Friday, May 14, 2010

It’s Official: Law & Order Canceled

We all knew this day would come someday. I knew I had good reason to take a wait-and-see approach regarding comments that Angela Bromstad, president of prime-time entertainment, made in January of this year where she stated that Law & Order would be renewed for a 21st season. Her comments turned out to be false (or a lie depending on how one looks at it).

Here’s the official press release from NBC regarding the cancellation of our beloved Law & Order, and also the status of Law & Order SVU and Law & Order LA (LOLA).


Don't forget to take a listen to the "doink-doink" at the end of the press release.


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.







Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

56 comments:

NBC = Nothing But Crap said...

Excuse me, but I must say this:

Assholes!

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, after what they (DW/NBC/USA) did to LOCI, I couldn't care less about Mothership. Just sorry for cast, crew and fans. :-(

Leo said...

The only thing that is pissing me off right now is that that Angela Whatever said earlier this year that the series would surely be renewed for a 21st season. Why the hell did she say that if she knew that there were some issues in the negotiations?

And for the love of God, I hope the money thing envolving Dick Wolf is not correct. Compromising sometimes is the best way to go.

No wonder why NBC is currently the FOURTH network in the ratings these years...

Martha said...

I feel very sad. I really liked everything about this show: the stories, the actors, the characters, the city... I'm going to miss it!

Esaul said...

Thing that sucks is the episode is probably finished already so they can't get a nice send off or anything. :(

Scarlet said...

So saddened by this news. Am upset by all those involved in ending the negotiations as it is. And to give us the news only 10 days before the final episode airs feels like a stab in the back. Dick Wolf may be more excited by L&O:LA, but those of us diehard mothership viewers, esp in the last few years are absolutely heartbroken. This would have made way more sense after Season 17 not after Season 20.

Jane said...

Aww, what a shame:'( My mum likes the original, I bet LOLA will be crummy since NCIS LA is.

They reintroduced that Donk Donk to CI this season, I thought it was better without it.

Crystal said...

I agree they probably won't give a proper send off in the season (now series) finale. It will be just like another day. Maybe that will be a good thing in case someone wants to bring the show back. I would love for TNT to pick it up, or even USA, despite what USA did to CI. OI won't be watching LOLA because if NBC doesn't care about the L&O fans then I don't care about NBC's new show.

Rumors are that they are trying to get Jimmy Smits for LOLA - ICK! I can't stand him.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope it goes to TNT. This is truly devastating.

Anonymous said...

And also, if it goes to TNT, it might last longer than for just one year. We need to encourage TNT to pick it up.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. NBC renews SVU, which is the most ridiculous of the three Law and Order, but cancels the original????!!!! It is outrageous and does not make sense.

I'm never going to watch the other Law and Order series again, particularly SVU!! And I hope Law and Order Los Angeles fail!!

Anonymous said...

This is a bunch of bull. NBC is making a big mistake... LOLA will tank when it premieres. SVU has been cracktastic when it comes to storylines that actually deal with "special victims." The only good thing I pray can come from this is that they send the mothership's awesome writers over to SVU since SVU's writers can't write well.

Shelly said...

I just saw this and came over to see if it had been posted yet... sigh...

There are a lot of things I could say (as we all can, probably), but I wonder what NBC is going to do now when several of these new shows they're all hot about now don't last past October this fall... in the past, they've been able to call on L&O to save their butts once again... but not anymore...

I wish we could hear a truthful reason why from NBC or Wolf... was it money, ratings or what?

I don't know if I'll watch LOLA yet... will have to see who's in it, etal. None of the various spinoffs have come close to being as good as the Mothership for me...

Thanks for the sad update All Things... :(

Josh Morton said...

"DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!" - (Floria Evans) by Esther Rolle on Good Times!

I hope NBC burns in hell! Cancel Law & Order - cancel ALL of them! I KNOW I'm done with LOCI!

But now I'm done with SVU and LA!

I'm watching IPS when SVU's finale comes around!

Nina said...

If I had one true love in life it was Law and Order. I can't believe its over!!! I have watched the original for the past 15 years. I am truly in mourning!

