2008_01_laworder08cast The bottom just dropped out of my TV world. That’s right. NBC announced last week that it was cancelling Law & Order. This show has been on TV for most of my life, I’ve probably seen almost every episode, and I don’t know what I’m going to watch now.

Though the show had been on for years by this point, I first discovered it when I was in college, and we used to have Law & Order parties. Jerry Orbach was on the show then, and still is my favorite of all its detectives. Though the focus of this show has always been the cases, the moral issues raised by some of the cases featured on the show led to great discussions. And then there were the characters. It’s changed recently, but the various characters on the show were professionals first, with private lives only hinted at. This dynamic worked very well, and we speculated endlessly over whether Jack McCoy and Claire Kincaid in particular were an item(most of us thought they were – some thought she was even The One).

In law school, I discovered all the old reruns from the first season of the show – the pre-Sam Waterston years. And these were great! The tone is grim, and not so many of the cases were “ripped from the headlines”. The law behind them was solid, though, and my criminal law professor even smiled upon our use of reruns as combined study break/study aid.

The show did lose a little steam, and I’ll admit I got tired of the over-the-top, “ripped from the headlines” formula for a bit. But, just when I thought it was on its way out, Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson came in as police and we got new ADAs, too. Sisto and Anderson as a pair just worked and I’ve been looking forward to more years of watching them investigate. The shakeup in the DA’s office came off well also, and breathed new life into the courtroom scenes.

Then the ax fell. I’ve seen reports that the show might not be dead yet. I certainly hope this is true! I’d watch Law & Order whether it’s on NBC or sent to another network.

Besides, there’s still one big thing that Law & Order has left to do. After all, isn’t it about time that one of the female ADAs got to take the lead in court rather than being the earnest young apprentice?

– Lynn Spencer