Friday, May 13, 2011

LAW ORDER: LA Canceled

We talked about this on Monday, and if you've been following the show's ratings trajectory for the last several weeks, it's not like this comes as a great surprise, but NBC made it official today that Law & Order: LA will THUNK to a close at the end of its current (only) season. It was hoped that the West Coast iteration of the Dick Wolf skein would take the place of the Mothership (itself canceled exactly one year ago) in the hearts & minds of viewers, and even went to series without a pilot based on its lineage, but it never quite managed to gel with audiences.

With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, that absence of a pilot may have turned out to be a pretty costly misfire for the new show, forcing an on-screen learning curve that didn't see the cast and style fully cohere until the much-hyped midseason reboot last month that saw half the ensemble booted, and the rest reshuffled. As it turned out, the extensive overhaul, though it paid creative dividends, simply wasn't enough to entice back the viewers who'd slowly drifted away after the premiere. Here's what I said in my review of the first episode last fall:
While the cast and setting are both first-rate, it looks like there's going to be a bit of a learning curve as the showrunners learn to employ both to their fullest potential. I'm confident that as the remainder of the season plays out, Law & Order: Los Angeles will prove a worthy addition to the canon.
Sadly, things didn't quite play out that way, and the show was left nineteen years shy of matching its illustrious predecessor's distance record. Like I said earlier in the week, I've already dissected the reasons NBC thoroughly screwed the pooch on this one, but needless to say this news bums me out. With LA joining the Mothership in TV heaven, and Criminal Intent scheduled to join them soon, that means that come fall (assuming all goes smoothly with its cast renegotiations) Special Victims Unit will be the sole standard bearer for Law & Order. Where the legendary, once-immortal brand goes from here is anyone's guess.


bpoch said...

We lost our satelite signal for the last ten minutes of Criminal Intent last night. Will there be a rerun anytime soon?

Zaki said...

NBC has been running CI on Monday nights, so I'd expect the finale to show up there before too long. USA might have an encore sooner, though. Not sure when it'd air.