Oh yeah there is no such thing as Law and Order LA, are you kidding me!!! NY is its only home.

Walon Green said...

I'm sorry fans of All Things and Law & Order but we got the thumbs down on the show going forward for season 21. I must say NBC really screwed the deal for both you guys and us. I enjoyed the work of Rene Balcer/Fred Berner this season on the show.

I remember my tenure on the show, I worked with both Jerry Orbach and Jesse Martin until I began doing other projects, TBJ being one of them. I had a total of at least 7-8 good years working with them and it was a pleasure to meet them, I don't think I'd rather hang out with anyone else but Law & Order cast and crew members.

CI still airs on USA Network. And SVU and LOLA will be back in September. As a fan of the original show myself, I won't be watching LOLA.

Dick Wolf is not the same person he used to be, he's supposed to meet with D'Onofrio next Wed. So we'll see what goes down.

But I want to say to the fans, I'm sorry. I hope you can find a way to save the show.

Create petitions, send emails, make phone calls. The whole 9 yards. I'm willing to get the ball rolling for you guys:

Mass e-mail Jeff Zucker at jeff.zucker@nbcuni.com

Be polite as you can but get to the point.

Law & Order: CI - "Love on Ice" airs Tues, May 18th 10/9C on USA Network.

deisegirl said...

I was a big fan of L&O for years, then drifted away for a bit, rediscovering its brilliance in the last few years. Can't believe it's finishing, sickened!! And annoyed! GRRRRRR....and SVU will go on forever in a more and more hysterical fashion. Nice.

Anonymous said...

From Hoopla, to make Walon's point about Zucker:

According to several sources, NBC and Law & Order had an agreement as late as March that the Dick Wolf staple would definitely receive at least one more season, its 21st. But today, when push came to shove and the deadline for the peacock network to decide on the fate of Wolf’s show expired, Law & Order was canceled.

TNT was supposed to take some of the financial burden from NBC to produce the show, but NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker backed out at the last moment, choosing not to deal with TNT. An inside source tells Deadline Hollywood Daily “[F]or whatever reason, NBC was unwilling to engage in a serious way with TNT. They didn’t do it. At the last minute, they said, ‘We’ll pick the show up and this is how we’re going to do it’. Which was ludicrous.”

Even though NBC has canceled Law & Order, it’s in no way dead. Wolf is reportedly going to try to negotiate with TNT to give the show a 21st season.

Stay tuned for more throughout the summer.

Music Wench said...

One down....

Asitti said...

http://www.gopetition.com/online/33476.html

Save Law & Order Petition!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe they do this!!!! How NBC can do this!!!!

I love this show. It was brillant. During 2-3 years with Jack Mc Coy in EADA the qualities was not the same but since three years I found the show better then ever. With Cutter and the new team give a new youth to the show. see jack in DA was brillant. I hope they will find a deal with TNT. Even only 13 episode. After 20 years the show and fan deserve a END.

Anonymous said...

First SVU goes down the drain. Then they screw with CI and get rid of Goren and Eames. Now this. It's been a terrible year for Law and Order. This franchise is dead to me.

Anonymous said...

Booo to NBC for cancelling L&O the original. There is no such thing as a replacement. You, NBC have already tried that replacement thing with Leno and you fell flat on your face.

Dalton said...

Wow...I can't believe this crap.

The original L&O has been a staple in my life, even though I am only of 14 years of age (that shows right there just how many different types of people and age groups L&O has touched). NBC's decision to cancel it was one of the worst they could have made! SVU is the real show that needs canceling. The scripts are stale, the cast is tired. Yet they can the original and plan on bringing in "Los Angeles"?

Los Angeles will tank: Law & Order IS New York! It's like putting a polar bear in the rain forest, it doesn't work.

I hope TNT can bring the show back, but only if they can do it without losing the quality...besides, if they don't pick it up, this means L&O won't get a proper series finale.

BOO NBC!

MichalkaManiac said...

