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Dancing with the Upfronts: NBC Confirms Law & Order Cancellation, Orders Law & Order: Los Angeles

It's official: NBC has confirmed that it has canceled Law & Order, which will end its run on May 24th, tying with Gunsmoke for the title of longest running television drama.

News comes a day after conflicting reports about the fate of the original flavor Law & Order, which has aired on NBC for twenty seasons, but after news of eleventh hour talks evaporated, NBC confirmed the original report by Deadline that the axe had fallen on the historic series by releasing an official statement.

The same press release announced the renewal of Law & Order: SVU and confirmed rumors from several months back that the network was developing yet another iteration of the legal procedural, this time set in Los Angeles, and entitled Law & Order: Los Angeles (or just LOLA). The series, from executive producer Dick Wolf and Blake Masters (Brotherhood), is currently in pre-production. Any casting attachments have yet to be announced.

"The full measure of the collective contributions made by Dick Wolf and his Law & Order franchise over the last two decades to the success of NBC and Universal Media Studios cannot be overstated," said Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment. "The legacy of his original Law & Order series will continue to make an impact like no other series before."

"Law & Order has been one of the most successful franchises in the history of television, which is why it is so critical that we continue this important brand and our relationship with Dick Wolf and his team with LOLA and Law & Order: SVU,” said Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios.

The full press release from NBC can be found below.

NBC ANNOUNCES PICKUPS FOR NEW DRAMA ‘LOLA’ (‘LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES’) AND RETURNING ‘LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT’ AND ‘LAW & ORDER’ ENDS ITS HISTORIC RUN ON NBC MAY 24

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – May 14, 2010 – NBC has picked up the new drama “LOLA” (“Law & Order: Los Angeles”) as well as renewed “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for the 2010-11 season. In addition, NBC will end its historic and record-tying “Law & Order” when the mothership series concludes its 20th season on Monday, May 24 (10-11 p.m. ET).

The announcements were made today by Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios.

Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment said, "The full measure of the collective contributions made by Dick Wolf and his 'Law & Order' franchise over the last two decades to the success of NBC and Universal Media Studios cannot be overstated. The legacy of his original ‘Law & Order’ series will continue to make an impact like no other series before."

Bromstad added: “‘Law & Order’ has been one of the most successful franchises in the history of television, which is why it is so critical that we continue this important brand and our relationship with Dick Wolf and his team with ‘LOLA’ and ‘Law & Order: SVU.’”

The brainchild of creator and Emmy Award winner Wolf, "Law & Order" has spawned one of the most successful brands in primetime television. It is the 1997 Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Drama Series and the record holder for the most consecutive (11) nominations in that category for a primetime series (tied with "Cheers" and "M*A*S*H"). It premiered on September 13, 1990, and eventually tied “Gunsmoke” as the longest-running drama series in television history.

The new “LOLA” (“Law & Order: Los Angeles”) is a procedural crime drama that will follow the theme and storylines similar to the “Law & Order”-brand series on the streets of Los Angeles. The series, from executive producer Dick Wolf and Blake Masters (“Brotherhood”), is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Media Studios. Casting and pre-production work are continuing.

In its current 11th season, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has delivered a 2.9 rating, 8 share in adults 18-49 and 9.3 million viewers overall. "Law & Order: SVU" is NBC's #1 scripted series this season in total viewers. Since moving to Wednesdays (10-11 p.m. ET) on March 3, "SVU" is #1 in the time period in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and other key ratings categories and has improved on NBC's average rating in the hour during the traditional 2008-09 season by 29 percent in adults 18-49.

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC's "Law & Order" brand as it chronicles the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department, the elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes. The drama follows Detective Elliot Stabler (Emmy Award nominee Christopher Meloni), a seasoned veteran, and his partner, Detective Olivia Benson (Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Mariska Hargitay), whose difficult past is the reason she joined the unit.

Captain Donald Cragen (Dann Florek) oversees the unit while Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer, "Homicide: Life on the Street") brings his acerbic wit and street-honed investigative skills to the team. Munch’s partner, Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola (Ice-T), adds his unique sense of humor and investigative experience. Forensic psychiatrist, George Huang (B.D. Wong) and Medical Examiner Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) uncover forensic evidence.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Media Studios. Wolf is creator and executive producer; Neal Baer ("ER," "China Beach"), Ted Kotcheff ("Fun with Dick and Jane," "Weekend at Bernie's") and Jankowski are executive producers.

“Law & Order: Criminal Intent” continues to air in its ninth season on USA Network.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Since NBC was willing or trying to offer either Jimmy Smit or Dermot Mulroney a role in L&O: LA as a consolation prize for not picking up their drama series', will they extend the same courtesy to David Tennant, if he is interested?

After all, he too, was the leading actor from a series they are perhaps declining. Just because Mr. Tennant doesn't usually play this sort of character does not render him incapable. Or, did they perhaps decline his series due to his relative lack of U.S. name recognition outside sci-fi, Harry Potter or Shakespeare/PBS fans? Heck, only he's fronted one of the highest watched shows in the UK for the past 4 years, and has a tremendous acting range.
cory said…
I haven't watched the original L&O in a very long time...it's never really appealed to me. And it's been on the air an incredibly long time. It must be frustrating for the people involved that they didn't get that one last record-breaking season, but if NBC was going to go ahead with a new L&O series it needed to go.

I love David Tennant immensely in Doctor Who, and while I hope NBC will find another pilot to develop for him I do not want him stuck with the new L&O series. Even if it was well-written I want to see Tennant in something unique.
tlsmith1963 said…
Could the producers of Rex is Not Your Lawyer take it to another network? I'd hate to think that it's really dead & will never get another chance. I really wanted to see it.

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