Meditations on the end of one of the longest-running primetime dramas ever.
NBC made it official today: "Law & Order" will not be back next season (and unless a cable channel steps in to produce one more season on the cheap, will therefore not achieve Dick Wolf's dream of producing more seasons than "Gunsmoke" to become the longest-running drama in the history of American primetime TV). Dan Fienberg has more details.
Though I haven't been a regular viewer in a long time, the occasions when I've checked in of late suggest that this final cast was one of the more solid configurations since Jerry Orbach left. But the ratings have been miniscule, even by the low standards that will apparently let NBC renew "Chuck," and various reports suggest Wolf wanted too much money for his victory lap year, so... bye-bye, "CHUNG-CHUNG."
So a question for the fans, whether you're still watching or not: if you could go back in time and cherrypick six of the more than two dozen regular castmembers the mothership has had to come up with your own dream team has had, which six would it be, and why? To keep this simple, you can't put someone in a role they didn't fill when they were on the show. i.e., Jack McCoy can either be your lead prosecutor or he can be running the DA's office, but you can't declare that Lennie Briscoe will be your lieutenant while Max Greevey is the senior detective and Phil Ceretta the junior one.
I'm sorely tempted to just pick the season 5 cast en masse - Briscoe, Logan, Van Buren, McCoy, Kincaid and Schiff - but that seems too easy. At the very least, I'd go back to season 4 and make Ben Stone the prosecutor, and put Jack in the DA's office, to see how these two very different guys dealt with each other - and to see how Stone reacted upon realizing his sidekick was having an affair with his boss.
Fire away: "Law & Order" dream team. Go. I'll be curious to see if anyone will speak for Serena Southerlyn.