A nice 20-year retrospective video, if you haven't seen it yet:
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=P4KM69WP

If you plan on putting this on YouTube, make sure you credit "MichalkaManiac" (my YT username) for the idea of making this video.

P.S I've been working on this vid for weeks, finally finishing last month!

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you read the entertainment industry news site TheWrap.com but they've got an interesting story about how NBC's handling of the cancellation is just like how they handled Conan ahttp://tiny.cc/fg1xh

Anonymous said...

A NYT story says that Wolf may do "some kind of movie or extended retrospective" next year (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/15/arts/television/15law.html?pagewanted=all) - maybe he's thinking of something of the same kind for CI, if he's supposed to be talking to VDO. If they're not trying to introduce an entirely new cast at the same time maybe it will go better than it did in Loyalty.

Anonymous said...

For the record:

LOSVU: Sucks. Lurid, tasteless plotlines and poor acting. Sorry to see it stick around.

LOCI: Jury still out w/o Bobby & Alex, but we'll see if their successors grow into interesting characters. Hope so.

Mothership: Television's best show, ever.

NBC: Absolute morons.

Anonymous said...

You know, if Jack were an entertainment lawyer, he'd fix this injustice for all of us...somehow. I wish he could, this is just wrong.

Wallyhorse said...

What it simply came down to was this:

TNT balked at paying a sufficient license fee for season 21 repeats. As the mothership's ratings were skewed two-thirds to viewers over 50, that created its own problems because ad buyers apparently will not deal with those over 50 at all, meaning they were not paying sufficient rates to warrant a renewal on its own.

In the end, it was TNT's refusal to pay a licensing fee for repeats that caused the cancelation since NBC otherwise was on board for season 21.

Much as I'm saddened by this, I considered the show on the bubble much of the year anyway.

Esaul said...

Actually, there are reports saying several things, like Zuckerman didn't want to talk to TNT, or how they wanted to have Wolf find some way to lessen the budget and his profits, or how he can have it back for like 10 episodes or something. Thing is, we may never know the real reason why NBC decided to pull the plug. But in the end...it is NBC's fault.

Wallyhorse said...

ESaul:

I heard those reports too, however, for two months it was made clear that TNT was reluctant to pay the licensing fee for Season 21 repeats. What is coming out now likely is trying to deflect that, because I'm sure Time Warner (Turner Broadcasting and TNT's parent) does not want to be looked at as the reason Law & Order did not reach a 21st season.

One other reason the LA version is essentially replacing the original: Unlike the mothership (whose deal with TNT for repeats was done in 1998 in a much different economic environment), NBC will be able to repeat "L & O: LA" on USA Network, something because of the TNT deal NBC was not able to do with the mothership ("Repurposing" was not even a consideration when the TNT deal was done). Unfortunately, that is now part of the business model in an era of skyrocketing production costs.

L&O Fan said...

It's understandable for the show to come to an end. It's not understandable for a show such as L&O to not even have a series finale and closure for the long time fans. Join the FaceBook group Save Law and Order
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=103102156403421

Anonymous said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2010/05/why-well-miss-law-order/56769/

NBC is Stupid said...

WTF is with them getting LOLA when they are canceling the mothership? It's not fair for the mothership to not get a new season(and break a record)while they make LOLA, which is just going to be LO in LA. why don't they just renew LO instead of making a whole new series????? I don't understand the logic behind this stupid, moronic decision

gahks said...

@NBC: This is criminal!

@all Law & Order fans: heed Walon Green's advice! Send your messages of protest to Jeff Zucker at jeff.zucker@nbcuni.com. I have included my e-mail below as an example.

Dear Mr. Zucker,

As an 18-year-old British longtime fan of "Law & Order," I was saddened and disappointed to learn of the show's cancellation just a few weeks before the twentieth season would end in the United States.

"Law & Order" has provided me with numerous hours of intelligent, prescient and powerful television; the programme's quality surpasses many of the crime dramas currently shown here. It is far superior to "CSI," and the London adaptation ("Law & Order: UK") is at the moment a mere imitation, with none of the hard-hitting grittiness that made the mothership so great.

