One of the surprises of last week’s TV news was the cancellation of Law & Order after 20 seasons. The venerable NBC drama had been on the cusp of becoming the longest-running primetime drama on American television. Tonight marks the series finale of the show, or does it?
Created by Dick Wolf, Law & Order revolves around criminal investigations by the NYPD and the trials that follow. The current performers include Jeremy Sisto, Anthony Anderson, S. Epatha Merkerson, Linus Roache, Alana de la Garza, and Sam Waterston.
The ratings for Law & Order have been pretty low for awhile but, in part because it is produced in-house and in part because the rest of NBC’s schedule has done so poorly, the series has remained on the air.
It looked like it would certainly be back for season 21 but Wolf and NBC couldn’t come to an agreement over the finances. One potential deal even had NBC paying for eight episodes and TNT (which airs syndicated reruns) paying for another eight but the cable channel wouldn’t go for it.
Last week, NBC announced that a new series, Law & Order: Los Angeles, would be joining the schedule in the fall and that the original Law & Order had been cancelled. TNT released a statement that said the cable channel wasn’t in talks to pick it up.
However, it seems Wolf and NBC aren’t giving up. The veteran producer says that he’s seeking “other offers” for the show to try to keep it going as a weekly series. There are now reportedly meetings set up between NBC Universal and TNT execs to revisit the possibility of the cable channel funding original episodes. The NBC folks are apparently going over the numbers to try to figure out a way to make it work financially.
If these efforts don’t succeed, there has been talk of NBC working out a deal with Wolf to film some sort of wrap up for the show. That would most likely take the form of a two-hour movie.
Whatever happens, it doesn’t sound like tonight’s episode will be the last we’ll see of Law & Order. Despite issuing a statement that the series has been cancelled, NBC is now referring to tonight’s installment as merely the season finale.
What do you think? Do you think the TV show will continue on another station, will wrap up in a movie, or just disappear?
Image courtesy NBC.