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Report: ‘Law & Order’ on Verge of Cancellation; Dick Wolf’s Creation May Not Make TV History as Longest-Running Prime-Time Drama

May 14, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Producers and actors working on "Law & Order" were informed on Thursday that the program had been canceled by NBC, although there were indications that the show still might avoid that fate as talks between producer Dick Wolf and the network continued, the New York Times reports.

Cancellation on NBC would mean that "Law & Order" would miss out on surpassing CBS’ old "Gunsmoke" Western, which ran from 1955 to 1975, as the longest-running drama in prime time.

But Nikki Finke and Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com, which first reported the show had been canceled, write that Wolf is looking to make an agreement to bring the show to TNT, the network where John Wells and Warner Bros. shifted "Southland" after NBC canceled that show.

Not so fast, writes Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog: TNT said in a statement that it’s not in discussions about picking up the series.

Could it be an example of brinkmanship between Wolf and NBC, which have been known to engage in such behavior? After all, NBC will announce its 2010-11 season line-up on Monday, during which it’s expected to announce the pick up of "Law & Order: Los Angeles." But the original franchise has been shedding viewers, averaging of about 8 million viewers this season compared with about twice that a decade ago.

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