L&O Mothership officially cancelled May 14, 2010 14:08:24 GMT -5
Post by missjanet on May 14, 2010 14:08:24 GMT -5
NBC cancels long-running crime show "Law & Order"
By Belinda Goldsmith Belinda Goldsmith – 5 mins ago
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Crime drama "Law & Order" has fought its last court battle, with TV network NBC announcing on Friday that it is canceling the original show after 20 seasons, although its spinoffs will continue.
"Law & Order" currently ties with 1960s western "Gunsmoke" as the longest-running U.S. prime time drama, with both boasting a 20-season run.
Fox comedy "The Simpsons" is the longest-running TV series in prime time, now in its 21st season.
With its revolving regular cast and its guest celebrities, "Law & Order" drew its inspiration from real crimes and events, giving it a "ripped from the headlines" appeal.
But audiences for the New York-based series have slipped this year to an average 7.3 million viewers per episode from more than 18 million in 2002. The last episode, with guest star Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, will air on May 24.
Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment, said the franchise created by Dick Wolf had added to the success of NBC and Universal Media Studios over the past two decades.
"The legacy of his original "Law & Order" series will continue to make an impact like no other series before," Gaspin said in a statement.
'MANY MEMORABLE PERFORMANCES'
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has appeared as himself in the show, said "Law & Order" had been a New York City institution, paving the way for more than 150 TV shows based there today and showcasing the city's versatility as a film setting.
"It also helped launch the careers of thousands of talented actors and featured many memorable performances -- although my cameos are not among them," Bloomberg said in a statement.
As well as winning the 1997 Emmy for best drama series, "Law & Order" has generated spinoff series, video games, and international versions of the show that tracks a crime investigation, the arrest of a suspect and a prosecution.
NBC, which will present its new slate of programing for 2010-11 to advertisers in New York next week, said it was picking up the new drama "LOLA," ("Law & Order: Los Angeles") and has also renewed "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" for the next season.
Fans of the original show, known to TV critics and producers at "The Mother Ship," are hoping that another network will pick up the show.
NBC's decision to drop "Law & Order" has prompted speculation that U.S. cable network TNT, which has carried reruns of the show, could carry original episodes. TNT could not be immediately reached for comment.
NBC is owned by General Electric Co but it is expected to be folded into a $30 billion joint venture with No.1 U.S. cable operator Comcast Corp. in a deal awaiting U.S. federal government approval.