Ed Driscoll

Ask Not Whom the Law & Order Gavel Clangs For

It clangs for thee:

This one is a shocker. Veteran crime drama Law & Order will not get its shot at history after all. I hear that after long deliberations, NBC has decided to cancel the long-running procedural, which will end its run at 20 seasons, tied with Gunsmoke. This is very surprising as NBC brass had indicated lately that they would bring L&O for a record-breaking 21st season. But with strong development, especially on the drama side, and soft ratings for L&O, NBC apparently opted not to keep the aging series, which spawned several successful spinoffs. The latest, Law & Order: Los Angeles, will launch next season. L&O‘s renewal by NBC was also contingent on securing a sizable commitment from the series’ cable home TNT whose off-network deal for the show was up at the end of this season.

Thus freeing up Sam Waterston to devote all of his time to his heretofore second career as an expert consultant in offshore drilling.

Fortunately, I suspect there may be one or two shows left on television who will find middle-class devout Christians behind all of society’s crimes.

Related: In other news from the world of television, the actor whose long-running sitcom’s rapid downward spiral into vapidity inspired the phrase “Jump the Shark” does so yet again.

Update: Is there a last minute reprieve for the most sclerotic New York cops since Abe Vigoda?

Late Update (5/15/10): No reprieve from the governor this time.