Tonight, in the 18th season finale of Law & Order (NBC, 10 p.m.), the detectives investigate the murder of a jeweler whose brother-in-law runs an illegal prostitution ring called The Excalibur Club. And in true ripped-from-the-headlines fashion, one of Excalibur's VIP clients is NY Governor Donald Shalvoy (guess "Schmelliot Schmitzer" didn't really sound that good).

According to the AP, the fact that a governor is involved "creates a quandary for District Attorney Jack McCoy, portrayed by [Sam] Waterson, whose political fortunes may be tied to Shalvoy's." Keep in mind, former governor Eliot Spitzer once worked in the Manhattan DA's office under Robert Morgenthau. At first, Waterston confirmed he was filming the Spitzer episode, but then said, "I shouldn't say we're doing the Eliot Spitzer story. I should say we're doing a story about a politician who gets into trouble because of sexual questions ... involving prostitution."

2008_05_lohook.jpgThe Post's Linda Stasi says Tom Everett Scott, who plays the L&O gov, sounds a lot like Spitzer. And [SEMI-SPOILER]there's also the governor's wife who tells McMcoy, "I want to hurt him. He broke my heart, but I will not be the long-suffering wife who stands by her man in front of the cameras and is dissected while he grovels for forgiveness. I will not be that woman. I won't be humiliated." [END SEMI-SPOILER]

Law & Order's bread-and-butter is ripping stories from the headlines. Some NYC-area stories that have inspired the show: The Puerto Rican Day Parade incident, Jennifer Lopez & Puff Daddy's club shooting, Bernard Goetz, Tawana Brawley, Lisa Steinberg's death, the Crown Heights riots, Jayson Blair's plagiarism/making stuff up, the NYU suicides, former NJ Governor James McGreevey's homosexuality, author Olivia Goldsmith's death during plastic surgery, Bill O'Reilly's accusations of sexual harassment, Bernie Kerik's scandal, the Staten Island Ferry crash, the Bartha building explosion, The Real World, and much much more.