NBC Might Revive Law & Order! Here Are 7 Reasons Why It Should

It's a very good week to be a Law & Order fan. One day after Law & Order: SVU was renewed for Season 17, Deadline broke the news Friday that NBC might revive the flagship series for a limited 10-episode run, much the way the network is reviving Heroes with the upcoming miniseries Heroes: Reborn. The long-running crime procedural last aired in 2010, when it was abruptly canceled just one season short of breaking the record for longest-running scripted TV series. But why bother bringing back a show that already has 456 hours of television in the can? I'm so glad you asked!


1. It would make a nice anniversary gift

This September will mark the 25th anniversary of Law & Order's series premiere, and what better way to commemorate that occasion than by bringing the show back? Last September, when Friends turned 20, Warner Bros. actually opened a pop-up coffee shop in its honor; requesting that NBC resurrect Law & Order seems like a small request in comparison. It'd be just like what Showtime is doing with Twin Peaks!


2. The brand is still going strong

In addition to SVU's renewal for Season 17, Law & Order: UK is still kickin' overseas after eight seasons—wigs and all. And the series that started it all still plays heavily in reruns on TNT, WEtv, Sundance, and WGN, among others. Obviously, there is still a demand and still a loyal fanbase out there.


3. We need a Law & Order for a new generation

For all the loyal viewers out there who watch the reruns even though they totally know how the case is going to play out, there's a whole new generation of fans who might have been too young to appreciate Lenny Briscoe's dry one-liners and Jack McCoy's ruthless fight for justice.


4. A revival could branch out from the procedural format

Fans of SVU know that in recent years, the spin-off has deviated from the typical procedural formula and delved into the personal lives of Benson, Rollins, Amaro & Co. (particularly with Rollins' gambling addiction and Amaro's family problems), and to great success. Even without these backstories, SVU proved with Season 15's powerful #SaveBenson trilogy that the rules of procedurals can be rewritten. Back in the Law & Order days, even the deaths of main characters were only discussed for an episode at best before the show swiftly shifted focus back to the case of the week; Imagine if Curtis and his wife's painful ordeal with her MS diagnosis or McCoy's affairs with several of his A.D.A.s had been told in the current TV environment?


5. The crossover possibilities are endless

With only 10 episodes in a possible revival, Law & Order might not want to waste time trying to find a way to include characters from other parts of the Wolf Films universe. But after Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Law & Order: SVU pulled off that suspenseful and well-orchestrated three-way crossover in November—and with another one on the way for the end of the season —you can't blame us for at least briefly considering the possibilities of a four-way.


6. The actors are still in high demand

Aside from the 2004 death of Law & Order's arguable on-screen leader, Jerry Orbach, all of the show's brightest stars are still as popular as ever. Chris Noth has earned a Golden Globe nomination for his work on The Good Wife, which also conveniently shoots in New York. Benjamin Bratt just wrapped a stint on another recently revived series, 24. Jesse L. Martin is helping The Flash save the world on The CW. S. Epatha Merkerson has found steady work on TV (The Good Wife) and in movies (Lincoln). Angie Harmon and Elisabeth Rohm are still putting bad guys away on Rizzoli & Isles and Stalker, respectively. Sam Waterson is coming off of a three-year run on The Newsroom and will next appear on the Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie. And that's just a small portion of the extensive Law & Order ensemble.


7. Justice for Jack!

We saved the best and most persuasive reason for last, just as Jack McCoy did so many times during his closing remarks in court. In 2010, when Law & Order was unexpectedly axed, Merkerson had already decided to leave the show, and so the unintended series finale also served as a poignant farewell to Lt. Van Buren when she left the precinct to focus on her battle with breast cancer. In contrast, Jack McCoy, whom viewers had followed through good times and bad, both personally and professionally, as the district attorney and later the executive district attorney, got diddly squat. This unsettling lack of closure was further magnified in December when Waterson's character on The Newsroom, who he played for only three seasons, received a tragic but significant goodbye when his character died in the penultimate episode and the finale centered on his funeral and his relationship with protagonist Will McAvoy. If we can get closure for Charlie Skinner, then we at least deserve to know what happened to Jack McCoy.