After the cancellation of other equally sophisticated dramas such as "ER" and "Without a Trace," I fear for the state of American television today, saturated as it is with reality and talent shows. We need "Law & Order" because it challenges the mainstream and refuses to bow to superficiality. We need it to remind us that television can tackle the issues that really matter, engaging the audience in a sensitive debate through emotionally-charged stories. In today's morally fragile world, we need it to show us that justice can still be done; that the values that threaten our very humanity simply cannot be tolerated. Put simply, it is unique.

Given this, it is unsurprising that "Law & Order" retains a cult following, even after twenty years. I would thus urge you to respect the wishes of this following by reconsidering your decision and giving the show the historic twenty-first (even if it is the final) season it fully deserves.

Yours sincerely,

(name omitted)

Lee Gibson said...

While the show definitely jumped the shark when Steven Hill left, I still attribute this result to the awful Fred Thompson-Elizabeth Rohm era, when the show became unwatchable. I think many viewers, myself included, went away during this period and too many of them failed to come back when the show got better again in the past couple of years. That's why this is such a shame. While it's never been as good as its mid-90s golden age, it had really improved lately and should have been retained. Sad, too, about the record.

Anonymous said...

When in the course of television drama viewing, it becomes necessary for one audience to dissolve the Nielsen ratings bands which have connected them with a network, and to assume among the audiences who appreciate quality drama, the separate and equal station to which the viewing of Law and Order (mothership) entitles them, a decent respect to the mental state of Network Heads requires that the audience should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that Law and Order (mothership) was created equal to no other, that the audience of the show are endowed by their purchasing power with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Quality TV drama, responsible network management and the pursuit of Happiness in entertainment. That to secure these rights, actionable items are instituted among members of the audience, deriving their just powers from the consent of the majority, That whenever any Network Programming Management team becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People of the Audience to alter or to abolish said band of idiots, and to promote the institution of new Network Programming Directives, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect the survioval of their beloved and successful TV drama series.
We therefore pledge, together, and all as one, to stop watching NBC until NBC goes bankrupt of reinstalls Law and Order to its proper place. Whichever comes first.

Anonymous said...

Lee Gibson -- don't be so quick to judge. I joined because of Fred Thompson and fell in love with the show as a result. The ratings were very stable throughout that era, as well.

LandOFan said...

Wallyhorse -- those reports are simply incorrect. Fact is, TNT was fully willing to deal because they want the show post Season 21 and Zucker pulled the plug at the last minute. In fact, I'm aware that as late as Monday, a deal had been reached but Zucker said no. TNT is not to blame here, and either is Wolf.

And, the 50+ demographic thing is also not true, because when it was on Friday it performed respectably in all demographics. The argument about ratings in the last part of the last season when it was in a horrible time slot for an older show is a lie made by Zucker. Sorry, but Zucker is trashing his own network....yet again.

L&O has staying power for another 20 years, but Zucker's position was to try to kill it.

Wolf will take it to TNT, give it a month.

Jojo said...

I always thought it was more a "dun dun" than a "doink doink".

I've never been a regular viewer, but it is sad nonetheless because L&O has been on TV as long as I remember. It's really annoying though that they're putting all this effort and risk into creating LOLA as opposed to reviving the mothership.

l and o lovr said...

Anonymous at 1:67 - love your comment!

Anonymous said...

l and o lovr-
Thank you...

Claire said...

Law & Order: CRIMINAL INTENT is NOW CANCELED! WHY! WHY! IT'S NOT FAIR! Sad days for Law & Orders!

They are talking about it on the USA Network message board, I'm about to create an account and comment!

http://forums.usanetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=444470&view=findpost&p=1314665

Joshua Morton said...

Claire: I looked at it, it looks legit.

I'm going to do some searching for awhile, that's not on a message board. But that looks legit. You're right, it's some very sad days for Law & Order's.

All Things: Care to comment on that? - I think it's the real deal. I'm glad in a way but it ruins chances for D'Onofrio/Erbe to return.

Sam is a great guy said...

