NBC returns to the very beginning to end its Thursday night Law and order trifecta.
The network announced on Tuesday night that it was bringing back the original Law and order (aka “The Mothership”), and the flagship series will pick up where it left off over a decade ago – with a 21st season. It’s still unclear which cast members will return for the reprise, although sources confirm that preliminary talks are underway with a handful of franchise veterans.
When Law and order was abruptly canceled by NBC in May 2010 at the end of its 20th season, the set included Jeremy Sisto, Anthony Anderson, S. Epatha Merkerson, Linus Roache, Alana De La Garza and Sam Waterston.
“There are very few things in life that are literally dreams come true,” franchise overlord Dick Wolf said in a statement. “It’s mine.”
The move comes nearly three months after NBC scrapped its originally designed third iteration, Law & Order: For the Defense. The ill-fated spin-off received a direct serial order last May and was set to premiere this fall alongside Law and Order: SVU and Law and order: organized crime.
Law and order has undergone a myriad of cast changes over its 20 seasons. Longest-serving cast members included the late Steven Hill as DA Adam Schiff (Seasons 1-10), the late Jerry Orbach as Det. Lennie Briscoe (seasons 3-14), aforementioned Merkerson as Lt. Anita Van Buren (seasons 4-20), aforementioned Waterston as DA Jack McCoy (seasons 5-20) and Jesse L. Martin as Det. Ed Green (seasons 10-18).
In 2015, NBC flirted with commissioning a 10-episode limited-series cover of Law and order, but the project ultimately collapsed.
“Law and order is simply one of the most iconic shows in television history, and the idea of continuing its legacy and partnering with Dick for a whole new season is simply exhilarating, ”said Susan Rovner, president of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a report. “This is great news for NBC as well as TV fans around the world.”
Pearlena Igbokwe, President of Universal Studio Group, added: “The return of the flagship product Law and order series for a pivotal 21st season is a moment of pride for Dick and a moment of pride for us. “
Rick Eid, a Wolf’s veteran Law and order and #OneChicago franchises, will serve as showrunner and EP. Additional EPs are Wolf, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski.