Monday, May 09, 2011

LAW & ORDER Mothership Returns?

Well, we're four weeks into the Law & Order: LA revamp, and while the show has been creatively adrenalized, it's also been mired in the ratings toilet. While those numbers have risen slightly for the last two episodes running, it hasn't been enough of a lift to stem the feeling of general audience apathy, and a second season for the beleaguered series seems unlikely at this point. Obviously I think this is a shame, and I've already dissected the many reasons I feel NBC bungled the fortunes of this brand pretty badly.

However, a new rumor now making the rounds would appear to at least signal some awareness by the network of how they kneecapped their once-golden goose. According to TV by the Numbers, while the cancellation of LA -- sadly -- seems to be a fait accompli at this point, the Peacock may be considering allowing themselves a Mulligan by giving the Mothership Law & Order one more at-bat for an abbreviated final batch of eps -- the victory lap it never got thanks to the surprise cancellation last May.

Now, the site couches this story as rumor for reason, and just a cursory glance at the basic facts makes this one seem like a stretch. First, even if it were true, most of the cast they'd had in place for the last few seasons has long since moved on, so the logistics of bringing the band back together would necessitate a primarily new ensemble. The notion of bringing in an entirely new group solely for a single shortened season doesn't make much financial sense, especially if selling the episodes into syndication is the "if nothing else" option, per the article.

With twenty years of reruns to pick from, it's not like there's a dearth of Law & Order to syndicate. Naturally I'd love to see this happen, but it seems unlikely at best. In the meantime, Law & Order: LA is still rolling right along, with a great cast and great writing, and there's still a chance to make a difference in its ratings fortunes. Whether you're a fan of the brand or not, I hope you'll give the show a try in its newly-reconfigured state.

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