Sam Waterston made a statement and is is here:

http://weblogs.variety.com/on_the_air/2010/05/law-order-sam-waterston-weighs-in.html

"Law & Order": Sam Waterston weighs in
By: Variety
Published: Fri, May 14, 2010, 6:05 PM


Here's a statement on "Law & Order's" demise from Sam Waterston, who has played prosecutor-turned-D.A. on the show since 1994.


This season's shows are as good as any we've ever made on Law & Order.
A job like the one I've had doesn't happen in my line of work. I've had a great time. It's opened countless opportunities, kept me close to home, family, and friends, given me millions of wonderful things to say in highly dramatic circumstances, and kept me out of trouble.
I have no complaints, none, but I'm as surprised as anyone. I couldn't imagine there would not be a 21st season on NBC, either. So, if we end up tied for first with "Gunsmoke" for longest running primetime drama ever, that'll do. No complaints.
I'm permanently grateful to Dick Wolf and the close-knit community that's our crew, writers, actors and producers. What a class act they are, and with NBC's support over these many years, they've changed my life.
To the fans of the show, thanks for your amazing loyalty. Last but not least, unbelievable numbers of people in New York adopted us as their mascot, the highest possible compliment from the best town around.

Shelly said...

Re the LOCI "press release." I could be completely off base here (and I hope I am), but to me it reads like a very well-crafted fake. First, I can't find any sort of announcement on any of the normal sites (TV.com, zap2it, TVGuide, etal), and it seems to me the people in the statement are sort of saying, basically, that they screwed up in changing the cast, and the fans let them know. Since when does a TV exec admit to making a mistake? NBC still hasn't admitted they screwed up the Jay/Conan thing...

As I said, I hope I'm wrong, but that's just my gut reaction to reading it... for what little it's worth...

And thanks "Sam is a great guy" for posting Sam's comments. I would imagine his thoughts about the cancellation are echoed by all of those involved in front of the camera...

All Things Law and Order said...

As far as that L&O CI information, I've checked the current official NBCU web site for their press releases and that release is not there. I also checked a few reliable media sources who have access to these releases and they don't have it either. I suspect it is a phony - the word "trashes" in the heading of that release would be completely inappropriate for a press release, in my opinion.

All Things Law and Order said...

PS - I posted the letter I emailed to Jeff Zucker on my blog:

http://allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com/2010/05/dear-jeff-zucker-re-law-orders.html

Anonymous said...

Guys, this is NBC, not CBS, they don't listen to their viewers, they blow them off.

Anonymous said...

That CI press release is hideously fake. The way they describe the characters provides too much minor details from episodes (and is inconsistent with other USA press releases...). It is ridled with typos and incomplete, illogical sentences. Goldblum is not an Emmy winner, and Saffron Burrows is not an Emmy nominee. (The USA press releases all noted her as a SAG nominee for one...). The quotes are unrealistic, and there'd be no reason for Jeff Gaspin to be commenting on a USA renewal.

That someone was really that desperate is kinda sad... IMO.

Jane said...

I don't think the news on CI is legit, as ATLAO is saying the wordage is wrong and it comes from wikipedia of all places which is known for its false information since it is editted by the general public.

janethyland said...

Alot of people around the sites are throwing out speculation and fake reports as if they are genuine and facts.Trolls are all over the place.

Unless its reported on a reputable site I wouldnt believe anything.

Rakhi said...

No seriously!! wht were they thinking??
this was THE best among the three L&O shows and they killed THIS!!were they out of their minds????
and that's right that the finale will be just another episode coz no one knew this was going to happen!!!!
I just can hope tht the writers of L&O are hired for SVU and CI coz they suck as of now and yes,I already hate LOLA.
ASSHOLES....I needed to get that off my chest too!

Anonymous said...

It seems that DW is not going to let the Mothership slip away into the horizon.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/17/AR2010051703515.html

DW has to know how the fans feel. We will not abandon the mothership.

MissKittyFantastico

Michael Ejercito said...

I wonder if Sam Waterston will make guest appearances on SVU and CI.