“Law and Order” is not coming back on any network, in any form.
So said creator Dick Wolf, who told TCA scribes Friday the procedural mothership that ran for 20 seasons before being canceled by NBC is dead and buried.
“I can confirm that it has moved into the history books,” he said, while later adding: “We exhausted every effort.”
Wolf would not comment on whether he was unwilling to take a lower fee in order to keep the show on NBC, nor if he and A&E or TNT, both of which were rumored to be interested in the show, had been close to finalizing a deal.
But he said there was no pact he left on the table at the Peacock.
“There are so many factors that entered into the network’s decision. Everything in life is a negotiation. In 25 years on air at NBC, we never failed to make a deal when there was a deal to be made.”
As to how he found out the show wasn’t returning to the fall lineup for a 21st season, Wolf said, “I got a call like any other cancellation call. … Everything in TV is a death sentence. They just don’t tell you when the execution is.”
Looking forward, Wolf is prepping the inaugural season of “Law and Order: Los Angeles” and the show has cast a pair of thesps known more for their bigscreen work than television. Along with the previously announced Alfred Molina, Terrence Howard was officially signed Friday.
The pair will play district attorneys but will appear on alternating episodes because of their work schedules. Skeet Ulrich and Corey Stoll will play the LAPD detectives.
As for how the show will look, Wolf and exec producer Rene Balcer said they are still determining if the opening credits will be similar to the other “Law and Order” skeins.
The iconic chung-chung sounds between scenes will definitely come West.
Also, as is part of the L.A. culture, celebrity crimes will occasionally be featured in the show’s storyline.