Wednesday, July 07, 2010

New Life for LAW & ORDER?

With Criminal Intent winding down its (underwhelming) ninth season last night, Special Victims Unit in the midst of its summer hiatus, and nothing yet to report on who's filling the primary roles on Los Angeles, it was looking like we'd hit a bit of a lull in Law & Order land.  Then late yesterday came word from New York Magazine that the mothership series, for which prospects of renewal were looking increasingly grim, may yet find a new lease on life via cabler AMC.

If this were to happen it would be a homecoming of sorts, both for the show and for the network.  While AMC's reputation currently rests on signature shows such as the exemplary Mad Men and Breaking Bad, fans with memories stretching back to the mid-'90s may remember that it was the station's round-the-clock Law & Order rotation early in its run that helped give the series the lifespan it eventually enjoyed, and also helped imbue the station with the credibility it has today.

Clearly producer Dick Wolf is seeking to exhaust every option open to him to keep the show alive before conceding defeat, which also explains perhaps why the Law & Order sets in New York City are still standing long past the point where other cancelled shows' stages would have been struck.  There's nothing to indicate yet where the AMC deal stands, or whether it will happen at all, but the NYMag article points out the many reasons it would be a financially viable decision for the net, so I certainly hope their higher-ups are paying attention.

In the meantime, while this latest news leaves Law & Order diehards hanging until its confirmation or disconfirmation, that doesn't mean they're entirely out of options. Mike Hale of The New York Times has a piece up (somewhat belatedly) looking at the terrific Law & Order: UK, which I've previously spoken of in glowing terms, and Hale agrees with me that the Brit production stacks up just fine in head-to-head comparison with its dearly (nearly?) departed stateside sib.  

With one of the strongest casts in franchise history (including comedian Bradley Walsh and Battlestar Galactica's Jamie Bamber as the "Law") and stories cherry-picked from the US series' strongest early entries, Law & Order: UK has found considerable success across the pond but remains mostly unknown over here.  While Wolf is hopeful the show will see American broadcast someday, for now the only way for us to catch it is via a Target-exclusive DVD set (and it's well worth the effort of tracking down).  

No comments: