Law & Order
The Borgified Corpse wrote:
Hey, Law & Order has already survived a move to the Friday night death slot once, around Season 17 or 18. It can survive again. Besides, it's not like NBC has anything else that it can rely on. Why do you think they ceded an entire 3rd of their weekday prime time lineup to The Jay Leno Show?
is prohibitively expensive, being shot almost exclusively on-location and having a number of not-inexpensive actors (Sam Waterston is only still on the series because he agreed to take a huge pay cut and a smaller role; Linus Roache and Anthony Anderson don't come cheap; S. Epatha Merkerson's escalators must have her earning a pretty penny by now), produced by a network that is hemorrhaging
money right now. The only reason it got a 20th season is so NBC could get Dick Wolf to shut up about Gunsmoke
(and to keep a good relationship with him -- there are rumors of a Los Angeles-based Law & Order
a few years from now).
And the entire reason for The Jay Leno Show
's existence is that Leno started having second thoughts about his agreement to step aside and let Conan take over the big chair, and then made it clear in no uncertain terms that both FOX and ABC had expressed interest in giving him a late-night slot directly opposing The Tonight Show
. NBC panicked, decided to cut costs on its already stagnant primetime lineup, and gave Leno his early-show gig.
Plus, since NBC-Universal also owns the franchise
It doesn't. Dick Wolf owns the rights in their entirety (the series was originally made for CBS). NBC owns the distribution rights for what has already been produced, though.
Still, I agree SVU will have a lot of problems when Stabler & Benson leave.
I will bet any amount of money that SVU
ends after the 2010-11 season, when Hargitay and Meloni's contracts expire. They both just got pay raises from about $7 million a year to a little under $10 million, and it was only at the last minute that they agreed to drop their demand of profit participation.