NBC is considering reviving the long-running procedural Law & Order. The show has been off the air for some time now, but as revivals have become more common, with 24, Twin Peaks and NBC’s own Heroes returning to the schedule for limited runs, the network is reportedly seriously looking at bringing the veteran procedural back, as well.
Unlike Heroes, Law & Order 2.0 is not currently being actively pursued by NBC. So, why is it important to note it could be happening? The NBC team has talked about bringing back the series from time to time, and now Deadline is reporting there has been actual movement on a potential return, with Chris Noth and Sam Waterston and more getting approached about participating in the update. The network is also looking at 10 episodes if Law & Order returns, so it seems as if there has been some level of planning going on.
Law & Order initially aired from 1990-2010. During that time, the Dick Wolf-produced show was a staple at the network, but at the time of its cancellation, NBC was heavy on Law & Order product, with spinoffs Criminal Intent and Special Victims Unit also airing during the week. In 2011, Criminal Intent was given the axe. Although SVU still airs on weeknights, there’s certainly room for more Law & Order in the schedule. New episodes would certainly fit in with the Dick Wolf-heavy primetime schedule NBC has cultivated, which already includes SVU, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. (not to mention the Chicago Medical spinoff that’s currently in the works).
The trick would be getting enough members of the actual team back together. Sam Waterston may have just ended a stint on The Newsroom, but he’s still in fairly high demand, and is already set to appear in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie. Chris Noth also has a regular gig on CBS’ hit law and politics drama The Good Wife, a show which shoots 22 episodes a season (although Noth has found some time for outside projects like Titanic: Blood and Steel and Frankie Go Boom). Jesse L. Martin has moved on to the CW’s The Flash and Steven Hill hasn’t acted in anything since he left Law & Order midway through the show’s run; he’s now 92.
Obviously, Law & Order changed up its lineup enough over the course of 20 years that NBC could probably find some interested parties. If Forever gets canceled, I bet Alana De La Garza would be game, and we haven’t even brought up Jeremy Sisto or Benjamin Bratt--the list goes on. Additionally, Heroes: Reborn has proven a show can be rebooted with some but not most of its original leads. All in all, the revival could be a mix of new and old characters and would probably be fine.
I don’t know if a Law & Order revival would inspire quite the same level of interest that Heroes: Reborn has drawn since it was first announced, but as a fan of the former procedural, I wouldn’t complain about new episodes. Regardless, it seems we are still a long way off from a series pick-up, so stay tuned.