For TNT, constant Law and Order just doesn't work like it used to
It's not too much of an exaggeration to say you could flip on your television at any time, any day, and catch an episode of Law and Order or any other series in the Law and Order franchise. TNT is mostly to thank (or blame) for this, having aired repeats of the series for quite some time.
The problem is, even people who love chocolate cake don't want chocolate cake all the damn time, so the ratings for Law and Order have been slipping. To try and alleviate this, TNT began to syndicate Without a Trace, but despite strong ratings when it first aired as a late night repeat from 2004 to 2006, its current place in primetime hasn't garnered nearly as many viewers.
According to Variety, Without a Trace could be replaced by repeats of Cold Case, another CBS series. But the article also points out, quite rightly, that TNT has done well with The Closer, an original series, and will hopefully find the same success with the upcoming Holly Hunter series Saving Grace.
It would seem the Law and Order crutch is starting to break, and it's time for TNT to throw it away, kick off the training wheels, and start riding on its own like the crippled cyclist in this terrible analogy I just now came up with.