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Law & Order: Tonight’s May Not be the Last Episode

Law & orderOne 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?

 

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

karyn southwell May 27, 2010 at 11:11 am

I think that NBC should try to get another NBC station to pick up season 21. This was the best cast they have had in yrs-2 new dectives and 2 new DAs and Jack finaly getting that promotion. I think another station should pick it up myself. Or at least give the fans a good series finale. If all else fails-bring back this cast for the LA one!

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Russel Chiacchia May 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm

I have always like the Law and Order series. Criminal Intent was weak but still a good crime drama. SVU I feel is one of the best shows on TV right now. The original was good, it was a classic and always worth watching. It amazes me how when it comes down to it the people who the show is made for, us viewers, get the shaft. If no one cares how we feel about the shows on TV then everybody might as well stop making them. I understand money plays a big part in everything, both parties need to give a little to keep the fans happy.

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Kev N'sync May 26, 2010 at 7:30 pm

NBC step up and renew law and order.work it out if only to break gunsmoke’s record.

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Irish May 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

According to the Huffington Post, TNT is no longer interested in Law and Order. NBC should just bring it back for one more year. Just bring it back for the 21st Season. It would be good for the network and it would make the viewers happy. Something that has never been a priority for NBC, making their viewers happy.

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karyn southwell May 27, 2010 at 11:14 am

I agree with you! If TNT isnt going to buy the 21 season then so be it! NBC owns USA and other channels and so the show can go on there. After the whole Jay Leno thing-they own the fans big time!!

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Irish May 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I was reading the Huffington Post today. TNT released a statement saying they are not longer in negotations with NBC or Dick Wolf. They are no longer interested in the show. I had hoped they could work something out. NBC should put it on the air for the 21st season, it would be a good call for the network.

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Miks May 26, 2010 at 10:28 am

…Law & Order is the only reason I tuned in to NBC and the original L&O is still my favorite. I hope they work something out and bring it back for another season!!!

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Jane G. May 26, 2010 at 7:15 am

My husband and I have been fans of the original “L & O” since its inception and admire it very much–the way we admired “Hill Street Blues” and “Cagney and Lacey,” all great. We have not enjoyed the spin-offs and do not watch them (too gruesome) and can’t understand why an LA version would get more audience than the original. We hope that this is not the end of the original and will hope to see it back on the air on NBC or some where next year. Thanks for a terrific 20 years.

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Jim L May 25, 2010 at 11:12 pm

All of the Law & Order shows are getting long in the tooth, but I think it would be very unique of NBC if they created a Sunday Law & Order Mystery Movie series. Back in the 70’s, Columbo, MacMillan & Wife and McCloud revolved in a Sunday mystery movie. Each would produce 6 to 8 two hour movies. Law and Order, L&O Special Victims, L&O Criminal Intent, and Law & Order LA could do the same – a different 2 hour movie featuring one of the shows each week. They could even bring back Law & Order Trial By Jury and add it to the mix. Probably a silly idea.

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Phyllis R May 29, 2010 at 7:07 am

Actually, I think your idea is brilliant! Which is probably what would keep NBC from doing anything like it!! My only thought would be to keep it to an hour as the attention span of our citizens could probably not sustain a 2 hour movie every week!@

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DeMon S December 22, 2010 at 5:10 am

That’s a great idea! That would be so cool, but I don’t think the executives at NBC are that smart. After seeing how they handled the Jay Leno Conan thing, I don’t have much faith in that network anymore.

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DeMon May 25, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I hope and pray that Law & Order comes back. I don’t care what network, or what format, I’ll watch it anywhere they put it. It’s the best TV drama EVER. Nothing even comes close to L&W. Jack McCoy is arguably the best character in TV history. He’s my hero, and I’d hate to go up against him in a court room (lol). So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will find a way to continue on, and give the fans of the show what they deserve. http://www.sociallyurban.com if you want to check out my entertainment blog.

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Rochelle Solomon May 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I have loved this show for 20 years. Please bring it back. ‘nough said!

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Hughes May 25, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I hope the show comes back for another season. It’s one of the few good shows left today.

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Patricia May 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm

NBC Must bring this show back for a 21st season! They are idiots for letting this show go, the low ratings were a result of the Leno fiasco. The current cast and writing is the best it has been in years. This show is a part of American culture and deserves to be kept alive. If they do not bring it back, I’m done with this network.

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Tersea May 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Just end it already! I love Law and Order but this is too much of a pain.

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Connie May 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I think the past couple of seasons have been the best since the originals, and it should be continued. At least keep it going with Van Buren and Lupo!

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Paul MaC May 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

One of the very view programs on tv that has good characters, good writers, and an excellent story line and plot each week. Given what tv has been reduced to in our time, it is no wonder they are cancelling the show. It does not matter it has been on for 20 years, what matters is it still works and has continuing relevance with the public. I guess the criteria for good tv seems to be something else these days!

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