Do you want a Law & Order comeback? Let's hear your ideas in the comments.


This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Feb 21, 2017
WHY AM I SEEING THIS ARTICLE NOW? ITS 2017, AND THIS ARTICLE IS FROM 2015. STUPID!!!!
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Feb 09, 2015
I only watched L&O off and on over the years, but I don't know if they would bring back many of the previous characters, since so many have moved on to other things. A new set of characters might be in order. I can see that working with such a great format.
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Feb 09, 2015
Yes yes yes! I agree with all of the seven reason and I have about seven more of mine. If they do I belive that the ratings will cry for more than ten episodes.
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Feb 09, 2015
YES PLEASE BRING IT BACK AND CRIMINAL INTENT ALSO
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Feb 09, 2015
Love anything Law and Order.....one of my fav marathon shows to watch.
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Feb 09, 2015
Sure, I'm up for it. As long as they are faithful to the original. That means writers and those behind the camera will have to be there as well.

By the way. if L&O UK is still going strong in ol' blighty, we is it not on TV in North America? It wasn't as good as the original but it was good viewing nonetheless. Should we mount a campaign?
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Feb 08, 2015
reading this article made me miss all the characters so much... Need some more Jack! I don't know why anyone would be against this. Even if its just 10 episodes, better to have more L&O than none in my opinion.
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Feb 08, 2015
Eehhhh... Don't get me wrong, I'm like the BIGGEST Law and Order fan alive, but the way I see it a limited run won't work because the actors which (in my opinion) saved the show for an extra 3 seasons are off doing better things. I LOVED the Lupo/Bernard era (mid-season 18 to season 20.) but Anthony Anderson is in "Black-ish," Jeremy Sisto is going to be in "The Returned," Alana de la Garza is on "Forever," and Linus Roach is on "Vikings." Those four brought back the vitality that was sorely missing during the Post-Lenny years, and I don't see how these four would have the time to do another season in addition to the TV shows they're already on. You would need a whole new team if detectives and lawyers, and 10 episodes really isn't enough to get into a cop show. They could make it serialized, but it wouldn't feel like a Law and Order show. The original Law and Order is about the CASES, not the CHARACTERS, but we are still able to remember the characters even though we don't delve into them because the actors made them fun.

Contrast Law and Order to its successful spinoffs, SVU and Criminal Intent. SVU started with looking into the characters lives and beautifully married the "significant character development" with "case of the week." Criminal Intent did exceptionally well during the first four years when the show was about Detective Goran solving the CASES, but in season 6 the show shifted toward the "Give more screentime to the character's personal life" angle that SVU had, and the show tanked. Season 6 and 7 were the darkest points in CI's run, so much that they added Jeff Goldblum in season 8 and had him completely replace a burnt-out Goran in season 9, also going back to the stand-alone, case of the week format seasons 1 through 4 had. (Goran came back in the last season for an 8 episode run, and those 8 episodes were much like the show used to be, with only 5 to 7 minutes reserved for personal chat that Goran had with his department therapist.)

Then there's the Law and Order movie- Exiled, featuring Detective Logan trying to get back to his old precinct by solving a particularly nasty murder. It was good and juggled case-of-the-week with character insight, but other than being a piece about Detective Logan, it didn't FEEL like a Law and Order movie. It was too dark. L&O had a grittiness to it, but not quite like Exiled,

