Franchise 'mothership' likely to air at midseason

NBC is believed to have finally come to terms on a landmark 20th season for Dick Wolf staple “Law & Order.”

As had been rumored for months, Peacock will pick up the mothership – as Wolf affectionately calls the original “L&O” — for 16 episodes, and likely air it in midseason, much as it did this season.

NBC declined to comment.

“Law & Order” is one of several series that have come down to the wire as 11th hour re-negotiations stalled a pickup announcement. Nets are looking to hold the line on license fees, while studios and producers are trying to figure out how to produce a show wil a slashed budget.

A 20th season of “L&O” was never really in doubt. Although the show doesn’t perform like it once did, it’s still a signature player for NBC – and Wolf was keen to see the show mark its 20th anniversary.

Still unclear is the fate of “Law & Order: SVU” stars Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni. But NBC has said that show will air regardless of whether they strike a new deal with the stars.

Also up in the air: The future of “My Name Is Earl” and “Medium.”

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