Friday, July 30, 2010

LAW & ORDER is Dead -- Long Live LAW & ORDER

In as definitive a statement as possible, producer Dick Wolf confirmed today at the annual gathering of the Television Critics' Association that the Law & Order mothership has "moved into the history books," signaling that the sun has finally set for the veteran show. There will be no new episodes on NBC, AMC, or anywhere else.  We've pretty much known this was coming for the last few months, so in a way it's a relief to have it confirmed.  As Wolf said, "All series start with a death sentence, they just don't give you the date of execution."  And that, as they say, is that.

With the original now officially at room temperature, this effectively means that the fall-premiering Law & Order: Los Angeles takes its place both on the NBC schedule and in terms of content.  With veteran L&O producer Rene Balcer heading things up on the upcoming spin-off, we can at least expect some tonal and stylistic consistency even as they pull up stakes and hop coasts.  Said Balcer, "You could argue that New York has been mined of ideas," which I'm sure feels like a huge vote of confidence for the two NY-set Law & Order shows still on the air.

Speaking of Los Angeles, another interesting piece of casting news out of the TCA is that Oscar-nominated Terrence Howard, late of the Iron Man movie franchise, has signed on as one of the lead ADAs.  Considering his pedigree, Howard is a pretty big "get" for a series, and the overall casting thus far is a positive indicator of where things are headed with the new show.  While Howard's character is unnamed as of now, the intention is for he and the recently-announced Alfred Molina to switch off from week-to-week, similar to the way Law & Order: Criminal Intent used to have star Vincent D'Onofrio alternate with first Chris Noth, then Jeff Goldblum (before Goldblum took over full time).

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