Bottom line, if you want to make a Law and Order season, you need the four "next generation" actors back (Putting only McCoy in wouldn't do the show justice), go to the stand alone procedural format and focus on the case, not the characters, and give us back the grittiness that the current SVU no longer has (The police station seems a lot cleaner these days since Stabler left, doesn't it? ) but not make it overly dark like Exiled. My opinion is that the writers should watch seasons 1 through 3 (the Pre-Lenny Brisco Era) and seasons 18B through 20 (the Lupo and Bernard Era) Why not the Lenny Era? Because Lenny CARRIED the show for over a decade and he's the reason why the show was popular for so long. But it existed before Lenny, and was able to survive after Lenny (barely during the Fontana and Cassady Era, but once Lupo showed up the show thrived). Once they figure out the style of the show, and they can match it, then we can start taking season 21.
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Feb 08, 2015
love the idea, I really miss the show
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Feb 08, 2015
This is one of the problems with NBC. NBC has stayed in the Dick Wolf business for far too long. Sure it was great when there were three successful L&O's across the entire week. It wore out it's welcome by 2010; it was time to shrink it down to just SVU. And yet NBC has expanded back out for a Chicago side of the universe. Time for new ideas! The network is still in the 90s; twenty years ago!


We don't need a limited series to wrap up the original L&O; L&O still exists. All you have to do is have those characters appear on SVU. But the original basically started to die when Briscoe died (so you can never really bring that truly back; but you basically still have the same concept on SVU still going strong so there's no need to try). It never regained the momentum it once had; I can't believe it made it as long as it did and I couldn't believe they replaced it with another spinoff.
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Feb 07, 2015
Bah! Cancelling L&O on the cusp of making TV history simply to create the failure that was L&O:Los Angeles was the final straw. Sisto and Anderson had found their footing and were working out, but the network wanted a shiny new toy instead and developed a spin-off by committee.

Law & Order had its own vibe, its own visual and storytelling style language, that's what made it Law & Order, not the legal and police procedural mix. Following in SVU mk 2's awful soapy crap would not be Law & Order, it would be ER or something. Law & Order's most powerful storylines for its characters were when Claire was put into a coma, when Lt. Van Buren faced cancer, when Mike Logan got transferred... all of which happend with a few moments of dialogue, not ridiculous scene after scene of melodrama. L&O was an anthology that focused on the cases and the people within them, not the lives of the cops and DAs - there are plenty of procedurals which do that and do it better.

Jack McCoy had some time on SVU after L&O was canceled, and he ended up losing his seat as District Attorney in the 13th season.
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Feb 07, 2015
yes please. Its sounds good however, I have learned with shows I loved once upon a time, doesn't mean I will love them remade or continued years later. Or perhaps I love them but not enough others do and then it doesn't make it long in it's redone or continued form.

but to me, at this current time, more L&O sounds great!!
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Feb 07, 2015
I like this idea, but one of the reasons the show was so great was not only because it was shot in NY but that it did the procedural format so well. Why do people consider procedural to be a bad word? Law and Order was the best example of the genre. I still love watching the reruns.
And the team of 5 playing the DA, ADAs, and detectives they had the last couple of years was one of the best of the series. Loved Linus Roache and Jeremy Sisto as additions to the show.
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Feb 07, 2015
Only works if its set in NY with a semblance of the cast that was there at the end. Otherwise, it's L&O:LA all over again and that crashed mightily...
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Feb 07, 2015
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes - a thousand times yes!!!. I so miss my L&O Classic!!!
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Feb 07, 2015
I've seen all episodes from all L&O series and a return would certainly be welcomed, as long as they keep the personal backstories to a minimum. And it would be great to see a show where the law was respected for once, not like those thugs in shows like Chicago PD who beat and threaten suspects. Also, stop the anti sex workers agenda by having one murdered every other week.
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Feb 07, 2015
L&O and all its derivations went down the road of judgementally 'straight'; to bending and onto breaking the law/rules to fit the end, with uber judgementalist rants to justify doing anything the team 'could live with'.
I grew to hate most of the team members for being so contradictory and the writers for making them take more and more short cuts instead of being any where near innovative in story telling or realistic.
All these types of show suffer from 99% always getting their bust and not failing to make cases, as is often the case in real life. If crime shows dared to have more failures they'd be far more interesting and add a sense of intrigue. The last, and possibly best, episode I recall as being great was with Robin Williams as the perp' who actually got away.
You need to be drunk and/or I.Q.'d at 12/13 years old for these 'gripping' dramas to hold.
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Feb 07, 2015
Could not disagree more with 4. A revival could branch out from the procedural format. Procedurals trying to be something they're not very rarely goes well, and I stopped watching SVU when it became all about the troubled lives of the detectives.
Procedurals are my guilty pleasure - the shows where it doesn't matter if I miss an episode, or if I watch a rerun episode from two seasons ago, if I want drama I'll watch a show like Broadchurch or The Good Wife - they do it so much better.
If Law and Order comes back it should stick to what it's good at.
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Feb 07, 2015
Agreed about the last point : I was pained to hear Cutter say on SVU that McCoy wasn't DA any more. We do need some closure for him.
They can't bring back Briscoe, sadly, but they definitely should bring back at least McCoy, Van Buren and Cutter ... and since it's an anniversary, a Logan cameo wouldn't hurt.
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Feb 07, 2015
Jack almost certainly would have gone into private practice or retired after that loss, I don't know that we need closure on him.
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Feb 07, 2015
yeah, switch from the procedural format that worked for 20 years and turn it into another night time soap.

