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"Law and Order" says goodbye to NY


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#1 dirac

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 03:25 PM

The television show "Law and Order." fights "Gunsmoke" to a draw and closes down. A new variant will be set on Los Angeles. Bad news for the New York acting community.

Several casting directors for theater, film and television estimated on Friday that the majority of actors' résumés that came across their desks included "Law & Order" credits. Some actors who worked chiefly in New York theater, drawing weekly salaries of $500 to $1,500 for their stage roles, supplemented those paychecks by playing judges, jurors and police officers on "Law & Order." Pay for those jobs ranged from a few hundred dollars to $1,000 or so a week for only a few moments of screen time.

Douglas Aibel, the artistic director of the Vineyard Theater, an Off Broadway theater, who is also a casting director for feature films, said the premiere of "Law & Order" in 1990 was a watershed for actors based on the East Coast.


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#2 carbro

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 06:51 PM

New York is losing a slice of life. Many residents have become accustomed to seeing L&O's movie permit/no parking signs plastered around our neighborhoods. SVU and CI don't seem to do as much location shooting as the original.

#3 Helene

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 06:56 PM

I suppose it had to happen sometime, but wah.

#4 bart

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 04:24 AM

Haven't watched new episodes for a while, though I catch a rerun every once in a while. (I miss Jerry Orbach. :wub: )

I've always admired L&O for how seriously it addresses the conflict between the need to balance society's desire to get a conviction, on the one hand, with concerns about due process and the rights of the accused, on the other. This distinction has been seriously eroded, bit by bit, in spin-offs and (especially) in other producers' rip-offs.

#5 leonid17

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 05:03 AM

The television show "Law and Order." fights "Gunsmoke" to a draw and closes down. A new variant will be set on Los Angeles. Bad news for the New York acting community.

Several casting directors for theater, film and television estimated on Friday that the majority of actors' résumés that came across their desks included "Law & Order" credits. Some actors who worked chiefly in New York theater, drawing weekly salaries of $500 to $1,500 for their stage roles, supplemented those paychecks by playing judges, jurors and police officers on "Law & Order." Pay for those jobs ranged from a few hundred dollars to $1,000 or so a week for only a few moments of screen time.

Douglas Aibel, the artistic director of the Vineyard Theater, an Off Broadway theater, who is also a casting director for feature films, said the premiere of "Law & Order" in 1990 was a watershed for actors based on the East Coast.


Related article.


This is one of the American police and investigative shows I like to chill out with and I suspect we have another year or so to watch it.

We also have a copycat version of this show, "Law and Order UK".

#6 bart

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:48 AM

Alessandra Stanley's "TV Watch" blog in the NY Times has some interesting thoughts on the L&O phenomenon:

'Law and Order': Soon to Be Gone but Not Forgotten

I identified most with the following comments on the effects of re-runs (instant, frequent, and apparently endless in the case of the L&O franchise) on human psychology:

New episodes aren’t necessary as long as there are reruns. One reason the current season isn’t doing well in the ratings is that the show is essentially a rerun-in-progress. No need to rush home for the latest episode or waste DVR space, because it will soon end up on the continuous loop of “Law & Order” provided by TNT and other cable networks.


In 2002, Michael Kinsley wrote a very funny and completely true essay on Slate that described his wife’s addiction to “Law & Order” reruns, which he found utterly baffling. “Other than reruns of ‘Law & Order,’ she has almost no interest in television at all,” Mr. Kinsley wrote. “She’s not even interested in new episodes of ‘Law & Order’ itself. She couldn’t tell you what night it’s on and has no view about what this country is coming to when a man like Fred Thompson can be plucked from the obscurity of the United States Senate and entrusted with the responsibility of running the prosecutor’s office on ‘Law & Order.’ ”

Even people who watch television for a living can find themselves transfixed by a rerun, though duty calls for a look at “American Idol” or a new PBS documentary about oil production. When a show has lasted 20 seasons, it’s possible to have seen an episode several times and not have a clue who did it; one of the few rewards of a bad memory is that reruns can still seem fresh on the third viewing.

Mr. Kinsley's wife and I are spiritual kinfolk.

