In news that's going to rock your dad's Wednesday nights, Law & Order, Dick Wolf's seemingly-immortal crime procedural that put "dun-dun!" on the sound effect map, will not be renewed for a 21st season. It is survived by Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order: Los Angeles--an upcoming series that apparently developed as part of L&O's natural defense mechanism against predatory CSIs.
According to Deadline, as recently as March NBC had promised one more season--thereby breaking Gunsmoke's stranglehold on the record for longest-running prime-time drama--under the condition that TNT help finance some new episodes instead of just grabbing at the hand-me-downs and showing them whenever there isn't a basketball game happening. When talks with the cable network never came together, NBC reportedly decided to drop the show, leaving creator Dick Wolf pissed and Sam Waterston with no place to hang his thick, luxuriant eyebrows.
Sad news to hear of the loss of such a pop culture mainstay, but still, always better the parent goes before the children. Though I wonder if NBC has really thought this through: do they not realize that without Law & Order... there is chaos?