And why not bring it back, NBC has no other decent ideas
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Feb 07, 2015
The incompetence of the SVU thugs has gotten tiresome, bring back the cops and prosecutors in the Law & Order universe that are actually good at their jobs.
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Feb 07, 2015
Seasons 10-14 were, imho, the best seasons but I watched til the very end and I will watch if it gets revived. Did anyone take that BuzzFeed quiz? Apparently I'm Lupin.
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Feb 07, 2015
Ugh *Lupo, damn autocorrect.
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Feb 07, 2015
Not to nitpick, but Law & Order: UK isn't exactly "going strong overseas", it's on an indefinite hiatus
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Feb 08, 2015
Fair enough! Didn't fully realize that.
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Feb 07, 2015
Definitely needs a four-way crossover.
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Feb 07, 2015
NBC didn't quite feel the same without it.

That and ER.
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Feb 08, 2015
There you go! How about an ER limited series?
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Feb 08, 2015
I'd say an ER comeback is in the cards. Whether or not the series is limited, or whether or not anything has changed, it would still be cool if an old NBC favorite came back.
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Feb 07, 2015
Of all the cast that is still with us (rip Jerry Orbach and Dennis Farina), I would love to see Chris Noth, Benjamin Bratt, Jeremy Sisto, Linus Roach, Sam Waterson, Alana de la Garza, S.Epatha Merkerson, Angie Harmon and Dan Florek.

I know many of the portrayed characters were on in different seasons and therefor some characters had the same role on the show. But who knows what TPTB will do, maybe they can find a clever way to have them all back.

Hopefully this report is true. Law and Order shouldn't have been canceled in the first place.
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Feb 07, 2015
No. The last two or reasons, with René Balcer back as a producer, let the show go out on a relatively high note. I don't want to be flipping through my cable listings and see nothing but revivals of shows I saw years if not decades ago. One of the things I liked most about Law & Order was that it usually didn't bother with the characters' personal lives; the real fans don't need closure.
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Feb 07, 2015
I agree that it's plot-driven first and foremost ( I hated when LO : CI became an endless tour of Goren's family ), but Jack is a major character and deserves some kind of send-off.
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Feb 09, 2015
I never understood what was wrong with Goren and why, even when he wasn't on the job, the episode revolved around him. It was my least favorite L&O show.
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Feb 09, 2015
I loved Goren's character and D'Onofrio's performance, especially in the first seasons, but I can see why longtime fans of the original show would dislike CI, and anyway, the writers seriously jumped the shark when Goren spent more time dealing with his mother and his brother than solving cases ... When Goren's mentor had his brother killed because he felt he was "dead weight" for him, I'm afraid I agreed with him ...
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Feb 07, 2015
Loved this show all the way to the end. Would be great to see it come back. What about Simon Baker (The Mentalist) as the DA.... He played an attorney in "The Guardian", I think he would be great.
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Feb 07, 2015
no thank you
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Feb 09, 2015
Simon Baker? Definitely NOT!
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Feb 07, 2015
Can never have too much Law and Order.. but not sure if a reboot is really necessary.. New actors? they could do that right now...
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