Thursday, May 13, 2010

Law & Order: Canceled

Various sources are reporting that Law & Order - THE MOTHERSHIP! - has been canceled. Michael Ausiello posted the information on the EW web site, saying “NBC is declining to comment on a Deadline claiming the network has opted to not to renew the long-running procedural for what would have been a record-breaking 21st season.” The Deadline report ”NBC CANCELS 'LAW & ORDER' FLAGSHIP” said This is very surprising as NBC brass had indicated lately that they would bring L&O for a record-breaking 21st season. But with strong development, especially on the drama side, and soft ratings for L&O, NBC apparently opted not to keep the aging series, which spawned several successful spinoffs. The latest, Law & Order: Los Angeles, will launch next season. L&O's renewal by NBC was also contingent on securing a sizable commitment from the series' cable home TNT whose off-network deal for the show was up at the end of this season.” But the Futon Critic tweeted that “We're told LAW & ORDER cancellation report is a bit premature: negotiations are still ongoing and a deal is still possible by Monday.” TV Guide Magazine tweeted with certainty that it was canceled. So who is correct? Who knows. Hopefully NBC will make an official statement soon. Stay tuned.

Needless to say, I would be very sorry to see this show go, since right now it’s the best in the franchise.

I will try to keep running updates below if/when new information becomes available.

Update May 14, 2010 2:00 PM - It is officially canceled:
NBC Press Release: Law & Order Officially Canceled

Just for reference, I will keep the previous articles on the topic listed below.

Update May 13, 2010, 7 PM ET: The latest from the New York Times
Is ‘Law & Order,’ TV’s Longest Running Series, About to be Canceled?: "People close to “Law & Order” were told Thursday afternoon that the pioneering NBC drama had been canceled. But the network has not yet confirmed the decision, and there were indications late Thursday that talks were ongoing about its fate."

May 14, 2010 6:15 AM Updates from later last evening:

The Hollywoof Reporter: "NBC in talks to keep 'Law & Order' on the air" said:

"But NBC's testy relationship with Wolf came to head Thursday when the producer rejected the network's offer to continue the show at a reduced license fee. Wolf's office told producers and some cast members that the drama had been canceled, triggering online reports that the show was finished.

Not so fast, countered NBC, which had yet to ax the series and wants to continue negotiations.
As of late Thursday afternoon, talks were set to continue, with most NBC executives in transit to New York for the network's upfront presentation on Monday.

If there's a stalemate, "L&O" will end its run after 20 seasons.

There also is the possibility that Wolf will shop the series to cable. TNT tried to pick up rights to "L&O" in 2007, convincing NBC to renew the series and move spinoff "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" to USA.

But if NBC can't afford Wolf's price tag, could a cable network? For TNT, at least, the answer seems to be no, with a network rep saying that Turner is not in talks with Wolf for the show
. "

New York Times ‘Law & Order’ Series Said to Be in Jeopardy
"By one estimate, more than 8,000 people in the city are employed, directly and indirectly, by the series and its two spinoffs, including many theatrical actors who make appearances."

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.


MissJanet said...

I, too, hope that this is not true. The mothership remains the only Law & Order show with a quality standard right now.

John Stodder said...

SVU needs to be cancelled. They've literally run out of ideas, the scripts are beyond hackwork, and the cast looks tired.

IF L&O was going to be cancelled, it would have made much more sense to do it about three years ago, when it seemed to be out of gas. The last two seasons have been pretty good; not as good as the Orbach-Bratt-Lowell-Waterston years, but getting close.

CI probably will be cancelled after this year, although I would regret that. I think the current pairing is actually pretty interesting. D'Onofrio and Erbe needed to go, great as they are. As with the SVU people, the characters and actors were clearly getting tired, with D'Onofrio seeming like he was asleep during parts of his last season. Goldblum and Burrows are drawing me in, subtly. But alas, I don't see them getting another year to prove it.

We'll be left with SVU, which is almost unwatchable, and this new LA thing, which, who knows?

Esaul said...

I never ever ever thought I would see the day Law and Order would be cancelled. It's just madness and I declared that if it ever got cancelled, it'll be the saddest day in my life. I mean come on we've survived Rohm and what's his face who played Fontana. It can't be cancelled. I'm so heartbroken. Bahhh. Monday NBC better bring good news...

Anonymous said...

Brian Williams just said on Nightly News that it is not confirmed. Wouldn't deny it either, though. Well, I hope if NBC decides not to carry it that TNT or USA picks it up.

Lisa R. said...

What is wrong with the morons at NBC??? They have the best cast in YEARS, the writing has been terrific, and they are ONE year from breaking the record and NBC wants to cancel it? It makes no sense!

The show did very well on Fridays. The fans followed it there. Then they shuffle it to Mondays against Castle and CSI Miami. Of course NBC isn't going to get the same demos...if they cancel it because of this, I'll blow a gasket.

After they way they treated Conan over the Tonight show, I will be SOOO done with NBC if they cancel L&O....and I don't care if next fall's hit show is somehow, miraculously, on their network, I will not watch ever again.

Stupid NBC! I really hope that they will see the light and give it one more year... I'm so angry about this.

Anonymous said...

This has been the best season and even worse, we didn't get told this in time to have a series finale. Shotty treatment to a show that has lived on for 20 years.

Anonymous said...

I cannot figure out why they would cancel it now. I can understand cancelling it a few years ago, and frankly, I'm surprised that it has managed to hold on since say, 2004, around the time Jerry Orbach died. It really didn't seem to find its footing again until they brought in the new cast members, Linus Roache & Jeremy Sisto, which was a big risk, but it really paid off, and this new cast seemed to really work well together and give you reason to believe that the show had a future. All I can figure is that maybe a lot of people gave up on the show years ago, and given the timeslot, Mondays at 10, is not the best time to get viewers. I love Law & Order, but usually by 10-11 I'm trying to mellow out. What a shame, to lose it now, of all times.

Jen said...

This is an upsetting prospect. Law & Order (the Mothership) is literally the ONLY show I watch on NBC. It's the best it's been in years this season. The cast is amazing, the writing and story lines have been strong. They can't at least give it, and us, a proper goodbye?

I'm just not interested in LOLA, and I'm totally over SVU. Nevermind the rest of their brain dead programming.

Real rational and logical thought processes you've apparently got going here, NBC. If this is true, you've managed to reach new vistas of asininity heretofore unheard of.

Shelly said...

I have mixed feelings, if this story is true. Obviously, like all the other fans, I would hate to see the show go. I remember watching the very first ep when it originally aired, and for the last 20 years, I've watched religiously. It would seem more than odd to not have it on.

But on the other hand, while I do think the show has been stronger this season than it has been in a few, if it has to go, I'd rather it go out when it is giving us good writing and storylines. My only big concern is, if this is accurate, that they don't leave us hanging on what happens with Van Buren. I hope her character's ending on the show is written in such a way that it's clear what's going to happen.

I guess we'll find out soon what will happen. Won't NBC be releasing it's fall schedule in the next few days? I've read Sunday, and I've read the 19th... any idea which is correct?

And agreed All Things... this is the BEST show in the franchise right now, no question... :(

Overhead Spin said...

I live all the way over in Jamaica and I am deeply saddened by this news. I love Law & Order and I especially loved it when Orbach and Noth were on. I loved when Jack was the prosecutor and I loved his ADAs. I am falling out of love with SVU as the schtick is getting a bit old to me. I love Sharon Stone but not in this role. Never been a big fan of CI, but I now watch it on USA. Please NBC do not take away L&O. We here in the Caribbean love it to death.

NJZimmermann said...

Of the three I would have thought SVU would be axed first. The return of S. March while, nice to me was one of indicators of a weakening in the quality of the series because it demonstrated an over reaction to the failure of M. McManus to adequately replace D. Neal.

I tend to think that if NBC had replaced McManus with Elaine Stritch, Lorraine Toussaint, Annie Potts Lauren Holly, Isabella, Hofmann, Melissa Leo or Rena Sofer that the showrunners could have focused more on story and teleplay construction.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked. What else is NBC going to run in the 10PM time slot? To say that morons are running the network is an understatement. A record that can be broken and they want to cancell the show? The only publicity they'll get is from screwing up this no-brainer. Would love to know what they're consuming over there.

Unknown said...

Would really be sad if this is true since the network was saying (though not confirming) renewal most of the season. Would also be really sad if the reason it ends up not renewing is because Dick Wolf wanted more money (which is something I read somewhere). I really hope cancellation isn't true.

Dalton said...

Cancel the mothership? NBC must be sniffing some of the good stuff!

The show somehow managed to make it through cancellation during the dull/bland seasons 15-17, and now that the cast and writing is back up to it's best in years, and close to reaching a record, they want to axe it?

This better be a rumor, or NBC is going to hear from this angry L&O fan.

Joshua Morton said...

Cancel Law & Order: CRIMINAL INTENT!

NBC is f'ing up! Leave the mothership alone and keep renewing it! It's the best show on TV and NBC as of the moment! SVU went down 3 seasons ago! L&O remains the best of the franchise TNT is f'ing up with NBC causing them to make quick decisions.


I'll be very pissed off if this is confirmed true!

Mike said...

I hope they bring Sam to SVU!

Walon Green said...

This is NOT confirmed! I came here in the dead of night to reassure fans that the show WILL go on, NBC (and TNT) is just still in negs. NOTHING is confirmed until the meeting Monday morning! Sources are leaking premature information. Again, NOTHING IS CONFIRMED!

Fans of CI are asking am I going to be executive producer on SVU next season while Baer goes to CI, nothing is confirmed for me or Neal either.

