The Dick Wolf Factory is bringing back original Law & Order for a 21st season. From The Hollywood Reporter"‘Law & Order’ Revived for Season 21 at NBC"

Original Law & Order was canceled in 2010, launching a franchise that included six seven spinoffs for U.S. TV, plus foreign versions in France, Great Britain and Russia. Spinoff Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has outlasted its forebear; it is now in its 22rd 23rd season and launched its own spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime

As noted elsewhere, original Law & Order got the ax because of corporate intrigue. There was a bid to revive it as a miniseries back in 2015, but nothing came of it. And this year, they were supposed to launch a show about defense attorneys, Law & Order: For the Defense, but that fell through and another one, Law & Order: Hate Crimes is just spinning its wheels in development hell. This likely created the opening to revive the original.

No word on casting, but they do want to bring back some of the old stars. Unfortunately, they can't bring back Jerry Orbach, Steven Hill or Dennis Farina, but Anthony Anderson's schedule is opening up, since black-ish in its final season.

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I am tentatively excited by this news. The original is one of my all-time favorite series. I'm anxious to see who the cast will be.

Here's one wiseacre's take on "Where are they now?": "DUN DUN: Dick Wolf Is Bringing Back 'Law & Order'"

Unfortunately, they've killed off Ben Stone*, so they can't do the idea I always wanted to see: Ben Stone vs. Jack McCoy.

*They set up Chicago Justice by having Ben Stone's son Peter come to New York for his funeral. 

ClarkKent_DC said:

*They set up Chicago Justice by having Ben Stone's son Peter come to New York for his funeral. 

I misremembered. They added Peter Stone to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit after Chicago Justice was canceled, by having him come to New York for his Ben Stone's funeral. Through the kind of contrivance that can only happen in a situation comedy primetime drama, he wound up becoming the assistant district attorney for a couple of seasons.

TVLine is asking readers to vote on which three actors they believe MUST return: "Law & Order Season 21: Which Veteran Cast Members Must Return for Revival?"

The list excludes actors who aren't available because they've died (Jerry Orbach, Dennis Farina, Fred Dalton Thompson), and includes actors who are alive, even if their characters were killed off (Michael Moriarty, Anne Parisse).

Interesting discussion in the comments. Several people note there are supporting actors not on the list who ought to be included, like Leslie Hendrix (medical examiner Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers) and Lorraine Toussaint (defense attorney Shamabala Green). Somebody floated the notion that Shambala Green might have won election to district attorney. 

There's also Danielle Melnick (Tovah Feldshuh). Last we saw of her, she was a judge on Chicago Justice. Assistant District Attorney Jamie Ross (Carey Lowell) showed up as a judge on Law & Order: Trial by Jury.

I always thought a large part of the idea behind the show was that the cast was interchangeable. They could easily just cast entirely new talent if they choose. 

That was mostly true with original Law & Order, in keeping with episodic television from the past. It's less so for Law & Order's spinoffs.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has teetered into being "The Olivia Benson Show," starting with a Woman in Jeopardy plot that was like a throwback to the likes of Police Woman and other '70s dramas. Law & Order: Criminal Intent very much hung on Vincent D'Onofrio as the lead, even if they did switch him out along the way for Chris Noth and Jeff Goldblum. And the latest spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime, is built on the simmering sexual tension between Olivia Benson and Elliott Stabler amid all the cops 'n' robbers stuff.

This revival of original Law & Order could go with all-new faces, but if they don't give us any of the old cast members or a the "Where are they now?" about the others, it will sink like a rock. 

I think it was around season 6 or so that was the first season if Law & Order, that didn't have a cast change of some sort.

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

I think it was around season 6 or so that was the first season if Law & Order, that didn't have a cast change of some sort.

That's The Dick Wolf Factory in action. He's of the type that sees the actors as useful, but not essential, parts of the machine. Plus, that helps keep the costs down. When Chris Noth's contract expired, he didn't even get the opportunity to negotiate a contract extension; it was, "Nice working with you, dude. What? You're still here? We can't miss you if you don't leave."

Contrast that with how the cast of Friends banded together to negotiate salary increases as a group. Wolf has said he would have fired one or two of them to get the rest to fall in line. 

A couple of updates about Law & Order Version 2.0 from The Hollywood Reporter:

"‘Law & Order’ Revival Enlists Jeffrey Donovan"

 "Anthony Anderson, Hugh Dancy Join ‘Law & Order’ Revival at NBC"

Donovan is playing an NYPD detective, whereas Anderson is reprising his role as Det. Kevin Bernard from the last three seasons of original Law & Order. Dancy is playing an assistant district attorney.

I like, Jeffrey Donovan, and I think he will do well. He continues the tradition of appearing in an earlier episode, and then come on as a regular.

I'm not familiar with Hugh Dancy, look at his credits in the article CK linked to, I haven't watched any of them.

Its nice to see Anthony Anderson return. I think hes an underrated as an actor. He is perfectly capable of doing comedy or drama.

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

Its nice to see Anthony Anderson return. I think hes an underrated as an actor. He is perfectly capable of doing comedy or drama.

Yeah. Anthony Anderson did a lot of slob comedies early in his career, but before he joined Law & Order, he had a chilling run as a drug kingpin on The Shield.

Hugh Dancy played FBI agent Will Graham in the TV series Hannibal, which was (very) loosely adapted using the characters Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter, which were introduced in Thomas Harris' book Red Dragon. Red Dragon was adapted into two movies: Manhunter (1986) and Red Dragon (2002). The TV show emphasized Will Graham's slight potential to become a serial killer himself, which helps him get into their heads and catch them. Dancy portrayed the character well, so I don't think playing an ADA will be hard for him.

Jeffrey Donovan, in two different reports, was identified as a detective or as simply a police officer. If the second is the case, he may noy be a continuing character.

Anthony Anderson, in addition to his Law & Order work, has played the lead character on Black-ish for seven seasons, beginning the eighth and final season shortly. It is far from a slob comedy.

Anderson goes a long way to getting me on board for this revival.

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