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October 26, 2014

'Law & Order' Denied Record-Breaking 21st Season?

by Kim Potts, posted Mar 31st 2010 9:15AM
C'mon, NBC and TNT: Can't you give viewers at least one more season of hearing that familiar "doink! doink!" theme emanating from our TV screens?

A 2010-2011 renewal for NBC's 'Law & Order,' a show so popular that it has sparked three spin-off series, would push the legal drama to an astounding 21st season, and make it the longest-running drama series ever.

But, according to The Hollywood Reporter, there's a big glitch standing in its way: NBC may not re-up the series if the network's 'L&O' cable partner, TNT, doesn't also give a renewal the thumbs up.C'mon, NBC and TNT: Can't you give viewers at least one more season of hearing that familiar "doink! doink!" theme emanating from our TV screens?

A 2010-2011 renewal for NBC's 'Law & Order,' a show so popular that it has sparked three spin-off series, would push the legal drama to an astounding 21st season, and make it the longest-running drama series ever.

But, according to The Hollywood Reporter, there's a big glitch standing in its way: NBC may not re-up the series if the network's 'L&O' cable partner, TNT, doesn't also give a renewal the thumbs up.

'Law & Order' is currently airing its 20th season on NBC, and though ratings are not as high as they once were, the seminal series has been a signature show for both NBC with first-run episodes and TNT, with its frequent re-airings and marathons. As THR points out, 'L&O' even helped inspire TNT's "We Know Drama" tagline and brand.

"I'm a 'Law & Order' junkie," NBC entertainment president Angela Bromstad said of the Dick Wolf-produced series in January. "I wouldn't want to be responsible for not having 'Law & Order' break the record."

However, the series is an expensive production, and TNT is not obligated to pick up 'Law & Order' beyond season 20. The cable net has already taken a financial hit with another crime drama, netting a $104 million loss when its re-airings of the CBS hit 'Without a Trace' didn't click with TNT viewers.

At the same time, NBC can't shop the off-network rights to 'Law & Order' elsewhere to try and offset the costs, which means, bottom line, that the show really could be denied the chance to break the 20-season record set by 'Gunsmoke.'

If we might provide a bit of inspiration to the networks, comedian and 'Saturday Night Live' writer John Mulaney does a great riff on why we all love 'Law & Order' so much:

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judy

I love all the Law and Orders (but not too crazy about the newest cast of characters). I love all the re-runs on TNT.
NBC will be making a BIG mistake if they take this program off the air. I especially like Goren and his side-kick, the whole cast of Special Victims----Ice-T, etc. I love the ones Jerry Orbach is in.

May 13 2010 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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