Now it's official. The 20-year-old crime drama has been dropped by NBC after 24 hours of back-and-forth between the network and executive producer Dick Wolf. NBC has ordered a new series, "Law & Order: Los Angeles," and also renewed "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" for another season. At a time of intense hand-wringing among L.A. politicians about the loss of TV and film production, it's ironic that the NY version of "L&O" is getting the ax. Earlier this year, ABC's "Ugly Betty," which had been moved from L.A. to NY and became a poster child for so-called runaway production, was canceled by the network. As I've pointed out on more than one occasion, runaway production has never been the crisis that state and local officials, along with a few in the media, have made it out to be. From the NYT:
Fred Berner, an executive producer of the show based in New York, said Thursday that the cancellation is a "kick in the gut to New York." By one estimate, more than 8,000 people in the city are employed, directly and indirectly, by the series and its two spinoffs. The franchise has been especially important to the many Broadway and Off Broadway actors who make appearances on the shows. Many will stay employed by the two spinoffs. Still, the end of the original show -- often called "the mothership" internally -- "will be a devastating blow to the New York City production community," Mr. Berner said.