Is it the end of the road already for Law & Order: Los Angeles?
On Tuesday, NBC confirmed that it is pulling the West Coast incarnation of Dick Wolf’s groundbreaking crime procedural from the primetime network — effective next month. Uh-oh. The last time The Peacock made a move like that it was shortly before it canned Jimmy Smits’ shortlived Friday night drama Outlaw.
Law & Order: Los Angeles, the latest entry in the popular crime drama franchise, premiered last fall — boasting a cast that included screen stars Alfred Molina and Oscar nominee Terrence Howard. Despite initially gaining an impressive lead-in audience from its still popular L&O predecessor Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the youngest addition to the L&O franchise has been plagued by dwindling ratings and a lukewarm reception from critics. The news comes a week after the departures — more like firing — of series stars Regina Hall, Megan Boone, and Skeet Ulrich were announced. Molina and Howard are still on-board to remain with the show as it continues to be reworked.
Law & Order: Los Angeles will be removed from the NBC schedule on Feb. 8. A return date has not yet been determined. If the series were to get the boot it wouldn’t be the first time a Wolf-produced spinoff went belly-up for NBC. The franchise spawned hits with Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent, but Law & Order: Trial By Jury, featuring Bebe Neuwirth was axed after just one season after its premiere in 2005.
The original Law & Order was axed last year after 20 years on the air, a record for an American television drama.