(I say this as someone who can anticipate a high proportion of the lines on Are You Being Served? before they are uttered, and STILL manage to feel delight when I hear the actors speak them. It's similar with revivals of great ballets, I think, if one knows them well. Balanchine, most of all -- for me at least.)

#7 MakarovaFan

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 08:04 AM

I guess all things must come to an end, but I'll miss Sam Waterston terribly.

#8 papeetepatrick

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 08:07 AM

Interesting about the reruns, bart. I didn't think I'd write anything here, because I've never seen 'Law and Order' (never saw 'Seinfeld' or 'American Idol' either, but I did sometimes watch NYPD Blue when Andrea Thompson was in it--stopped when they wrote her out). But I did have a major 'TV rerun experience' in the 80s: I watched afternoon reruns of 'Policewoman' every time I got a chance, this was also when there were still afternoon network movies, which is when I also saw the Lana Turner/Cliff Robertson masterpiece :FIREdevil: 'Love Has Many Faces'. I told an old B'way chorus friend about this sensation of an afternoon of watching ancient TV or movies with the curtains closed, and he said "Oh yeah. That's some of the best dissipation I've ever heard of..." I could never resist Angie Dickinson as Pepper, esp. that episode with Patty Duke as the hooker and Patricia Barry as her histrionic madame, Mrs. Fontaine; and also when Burt's song for his wife 'The Look of Love' would come on, no, can't resist such 'pure LA' stuff.

#9 sandik

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:08 AM

Oh this news makes me very sad -- we've watched the various incarnations of this show since its premiere, and my son (now 16) is a regular viewer of the reruns. They are running when he gets home from school, and he uses the time to decompress.

My mother had a similar connection to the Perry Mason series. She'd watched them when they were first broadcast, and then watched them again when they were rerun, several years later. I was living at home at the time, and was always tickled when she claimed that she couldn't remember "who did it" until the final reveal. But now I often say the same thing to my son, as we watch Law and Order reruns.

#10 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:23 AM

This is sad. First it was ER, which was my favorite...and now L&O... :FIREdevil: SVU is my favorite...

#11 dirac

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:42 AM

The show passed its peak some time ago and no longer attracts a younger demographic. If the reruns went away tomorrow I doubt it would help much. Also, my dad is a big Gunsmoke fan so I'm pleased that the show's record will be shared but not broken.

In the meantime we can all look forward to more spinoffs along with the new "Law and Order: Los Angeles." "Law and Order: Fresno." "Law and Order: Seat Belt Violations." The possibilities are endless.

Tough luck for New York stage actors. This is a real blow. And access to all those well trained character actors was a huge asset for the show.

I miss Jerry Orbach.



Yes, indeed.



#12 sandik

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:50 PM

In the meantime we can all look forward to more spinoffs along with the new "Law and Order: Los Angeles." "Law and Order: Fresno." "Law and Order: Seat Belt Violations." The possibilities are endless


Oh ouch!

I miss Jerry Orbach.


Indeed and indeed. We used to refer to the comment he often made at the end of the opening scene as a "Lenny Line."

#13 Helene

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:43 PM

The weird thing about the "Law and Order" phenomenon is that I was in my 30's when it debuted, but I swear I watched the re-runs as a kid.

#14 Jayne

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 12:00 AM

Haven't watched new episodes for a while, though I catch a rerun every once in a while. (I miss Jerry Orbach. :)

Lenny Brisco was the heart and soul of the show and it wasn't the same without him!

I hate to say, reading the announcements for upcoming fall slate of new shows, I think fully 75% of dramas on TV are now police procedurals, legal procedurals or medical procedurals.

Doesn't anyone have new ideas?

#15 papeetepatrick

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 11:07 AM

I miss Jerry Orbach.


Yes, indeed.


Anybody as fortunate as I was to see him in the original of 'Promises, Promises'? Nearly 40 years ago, and I can still remember him singing 'She Likes Basketball' and all the rest of the great Bacharach/David score, and he sang the title song too. I believe there have been subway posters about him since his death, he donated his eyes. I saw him in the original 'Chicago' too--great guy, great B'way performer, and TV performer too, I'm sure.


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