Troubles at ‘Law & Order’: Actress Quits and Renewal Uncertain
Things are getting tense over at “Law & Order,” the long-standing police series on NBC. The actress who portrays the assistant district attorney has recently left the show, while insiders speculate that the beloved series might be facing cancellation.
According to a source, “Law & Order” is in a precarious situation, either on the verge of cancellation or possibly receiving a one-year renewal. Lower ratings have contributed to this uncertainty, as the show has been competing against ABC’s hit series “Lost” on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. NBC attempted to mitigate this issue by moving “Law & Order” to the 10 p.m. timeslot, but it may have been too little, too late.
It’s worth noting that there are three iterations of “Law & Order” – the original, commonly referred to as the “mothership,” “SVU” (also known as SUV), and “Criminal Intent.” While the latter two shows are still performing well and likely to be renewed, “Criminal Intent” has encountered some problems this week. S. Epatha Mekerson, an Emmy-winning actress who appeared on the main show, was initially included in the final episode but later written out due to her dissatisfaction with how her character was treated.
According to a source, Mekerson’s character was meant to be an old friend of a con woman played by Whoopi Goldberg. However, Mekerson objected to her character being portrayed as clueless about Goldberg’s character’s wickedness.
Now, there’s yet another issue within the “Law & Order” universe. Annie Parisse, the talented brunette who portrayed the assistant district attorney, has also decided to leave the show. An insider revealed that Parisse anticipated the impending end of her time on the series, as she felt she was not treated well by the production team. Complaints about her hair and concerns about her appearance next to Sam Waterson contributed to her departure.
Parisse joins a long list of actresses who have taken on the role of assistant district attorney throughout the show’s 15 seasons. Some notable names include Jill Hennessey, Angie Harmon, Carey Lowell, and Elizabeth Rohm, who discovered her character’s sexual orientation in her final scene.
The challenge now is that creator and executive producer Dick Wolf cannot cast a replacement due to the uncertainty surrounding the show’s future. Additionally, there seems to be a significant morale problem, with multiple firings, including a portion of the camera crew. Original writer-producers have been replaced by individuals from Los Angeles who may not fully grasp the essence of the show.
Moreover, the absence of the late beloved actor Jerry Orbach has had a considerable impact on the dynamics of “Law & Order.” Without him, the show doesn’t feel the same. Audience sentiment toward Dennis Farina, who was brought on to succeed Orbach even before his passing, has also been lukewarm.
If “Law & Order” ends up getting canceled or renewed only for a final season, it won’t come as a tremendous surprise. After all, 16 years is double the lifespan of most successful shows. However, insiders attribute some of the challenges to the oversaturation of reruns on TNT, even though the network is now reducing their airtime.
Furthermore, the show’s lead-ins and accompanying shows have also faced problems. All three accompanying shows have been discontinued and forgotten.
Nevertheless, fans can still expect to see the other two “Law & Order” shows in syndication for years to come. According to a source, the deal for “Criminal Intent” was quite lucrative, ensuring that it will remain on NBC for at least one or two more seasons.
NBC declined to comment on the situation, affirming that they aim to keep the season finale of “Law and Order” under wraps due to some unexpected developments.
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