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December 21, 2014

'Law & Order' Again? Here Are 10 Better Ideas for You, NBC

by Stephanie Earp, posted Apr 20th 2010 7:51PM


I remember when 'Law & Order: SVU' debuted, there were a lot of joking articles asking what would be next, 'Law & Order: Pet Detectives'? There were also questions about how many of these shows an audience could really take, and so on and so forth, with the same humor (if you can call it that) applied to the 'CSI' and 'NCIS' franchises as they came along.

Well guess what, people? 'Law & Order' is doing it again. NBC has greenlit a fourth version of 'L&O' -- set in L.A. -- for a fall debut. The original and 'SVU' are also looking good for renewals, while 'Criminal Intent' airs on cable network USA and on NBC.

My mind is boggled by this news. At this point, when I watch 'L&O' it has the same sort of nostalgic feeling I used to get from old episodes of 'Little House on the Prairie'.

I remember when 'Law & Order: SVU' debuted, there were a lot of joking articles asking what would be next, 'Law & Order: Pet Detectives'? There were also questions about how many of these shows an audience could really take, and so on and so forth, with the same humor (if you can call it that) applied to the 'CSI' and 'NCIS' franchises as they came along.

Well guess what, people? 'Law & Order' is doing it again. NBC has greenlit a fourth version of 'L&O' -- set in L.A. -- for a fall debut. The original and 'SVU' are also looking good for renewals, while 'Criminal Intent' airs on cable network USA and on NBC.

My mind is boggled by this news. At this point, when I watch 'L&O' it has the same sort of nostalgic feeling I used to get from old episodes of 'Little House on the Prairie.' They have more in common than you think: a quaint sense of black-and-white morality, outdated clothes and hairstyles and annoying-but-addictive theme music. What I'm trying to say is that even new episodes of the various 'Law & Order' shows feel like old reruns. I can't fathom how NBC has convinced themselves this is a good move.



Granted, at 21 seasons, the original 'Law & Order' has got to go sometime. And bringing in Blake Masters of 'Brotherhood' to work with Dick Wolf is a nice idea -- he's a got tough, fresh voice. But it's still Dick Wolf, it's still 'Law & Order' and it's still scraping the bottom of the barrel. I mean seriously, when you look around the TV landscape, do you say to yourself, "What we need is another crime procedural, preferably something new in the 'Law & Order' franchise set in the one city that no cop show can ever seem to thrive in?" I didn't think so.

Here are ten better ideas for NBC than this one:

1. Give Tracy Morgan his own show.

Will it make sense? No. Will it result in fines from the FCC? Probably. Will it be awesome? Without a doubt.

2. Give Blake Masters a crime show that isn't 'Law & Order'.

Screenwriter Masters has only one show to his credit -- 'Brotherhood' -- which was critically acclaimed but also a fairly difficult show. Maybe he should be forced to partner up with someone more experienced. But does it have to be Dick Wolf and does it have to be branded as a 'L&O' product?

3. Give Blake Masters a job on 'Law & Order: SVU'.

Lord knows the terrible one-liners over at 'SVU' have turned the corner from ironically amusing to downright putrid. If the man has to work on 'L&O,' can't he work on the one that still has a little life left in it and rescue us from Benson's "sense of humor"?

4. Supersize 'Parks & Recreation' and 'Community'.

There you go NBC -- I just found you an extra hour of primetime programming and since these shows are only funny about 15% of the time, you don't even have to worry about ruining them by stretching them out to an hour-long format.

5. Get Donald Trump's celebrities to raise money for NBC.

Use the money to pay Tina Fey to create more shows.

6. Air 'Friday Night Lights' during the regular season.

Instead of lending one of the best TV dramas out to DirecTV and then burning episodes off during summer, why not air it during the regular TV season on the actual network? The show has crazy fans and they won't wait for summer to catch up with Coach Taylor. If they don't get DirecTV they probably download the show.

7. Move Jay Leno into prime time.

Oh wait.

8. Turn 'L&O: Los Angeles' into a comedy series.

Use the mockumentary technique from 'The Office' to go behind the scenes of a crime procedural show. Imagine the great scenes of the writer's room, where a bunch of ex-stand up comedians are trying to come up with the punchline outro to commercial.

9. Tuesday Night Live!

Why waste one of the few NBC blue chip shows on a night when few people watch? Taped earlier in the week in New York, it's Tuesday Night!

10. Re-run 'Little House on the Prairie'.

But use the 'L&O' theme music -- it will add a creepy new subtext to an old favorite.

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Mary Joann Lindenfeld

Just keep all of Law and Order productions and fire the idiots who do not appreciate TV excellence as shown by Mr. Wolf's works.Amen!

May 19 2010 at 4:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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