NBC is going back to the very beginning to complete its Thursday night Law & Order trifecta.
The network announced late Tuesday that it is bringing back the original Law & Order (aka “the mothership”), and the flagship series will pick up right where it left off more than a decade ago — with a 21st season. It remains unclear which cast members will be returning for the revival, although sources confirm that preliminary talks are underway with a handful of franchise vets.
When Law & Order was abruptly cancelled by NBC in May 2010 at the conclusion of its 20th season, the ensemble 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,” said franchise overlord Dick Wolf in a statement. “This is mine.”
The move comes nearly three months after NBC scrapped its originally conceived third iteration, Law & Order: For the Defense. The ill-fated spinoff received a straight-to-series order last May and was set to premiere this fall alongside Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime.
Law & Order underwent a myriad of cast changes during its 20-season run. Among the longest-running cast members were the late Steven Hill as DA Adam Schiff (seasons 1–10), the late Jerry Orbach as Det. Lennie Briscoe (seasons 3–14), the aforementioned Merkerson as Lt. Anita Van Buren (seasons 4–20), the aforementioned Waterston as DA Jack McCoy (seasons 5–20) and Jesse L. Martin as Det. Ed Green (seasons 10–18).
Back in 2015, NBC flirted with ordering a 10-episode limited series revival of Law & Order, but the project ultimately fell apart.
“Law & Order is quite simply one of the most iconic shows in television history, and the idea of continuing its legacy and partnering with Dick on an all-new season is nothing short of exhilarating,” said Susan Rovner, Chairman of Entertainment Content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a statement. “This is great news for NBC as well as TV fans everywhere.”
Added Pearlena Igbokwe, Chairman of Universal Studio Group: “The return of the flagship Law & Order series for a pivotal 21st season is a proud moment for Dick and a proud moment for us.”
Rick Eid, a veteran of Wolf’s Law & Order and #OneChicago franchises, will serve as showrunner and EP. Additional EPs are Wolf, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski.