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'Law & Order' CANCELED By NBC

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UPDATE #2: NBC has announced the cancellation of the flagship "Law & Order" series after 20 seasons.

The show's last episode will air May 24.

"The full measure of the collective contributions made by Dick Wolf and his 'Law & Order' franchise over the last two decades to the success of NBC and Universal Media Studios cannot be overstated," NBC Universal Television Entertainment chief Jeff Gaspin said. "The legacy of his original 'Law & Order' series will continue to make an impact like no other series before."

The network also announced that it was picking up another spinoff: "Law & Order Los Angeles" ("LOLA").

"'Law & Order' has been one of the most successful franchises in the history of television, which is why it is so critical that we continue this important brand and our relationship with Dick Wolf and his team with 'LOLA' and 'Law & Order: SVU,'" NBC Entertainment chief Angela Bromstad added.

UPDATE: NBC still won't comment on the status of "Law & Order," but despite the show's stars and crew being told Thursday that the program was canceled, sources tell both the AP and the New York Times that the situation is not finalized.

The AP reports (full AP report at bottom):

NBC refused to confirm multiple reports that the show was being canceled after 20 seasons on the air, one year short of an all-time record.



Meanwhile, a person close to the production said talks are still going on. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations.

The New York Times reports:

People who work on the pioneering crime drama were told Thursday afternoon that the show had been canceled after 20 seasons. But there were indications late Thursday that talks were continuing and that the show might still avoid a cancellation, although NBC declined to comment.



On Thursday morning, NBC appeared close to canceling the program. But talks between the network and Mr. Wolf were still under way according to three people with knowledge of the talks who requested anonymity because they were not authorized by their employers to comment on the record.

Original Post: One of television's longest-running series may soon be coming to an end.

Multiple reports indicate that NBC has decided to cancel "Law & Order" after 20 seasons.

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reports that the flagship of the Dick Wolf empire will not be returning for a 21st season. Andreeva says that NBC's decision is based on a strong development slate for next season and softening ratings for the program.

E! News confirms the news, reporting that cast and crew were informed Thursday that the show would not be returning.

The Wrap also confirms the news, reporting that a source close to production said the show has been canceled.

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello says that NBC will not comment on the Deadline report. Ausiello quotes a source who says the program has not been canceled — yet.

"It's a fluid situation," the source told Ausiello. "It's not a done deal. It's possible this is just a negotiations tactic."

New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter reports (via Twitter) that Dick Wolf's office has told the show's former producer that the show was canceled:

I'm on the phone w/Ed Zuckerman, a former co-EP of "Law & Order," who's been told by Dick Wolf's office that the show has been canceled.

Stelter followed up shortly thereafter by tweeting that the talks are still ongoing, despite people having been told the show's cancellation is a done deal:

Yes, people have been told the original "Law & Order" is dead. But NBC's "still having conversations," two sources close to the talks say.

"Gunsmoke" is currently TV's longest-running drama series, clocking in at 20 seasons. If these reports are true, "Law & Order" would now tie, but not break, that record.

"Law & Order" spinoffs will remain on the schedule; a Los Angeles version is set to premiere next season.

Last year, NBC Entertainment chief Angela Bromstad vowed to bring "Law & Order" back for a record-breaking 21st season:

As for "Law & Order," Bromstad told the magazine the Dick Wolf series will be back for another round of episodes. That means the show will break "Gunsmoke's" record to become the longest-running drama in primetime.



"I'm a 'Law & Order' junkie," Bromstad told BusinessWeek. "I wouldn't want to be responsible for not having 'Law & Order' break the record."

More from the Associated Press' Frazier Moore:

NEW YORK -- Will the criminal justice system be alive on "Law & Order" next fall? It's down to the wire whether the venerable cop drama will be nabbing more bad guys in a history-making run.

With the official announcement of NBC's 2010-11 schedule due Sunday, the network on Thursday still wasn't handing down a verdict on the show.

NBC refused to confirm multiple reports that the show was being canceled after 20 seasons on the air, one year short of an all-time record.

Meanwhile, a person close to the production said talks are still going on. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations.

The show's season (or series) finale airs May 24, with no official closure. It will mark the departure of S. Epatha Merkerson, a cast member since 1993, but her leave-taking is unrelated to the show's future.

The series' other current stars include Jeremy Sisto, Anthony Anderson, Linus Roache, Alana De La Garza and Sam Waterston.

Despite sagging ratings, "Law & Order" had been considered likely for renewal next season, when it would be poised to surpass "Gunsmoke" as TV's longest-running drama. That achievement has been an enduring dream of the series' powerful creator, Dick Wolf, who not only furnished NBC with this so-called "mother ship" but expanded it into two still-running "Law & Order" spinoffs.

Last September, a dozen past and present "Law & Order" stars gathered in the show's courtroom set to celebrate the start of the 20th year.

At the time, Wolf said he looked forward to the show continuing another year and beyond. Then he added, "I hope we'll see you here in 2013."

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On the Net:

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Around the Web

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