TV show.”
Funnyman Jim Gaffigan, who has previously appeared on the series, returns in a new role, playing the lone dad on the episode, while Michael Showalter, most recently of Comedy Central’s “Michael & Michael Have Issues” will play a television producer.
The “Law & Order” regulars end up intertwined in the show within a show as they investigate the murder, Balcer explained.
“In order to get some evidence, one of them has to agree to be interviewed as part of the TV show,” he said. “It’s kind about the insidious nature of reality TV and kind of our fascination [with it].”
And there will be plenty of children in the episode.
“There’s lots of kids. There’s …Oh God, I don’t know if we hit 20, but we come pretty close,” he laughed.
But before Jon, Kate or Octomom decide to call their lawyers, the upcoming episode is pure fiction.
“We’re not patterning either family on them, it’s sort of inspired by the phenomenon — shows about multiples,” he said.
There are, however, a host of “Ripped From the Headlines” episodes of “Law & Order” coming up this season, including one about a broken up terrorist plots, another about a wrong way drunk driving mother and one concerning the shooting of an abortion doctor. And David Letterman’s recent scandal could end up inspiring an in-progress episode too.
“We were already working on a blackmail story that’s somewhat more violent,” Balcer said. “And who knows? This one may add a spin to the story we’re working on.”
“Law & Order” airs Friday at 8 PM on NBC.