NBC has reached an agreement with Universal TV for two more years of “Law & Order,” extending the Dick Wolf-produced series through the 1996-97 season, sources said.
The show, currently in its fifth year, has delivered strong ratings airing at 10 p.m. Wednesday – often winning its timeslot.
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Part of the show’s success may be because it’s been scheduled for much of the season opposite newsmagazines on CBS and ABC. Also, Sam Waterston was added to the cast this year, replacing Michael Moriarty, who left the series after last season.
“Law” is at a 12.5 rating, 21 share in Nielsen season to date, a 10% improvement from its average for the full 1993-94 season.
Terms of the renewal weren’t available, though two-year agreements are generally a boon to producers since they provide more flexibility in making talent pacts.
Network and studio officials could not be reached for comment.
One attractive aspect of the series is its proven ability to replace cast members without missing a beat. Of its six principal characters, only Christopher Noth and Steven Hill have been with the show since its inception.
Wolf Films has commitments at all four networks under its overall deal at Universal, including Fox’s “New York Undercover” and “The Wright Verdicts,” a CBS drama that will premiere this spring.
Wolf also is developing an ABC series about an investigative reporter and a project for the United Paramount Network.
Several other veteran series have yet to reach renewal deals for next year, among them ABC’s “Full House” and Fox Broadcasting’s “Married … With Children.”
CBS recently announced an agreement on a 12th season of Universal’s “Murder, She Wrote.”