What is the true definition of the phrase “adding insult to injury”?
I believe I have the answer and it is called…
“Law and Order : Los Angeles”
You have to wonder , with the original “Law & Order” only one season away from becoming the longest running show in the history of television, why they would cancel the show and not at least make some TV history. But just as puzzling is the thought that in the very same season that would have been record-breaking, NBC decides that the franchise is still viable and that it simply needs a new paint job with a spinoff set in Los Angeles. Of course this is coming from the network that thought Leno at 10pm was a bright idea and that they were going to turn the business model of primetime television upside down and be heralded as visionaries.
I don’t think so.
Now if you want to cancel, perhaps the greatest procedural drama of all time, only one short season away from history, that is the prerogative of the network. But what you don’t do is replace the most New York centric show of all time with an LA version. This is not CSI, where they can set up franchises as easily as opening a McDonald’s. No, this is Law & Order, the show was filmed on location all over the entire city literally. If you are a Law & Order fan and you live in NYC, they probably have shot an episode in your very own building where you live. (They shot an episode in the lobby of two of my childhood apartment buildings. ) And if not that close to home then certainly on your block.
Law & Order lived and breathed New York.
And what about the actors, If you are a working actor in New York City or you even know a working actor in NYC, chances are they have been on Law & Order. Probably more than once!
My sister and I would often speak about different characters who were essentially extras, In one episode they were a murderer , in the next a judge and in the next a beat cop who discovers the body at the start of the episode. Chances are if you live in the city long enough you probably passed a location shoot of Law & Order, with twenty years of filming on the streets of NY it was kind of hard not to. You can’t say that about any other show ever and most likely never will again.
Since NBC announced the cancellation of the show there have been some great articles about the impact the show had on the economy of New York and the basically devastating financial effects the cancellation of the show will have on actors, caterers , coffee shops and so on.
But my real bone to pick is with the idea that Law & Order will work in any place other than New York, to me it’s just a travesty and I question producer Dick Wolf (the mastermind of all the Law & Order franchises) He of all people should know that cancelling the original Law & Order and in the same breath starting a spin-off in LA is as close to TV blasphemy as one can get.
There is the saving grace of syndication and anyone who has not been living under a rock for the past 15 years knows that when Dick Wolf created Law & Order, what he created was the ultimate syndication machine. Law & Order, or one of its sister shows is ALWAYS ON TV. 24 HOURS A DAY , 7 DAYS A WEEK turn on your tube and somewhere on your dial an episode of Law & Order is being shown. So as the NY Times put it, “Law & Order might be gone, but it will not soon be forgotten”
That being said , If NBC was not prepared to re-new the classic show, they simply should have let Lenny Brisco, Lt. Van Buren , Jack McCoy and all the other legendary characters ride off into the sunset of NYC…not LA.
N.B.C……Nothing But Chumps!
This post is dedicated to my mom and my sister, hardcore Law & Order fans forever!!
Enjoy The Music….