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May 14, 2010 3:20 PM by David Ortiviz, News First 5

After 20 seasons, Law & Order will end on NBC

NBC will end its historic and record-tying "Law & Order" when the mothership series concludes its 20th season on Monday, May 24 (10-11 p.m. ET). Meanwhile, NBC has picked up the new drama "LOLA" ("Law & Order: Los Angeles") as well as renewed "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" for the 2010-11 season.

The announcements were made today by Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios. Jeff Gaspin, Chariman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment said, "The full measure of the collective contributions made by Dick Wolf and his 'Law & Order' franchise over the last two decades to the success of NBC and Universal Media Studios cannot be overstated. The legacy of his original 'Law & Order' series will continue to make an impact like no other series before."

Bromstad added: "'Law & Order' has been one of the most successful franchises in the history of television, which is why it is so critical that we continue this important brand and our relationship with Dick Wolf and his team with 'LOLA' and 'Law & Order: SVU.'"

The brainchild of creator and Emmy Award winner Wolf, "Law & Order" has spawned one of the most successful brands in primetime television. It is the 1997 Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Drama Series and the record holder for the most consecutive (11) nominations in that category for a primetime series (tied with "Cheers" and "M*A*S*H"). It premiered on September 13, 1990, and eventually tied "Gunsmoke" as the longest-running drama series in television history.

The new "LOLA" ("Law & Order: Los Angeles") is a procedural crime drama that will follow the theme and storylines similar to the "Law & Order"-brand series on the streets of Los Angeles. The series, from executive producer Dick Wolf and Blake Masters ("Brotherhood"), is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Media Studios. Casting and pre-production work are continuing.

In its current 11th season, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has delivered a 2.9 rating, 8 share in adults 18-49 and 9.3 million viewers overall. "Law & Order: SVU" is NBC's #1 scripted series this season in total viewers. Since moving to Wednesdays (10-11 p.m. ET) on March 3, "SVU" is #1 in the time period in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and other key ratings categories and has improved on NBC's average rating in the hour during the traditional 2008-09 season by 29 percent in adults 18-49.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is a hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC's "Law & Order" brand as it chronicles the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department, the elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes. The drama follows Detective Elliot Stabler (Emmy Award nominee Christopher Meloni), a seasoned veteran, and his partner, Detective Olivia Benson (Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Mariska Hargitay), whose difficult past is the reason she joined the unit.

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" continues to air in its ninth season on USA Network.

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