Show was the face of NYC's production community

Say it ain’t so: News of the end of “Law & Order” after 20 seasons is sending shockwaves through the show’s hometown. The show, which frequently shot interiors at Chelsea Piers (and exteriors all around town), has long been the mascot of the Gotham’s bustling production community.

“It’s very concerning,” said Silvercup Studios prexy Stuart Match Suna. “That show created so many jobs, had so many roles and so many great stories. It was a perfect example of how a great TV show about New York is great for the industry.”

Suna and others observed that the skein contributed not just jobs but plenty of tax dollars and tourist revenue for a state desperately seeking to diversify an economy that depended too heavily on Wall Street.

Steiner Studios owner Douglas C. Steiner called “Law & Order” creator/exec producer Dick Wolf “an unsung hero,” given the producer’s vocal support of the tax credit program that has drawn movies and TV series back to Gotham over the last few years. Suna concurs, calling Wolf “instrumental in helping coordinate the importance of the tax credits in New York.” Film and TV production is now the only local growth industry.

The thespian community will feel the loss as well. The nickname for the show in legit circles is “The Dick Wolf Foundation for the Performing Arts.” The show and its offshoots, “Law & Order: SVU” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” has not only allowed legit actors to pay the rent (good luck finding a Broadway show with no “L&O” vets on stage) but also enough but as a way to keep talent from immigrating to the West Coast.

As much as Gotham industryites hate to see the mothership grounded, the show leaves a strong legacy in its role as seeding the thriving TV production community.

“With the next round of tax credits coming in soon, I don’t have any worries about there not being enough work,” Steiner said.

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