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Why It's Good That 'Law and Order' Is Over

by Allison Waldman, posted May 15th 2010 10:00AM
law_and_order_nbc_sam_watersonWhen the news was finally confirmed today that NBC had decided to cancel 'Law and Order' after 20 years on the air, there were some who were sad that this day had arrived. They were likely the same people who were rooting for this veritable crime procedural to remain on NBC until it broke the record -- held by 'Gunsmoke' -- for the longest running television drama ever.

'Law and Order' is over. It had a great run. Really. It spun-off four other shows, including the drama that's taking its place on NBC in fall 2010, 'Law and Order: Los Angeles.' It made a lot of sense for the original to finally wrap with this May 24th's season finale, and here's five reasons why:

1. It's going out on top. Too many shows overstay their welcome, lingering long after they're still a viable program on the schedule or have good stories to tell. That's not the case with 'L&O.' In fact, this season has been a good one and the pairing of Linus Roache with Sam Waterson has been dynamic. For all intents and purposes, 'Law' is going out while still something special.

2. It had become too formulaic. The 'ripped from the headlines' formula that was been 'Law and Order's' bread and butter had become a twisted mess in the past couple of years. Maybe it was the headlines, but the roman a clef storylines were cutting too close to the bone and with every new scandal, you just waited for 'Law and Order' to do their spin on it. Elliot Spitzer? Did it. Mel Gibson? Yes. Heidi Fleiss? Check.

3. NBC needs to move on. After the year that NBC has had, this was no time for sentiment to trump practicality. It's true that Angela Bromstad, NBC Entertainment President, said that she didn't want to be the executive to pull the plug on 'Law and Order,' but I give her credit for making the tough decision. NBC doesn't need to hold onto the past; it's time to embrace the future. That means new drama series that might have a run half as long as 'Law.'

4. Television history has already been made.
Does the record book really matter to anyone? Most people don't even remember that 'Gunsmoke' had the longest run in television history. So 'Law and Order' will be tied with that CBS western, big deal. They're both still way behind 'Guiding Light' which had 72 years on the air -- radio and television -- before ending in September 2009. And if you want to know about history, Fox's 'The Simpsons' currently wrapping year 21 and will be back for a 22nd.

5. It's not really gone.
While NBC will not be producing new episodes of 'Law and Order,' the show will hardly be gone and forgotten. It's a huge fixture in syndication as well as on USA Network. The program plays all over the world in television markets and the DVDs are available for sale and rent. Also, since there really won't be an ending to 'L&O,' it wouldn't shock me if two or three years from now creator/executive producer Dick Wolf convinces NBC to do a TV movie, reuniting some of the original cast members. If not a reunion movie, perhaps a series of TV movies. Don't be shocked ... it could happen.

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MIKE ZVIRBLIS

ITS NOT OVER! REMEMBER MAYBERRY RFD? OR ARCHIE BUNKERS PLACE? I JUST WISH THAT THE L&O FRANCHISE WOULD STOP WITH THE LAST MINUTE TWISTS! JUST GIVE ME A SIMPLE STORY JUST ONCE IN A WHILE.

May 21 2010 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jerry

lAW N ORDER FOREVER----SHOWS WHY IT HAS REMAINED A FAVORITE FOR SO VERY LONG----lETS NOT LOSE IT.

May 19 2010 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cruella

So what if L&O has been on for 20 years, or 10, or 5.
The fact it's a good show and as long as it has an audiance, should keep on running. I'm so grateful for cable, because these networks are getting boring

May 19 2010 at 4:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
elizabeth jones

Nothing is forever. Now there will be a new show. Cream rises to the top, By the way I found a website that give you prizes
for your opinions here is the topic about this Tv Show...
http://opinion.ezwingame.com/topics/is-it-good-that-law-and-order-is-over

May 18 2010 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda

The show should stay on the air.
NBC is making a huge mistake.

May 18 2010 at 8:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom Simonton

Even as an L.A. expatriate, the idea of replacing the original L&O with "Law & Order: Los Angeles" is an unholy move that smacks of moving the whole franchise to Tinstletown to save money. There is something compelling about gritty old New York City as the location of ALL of the franchise shows. For example, "NCIS: Los Angeles" is not half as good as the original "NCIS." Why? Because the original uses Washington, DC as part of the story, not merely an occasional location. You always have the feeling that those feds have a home to come back to no matter where in the world their Navy/Marine Corps investigations take them. All that "NCIS: Los Angeles" does is add palm trees and glamorous women to the mix -- not really the intelligent stuff of film detective stories or law enforcement dramas. The same could be said of the "Law & Order" franchises. My solution would be to keep ALL of the Dick Wolf franchises, including the original, in the Big Apple and exchange more of the cast detectives, forensic personnel and police commanders between all of the shows as the storyline warrants. That way, producers could save money and keep all of us viewers reasonably happy too.

May 18 2010 at 6:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Soho

I watch very little on NBC I think Law and Order and Law and Order SVU. Used to watch Law and Order Criminal Intent now its on cable station.
NBC will fill Law and Order slot with idiot reality show which I wont watch. No wonder NBC us way down in raitings. Ch 2 rocks!

May 18 2010 at 6:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pastor Loren

BY THE WAY JERRY BUCKHIMER< HOW ABOUT GETTING AN ORGINAL IDEA AND WRITE SOMETHING NEW. Stop regergitating the same crap

May 18 2010 at 5:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sue

I wont be watching the Los Angeles version. Why start something new with another version someplace else when the original was what started it all in NYC. I loved that show and Sam Waterson. I dont care for NBC so I will just have to be happy with reruns on other channels.

May 18 2010 at 5:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pastor Loren

I will be the first to say I don't care for the ADA on Law and Order, but I hate to see the show go, I guess because I have watched it sinse it came on and there is nothing else worth watching. Have you noticed that most of these shows are writen by the same company and two season finals have the same plot on 2 differant networks, maybe someone else will pick it up like they did with the others. I still love the show.

May 18 2010 at 5:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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