Watching L&O: CSI ep about murdered astronaut -- "NSA," not "NASA"?

I’m watching it right now. Every astronaut’s suit has a badge that says “NSA.” But the show usually calls agencies by their real-life names. Why not this time?

Sorry, of course, I meant L&O: CI, that is, Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

This episode ('ware spoilers!).

Just a WAG, but maybe they’re trying to give themselves some extra distance from any possible comparisons to the real-life astronaut menage a trois (which of course didn’t involve a murder, but still…)?

I assumed they would have had to get NASA’s blessing to use the name, and being that the show portrays the astronauts as tightly wound sex maniacs their blessing probably wasn’t forthcoming and the producers probably didn’t really want to push it.

No effin’ way were they trying to distance themselves. They even had the detectives find an “astronaut diaper” in the doer’s trunk.

Why would they need NASA’s permission? They would never appear to need the permission of the FBI, NSA, or DHS to make their agents look like assholes in the show, as they frequently do. Copyright and trademark law do not extend to dramatic uses of a name.

Seriously. Law & Order is the original source for “ripped from the headlines” plot summaries.

Yeah, like the silly plot from last week’s L&O involving (i) a [lawyer] who sues a cleaners over some missing pants that devolved into a case relating to (ii) an evil, big-brotherish big box store who knowingly (iii) allowed poisoned tooth paste from China to be sold and distributed to smaller retailers.


And I love L&O usually. They do, however, occasionally change the names of certain local New York City Agencies, for some reason.

Yeah I know they do a lot of ripped from the headlines stuff, but they usually change a few details here and there so that they can post the disclaimer that any resemblance to someone living or dead is purely coincidental. Changing the name to NSA ain’t much, but with other details could be just enough to cover their butts.

Isn’t it illegal to duplicate stuff like badges and ID cards without permission? On the X Files Mulder and Scully had badges for the United States Department of Investigation even though they were FBI agents (& refered to as such).

apparently it’s the law.

E-Z .pdf with flow chart for the approval process

Maybe the entities you mention don’t mind being portrayed as assholes. Also, they seem to always ultimately help out somehow by the end of the show.

The writers must have learned that technique at Hudson University.

When Farscape was in pre-production, the writers wanted Chrichton to be a NASA astronaut and wear the patch on his flight suit… but NASA wanted final script approval. So his patch says ‘IASA’ instead. It’s mentioned in the commentary on the first episode, I think.

This is uncited on Wikipedia, but the band Chicago was originally called Chicago Transit Authority until the CTA threatened legal action. So it appears that some government agencies have some claim to their own names.