"When Law & Order was canceled 11 years ago, the NBC tentpole‘s final season was averaging 8.2 million viewers," says Tyler Hersko. "Today, those figures would give Dick Wolf’s procedural the highest same-day viewership of any scripted drama on the network. But that’s not the only reason it’s coming back. Sure, NBC is banking on Season 21 of the flagship Law & Order franchise to provide a broadcast ratings bump, but — like seemingly every decision in entertainment these days — streaming may be the priority...The decision could benefit NBCUniversal on multiple fronts. The Law & Order revival should earn solid ratings on broadcast, given the franchise’s continued success and NBC’s proven track record with Wolf’s programming fleet. Traditional procedural dramas with name recognition have become one of network TV’s few reliable mainstays, even as ratings continue to drop across the board. Wolf’s Chicago shows ranked first, second, and third in network viewership among scripted series for the 2020-2021 season, while Law & Order: Organized Crime and Law & Order: SVU came in fifth and sixth, respectively. (This Is Us is the only show not produced by Wolf in NBC’s top six programs, though it’s No. 1 in the 18-49 demo.) But a 21st season of Law & Order also helps the conglomerate’s streaming service. When NBC cancelled Law & Order, Peacock was just a network nickname, and streaming wasn’t a factor. Now, it’s the future, and library content is a key component to keeping subscribers satisfied. The massive Law and Order franchise has endured in popularity since the original series’ cancellation."
TOPICS: Law & Order, NBC, Dick Wolf