In case you had trouble keeping up with the “Law & Order” cancellation debacle as it unfolded at lightning speed late yesterday, Brian Stelter and Bill Carter lay out exactly what appears to be happening with the long-running NBC crime drama in today’s New York Times.
UPDATE: It’s official. The show is toast.
In a nutshell, here’s basically what you need to know:
- NBC execs had indicated that “Law & Order’s” 21st season was all ready to go.
- But on Thursday afternoon, “Law & Order” staffers were informed that NBC was cancelling the show.
- Sources told The Times, however, that NBC and “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf were still negotiating late Thursday.
- And there was speculation the series might get picked up by TNT, which helps finance “Law & Order” by airing reruns in a licensing deal that’s set to expire this year.
- Also, Wolf’s been in talks with NBC about a Los Angeles “Law & Order” spinoff, which was expected to be announced Monday when NBC unveils its 2010-2011 roster.
- The show’s syndication deals and ratings are still good enough to offset the fact that its lost about eight million viewers in the past 10 years.
Nikki Finke first broke the news of a possible cancellation on Deadline.com yesterday afternoon, offering some details and language not fit for the proper pages of The Grey Lady: “Insiders say Dick Wolf is now accusing the network of going back (some use the word ‘reneging’) on that arrangement made in March: ‘He’s so f*cking angry, you have no idea.'”
Meanwhile, New York Magazine’s Vulture blog reported last night that “Wolf refused an opportunity to extend the show and earn his record” of “having created the longest-running drama in TV history.”
So that’s that.
Personally, we care a lot more about “Law & Order: SVU,” but if you’re a fan of the flagship series, you’ll probably want to make sure you catch the season finale on May 24, just in case!
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