Official: Law and Order axed

Following speculation yesterday, NBC has now officially pulled the plug on Law & Order just shy of its record-breaking 21st season. The series finale will air in the US on May 24 (the same day as 24 and a day after Lost).

NBC Chairman Jeff Gaspin said, “The full measure of the collective contributions made by Dick Wolf and his Law & Order franchise over the last two decades to the success of NBC and Universal Media Studios cannot be overstated.

“The legacy of his original Law & Order series will continue to make an impact like no other series before.”

Reports yesterday had hinted that NBC’s earlier statement it would continue were initially made to grant the show its 21st season but costings with Dick Wolf Productions could not be agreed upon.

Wolf’s only comment on the matter was the cryptic statement: “Never complain. Never explain.”

Sources say NBC and Wolf plan to meet to discuss possible “closure opportunities” for the show, possibly having current cast members join Law and Order: Los Angeles spinoff, or even having a two-hour wrap-up movie.

Law and Order will now tie with Gunsmoke for the US drama record of 20 seasons.

In brighter news, Law and Order: SVU has been renewed and confirmed Law and Order: Los Angeles which had been reported by media some time ago.

Source:, Hollywood Reporter


  1. end of an era

    it was a great show. but as it went on the characters went rubbish and once jerry orbach diesd, that was the ebd of the show

  2. koverstreet

    Doesn’t really bother me although I’d have liked to see it beat the record of the boring western.

    In the 90’s with jerry orbach this was must see tv but when he left i gradually lost interest.

    And for the record the original at it’s best was easily the best version.

  3. I’ve always thought SVU was better than the original, it has a great cast, that has pretty much remained the same through the series, which is strange in television, and I always find the storylines more interesting. Mariska Hargitay is awesome. Still, it will be sad to see L&O leave, as I can’t remember life before it (I’m 20).

  4. @MikeyS To axe the original only to create a spin-off *with exactly the same format* beggars belief. Like others, I thought that the current lineup had actually let the show find its feet again since Jerry passed away, so this is devastating news.

    However, some reports suggest that Dick Wolf is approaching TNT with a view to them keeping the series alive. Fingers crossed.

  5. Shocked, like Henry i have been enjoying the current cast ensemble and felt that after adjusting the lineup during the later seasons, they finally had the right mix.

    I am thankful that the show was on for so long, it was lucky to avoid the axe a few seasons ago. I’d love it if another network saved it from the scrapheap, doubt it though.

  6. I’m shocked to say the least. What is happening to this brand? First Goren and Eames are axed from Criminal Intent, now, the best version of Law & Order gets the chop. I’m very disappointed as the current cast members are arguably the best combination they’ve had in years.

    I’m not going to pass judgement on L&O:LA yet, but if L&O:UK is any indication then there is still hope. Still shattered though. Hopefully a cable channel will pick it up.

  7. Even though I don’t watch Law & Order, it was sad to see the drama ending in this way after 20 years. Also, Law & Order: Los Angeles will be shown on Channel Seven, not Ten (the original home of L&O franchise in Australia since 1991), due to the existing output deal between Seven and NBC Universal.

  8. New York city was at the core of L&O…. Yes, I will try out L&O LA, but to axe the original only create a spin-off is disappointing.

    The has had some amazing cast members and guest stars over the years, but none were ever better than the Jerry Orbach.

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