Actors: A World Without 'Law & Order'?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Panic on the streets of Manhattan: NBC announced this morning that television and New York institution Law & Order has been canceled, confirming reports from Thursday night. What does this mean for actors across the five boroughs, who have depended on "the mothership" for steady work?

Actors, in the comments area below, tell us how the end of Law & Order will affect you.

During its 20-year run, the show occupied a noted role in pop culture — and in New York, where it contributed a whopping $79 million a year to the city's economy, according to the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, and employed upwards of 4,000 people.

Nonetheless, the legendary bumbum sound will live on. The New York Times reports that Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will continue production for another season, and a new spin-off, Law & Order: Los Angeles, was recently picked up by NBC.

“Whether people have been movie stars or TV stars or soap stars or big-time stars back in the ’50s and ’60s, at some point they come into the Law & Order universe,” actor Jabari Gray told The Wall Street Journal. Gray has appeared in both the original Law & Order series, as well as on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

New York Magazine has more details on how and why the deal between creator Dick Wolf and the network fell through. And as everyone in the world has noted, Law & Order will not get the chance to surpass Gunsmoke as the longest running television show of all time.

The last episode of Law & Order will air on May 24.

In the meantime, here's a retrospective comprised of interviews with the cast.


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Comments [3]

Harry from Fort Greene, Brooklyn

As a frequent theatre-goer, I love the way L&O showed me actors I greatly admire in utterly unexpected roles. Award-winning artists known for sensitivity and/or comic flair -- Kathleen Chalfant, Viola Davis, Jan Maxwell, Carol Burnett, to name a few -- appeared as master killers. And it was always fun to spot actors I had seen recently on stage in a variety of roles.

I'm also a professional tour guide, and like many of my colleagues, I watch the show to answer the question, "Where did they shoot that scene?" They cover all five boroughs and, on occasion the suburbs, and often take liberties. Brooklyn Borough Hall, for instance, has often stood in for the Manhattan Court House, neighborhoods in Queens occasionally stand in for Staten Island. It's so hard to find someplace to hide a body!

While the "mother ship" (as the original series is known) has been cut loose, "Special Victims Unit" will continue with new episodes on NBC and "Criminal Intent" will continue with new episodes on USA, so there will still be work for actors and fodder for fans. There's also a new show called "Law & Order: Los Angeles," which strikes me as about as incongruous as "Miami Vice: Anchorage."

May. 17 2010 02:43 AM
norman from new york

i've always found law & order a rather silly show. i won't miss coming across its ornery, earnest p.a,'s imploring me to turn around or to cross the street because another shot is scheduled to go down sometime in the next half hour.

as for the actor as cop phenomenon, i bored of it years ago. law and order is propaganda of the first rank, a program that presents a fantasy land of professionalism to a world full of clock watchers, slackers, and scammers. where are the cops who put in for overtime while at the local bar? the lawyers who speak for thirty seconds to their clients and charge $500 for the "consultation" session?

i think law and order contributes more to the "dumbing down" of america than the pathetic fare presented on the hitler channel... er, uhm, History Channel. people who imagine that law and order has anything to do with reality haven't got a clue. from wall street to burger king, from the fed to the newsroom at the times, this is a nation of second rate, half-assed, do-as-little-as-possible, get-overs. any effort beyond the lowest common denominator is frowned upon. law and order and the deluge of cop shows that have policed and polluted the airwaves and minds of america (and the world) are fodder for ninnies who think the lord of the rings is the apex of historical fiction (book & movie). i cheer the demise of the show, and only wish the rest of the tv cops would follow.

real cops deal with domestic violence, traffic incidents, drive around and around, fill out reports for burglaries that took place long before they arrive, and that's about it. they're likely to fire their weapon less than a dozen times over a thirty year career. hostage situations generally involve family members and are exceedingly rare. bank robberies net less than $2000 for the perpetrator and are covered by insurance. i could go on, but i suppose it's futile when confronted with an ill-educated public, and a billion dollar media machine ("news" & entertainment) loathe to do any real homework.

law & order is dead! long live law & order!

May. 16 2010 02:45 PM
Cheryl D. Uzamere from Brooklyn, New York

Law and Order leaving? That's a crime!

With Law and Order gone, I'll be forced to watch a plethora of programs made to "dumb down" America: Dancing with the Stars; Wife Swapping, America's Top Model. Oh my God!

I remember a reference that one of Law and Order's stars made to Skinner v. Oklahoma. That a very important Supreme Court case. Law and Order did not focus on the crime so much as it did the legal preparation of its cases.

Law and Order was more than a TV show. It educated Americans about the legal system.

I believe that Law and Order comes on Channel 9. I hope it made DVD/Bluray discs of its episodes.

Loss of Law and American will continue the slow but steady dumbing-down of America.

We should all be in fear.

May. 16 2010 07:24 AM

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