If that change was to happen, Neal Baer would still be in charge on SVU, though as consultant producer like Rene Balcer is to us.

Love on Ice airs Tuesday 10/9 Central on USA Network!

Anonymous said...

This seems really premature. There were reports of a 6-10 episode order, which would be insulting. My guess is they get it up to around 16 episodes (the original order for this year).

It makes no sense to run L&O:LA, SVU, and CI without the mothership. The whole franchise is strong (I think SVU has been fine, unlike some here, though I don't watch CI), and as someone said, THE SHOW DID VERY WELL ON FRIDAYS!! They should have just kept it there -- it has a loyal, yet older (though I am 33) audience and that's best for Fridays, when those folks (yes, including me) are home. Plus, I bet you a ton of people DVR it...that's what I do.

By the way, I don't believe for a minute, even if NBC pulled the plug, it would die. TNT has been wanting to pick it up for years -- and, after season 21, I hope they do.

I just don't think it cancels, I would cry if it did.

laworder lvr said...

This is proof positive that the suits at NBC are clueless. And, if this is a big publicity stunt, they shouldn't toy with fans that way.

Someone needs to clean house at NBC. Some of these suits are ruining the network.

I also have heard the story that Dick Wolf wants more $$$, there has always been a lot of talk that he is a greedy SOB. If he wants his precious record, he'd better get more reasonable when it comes to the $$$, especially if NBC can't afford it.

Anonymous said...

I tried to post something last night, but I just couldn't. I was so heartbroken to hear that the Mothership, which IMHO has regained its footing and is better than it's ever been, is close to cancellation. This show has been a constant in my life the last 20 years. 3am feedings were made tolerable because repeats of the show would air at that time on cable (I think they were run on Bravo then). This season especially has been wonderful. Having Linus Roache, Jeremy Sisto, Alana de la Garza and Anthony Anderson on has breathed new life into this show. The writing has been phenomenal. And where else can we still catch Mr. Waterston and the magnificent S. Epatha Merkerson? These two are the backbone of the show.

These jerks at NBC took it off Friday nights at 8 where it performed really well and changed it to Mondays. They're the ones jerking everyone around. If they think that anyone is going to stick around to watch Law and Order LA they must be smokin' and drinkin'. LAO is a NY franchise. It is New York for goodness sakes. I watch NBC only for the mothership. I occassionally watch SVU, but the writing over there has gotten stale. No motherhip, no NBC.


Anonymous said...

By the way, Facebook has started a campaign to save the mothership. Hey if it worked for Betty White it might work for the LAO.!/pages/Save-Law-Order/116943315009046?v=wall&ref=search


Shelly said...

I agree with laworder lvr... IF the stories are true that Dick Wolf is asking what would be considered an exhorbitant amount by the industry for the license fee, then there needs to be some compromise on BOTH sides... I would hate for that alone to be the reason the show didn't reach season 21.

Thank you All Things for keeping us updated!

Esaul said...

It's officially cancelled.

MissJanet said...

So this time, Dick Wolf finally went to far. I cannot believe that it ends so abrupt and without proper goodbyes. The show, the writers, the actors and the viewers deserve better.

Esaul said...

I'd rather be blaming NBC versus Wolf. :\

Anonymous said...

Heartbroken. What can be done now, LOJ? This show has to be picked up somewhere for a victory lap. After March 24, I'm done with NBC.


janethyland said...

I guess that means the "walon Green " on this site isnt real then!

Anonymous said...

Wolf has a right not to devalue his product. I urge we all write TNT to urge them to pick it up. I highly doubt Wolf was in talks with them given that just last week, I read articles indicating it was likely going to be renewed. It makes little sense, given that CI, of all shows, is on USA, that they couldn't take the mothership to either USA, or if NBC wants to completely drop it, to TNT. There is a wide audience for the show, and some cable network would love it. It's not like these are super high priced actors, due to the changing nature of the cast. Frankly, one reason I love L&O is that before it came along, most of the actors weren't all that known. It's not like Sisto and de la Garza are huge names. It's time to take this seriously and not let them kill our show.

Anonymous said...

Wolf has a right not to devalue his product. I urge we all write TNT to urge them to pick it up. I highly doubt Wolf was in talks with them given that just last week, I read articles indicating it was likely going to be renewed. It makes little sense, given that CI, of all shows, is on USA, that they couldn't take the mothership to either USA, or if NBC wants to completely drop it, to TNT. There is a wide audience for the show, and some cable network would love it. It's not like these are super high priced actors, due to the changing nature of the cast. Frankly, one reason I love L&O is that before it came along, most of the actors weren't all that known. It's not like Sisto and de la Garza are huge names. It's time to take this seriously and not let them kill our show.

Anonymous said...

Now that the mystery of the L&O's cancellation is solved, there lies one more unsolved question: who is the troll pretending to be Walon Green?

This blog just gets weirder and weirder.