UPDATE: Order in the court! "Law & Order" could very well still secure a pickup after all. According to insiders, NBC and the Dick Wolf camp continue the renewal dance; insiders confirm that a deal had been in place to bring it back, and that there might even be a penalty owed Wolf if the show isn't back next year. More to come.
ORIGINAL: Various reports have suggested that "Law and Order: Original Recipe" has been canceled. That follows other reports that the show was a shoo-in for renewal. WHAT.
According to insiders close to the talks, nothing is official yet. (Despite loads of folks writing that it's "official.") But it's looking likely — and plenty of insiders confirm that they've been briefed on a cancellation.
Here's what we hear: Dick Wolf has not been officially told yet by NBC that "Law & Order" is dead. But folks inside the Wolf camp believe that the show isn't coming back to NBC — and some calls have been made to cast and crew, relaying that news.
But that also doesn't necessarily mean the end of "Law and Order." Once the cord is officially cut on NBC, the show may still be shopped around — and as you recall, TNT made a big play for "L&O" in 2007. That year, Peacock decided to renew "L&O" at the 11th hour and instead shipped "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" to USA.
It's unclear whether TNT would be interested in first-run "L&O" this time out, and sources around those parts say no talks have commenced. Cabler would also have to be interested in renewing its syndication vows on the show, something that also isn't a given.
UPDATE: Well, if they *were* interested, they're sure going out of their way to dismiss such a possibility. It's rare a network will sent out a statement dismissing idle chatter, but here it is:
Law & Order has been a valuable programming asset for TNT. Currently, we have multiple seasons under license, up to and including season 20. With this series, TNT is the buyer and NBC is the seller. TNT is not in ongoing discussions about picking up the series for first-run episodes.
Also, both Deadline Hollywood Daily (which broke the story) and Vulture have reported that a deal was on the table to bring back the show for an abbreviated season (something that we had all heard and written was likely) — but that something happened in the last few days to derail those plans. DHD blames NBC, and reports that Wolf is steamed. Vulture notes that Wolf may have overplayed his hand.
Meanwhile, apparently "Law & Order" producers (Fred Berner and Ed Zuckerman) haven't gotten the message from Wolf or the powers that be to shut the eff up, and have been freely telling the New York Times that the show is kaput.
But never say die. Securing a 21st season of "Law & Order" (and beating "Gunsmoke's" record) has been an important goal for Dick Wolf, and he's not likely to let that dream die so easily.
Meanwhile, no word yet on an official pickup for Wolf's "Law & Order: Los Angeles" — although the events of today are likely making things a bit awkward between NBC and Wolf (a relationship that has been quite strained in recent years).