Here's an opinion piece written by a cousin who wishes to remain anonymous:
The cancellation of the venerable television series LAW & ORDER can be attributed to this year's failed "experiment" to put The Jay Leno Show at 10pm across the board. After a 20 year successful run in network prime-time for LAW & ORDER, the network kicked out the 10 pm drama shows, LAW & ORDER being one of them, and expected viewers to find them hopscotched across the weekly grid in an era when the proliferation of program choices makes reading a TV Guide useless. There was too much at stake in changing the late night television landscape and the patchwork to try to fix it kept trickling in to the rest of the schedule grid.
The story of the The Tonight Show going from Leno to Conan O'Brien and the attempt to repair THE TONIGHT SHOW television franchise, has killed another television franchise, LAW & ORDER. Personally, I was becoming a bigger fan of LAW & ORDER. The current detectives, Cyrus Lupo and Kevin Bernard, are played very well by Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson. Linus Roache as the Executive Assistant District Attorney brought a vibrant character to the show, including new storylines, frailties, and legal ingenuity.
At the same time, one cannot dismiss the influence of the current story thread that brought illness to the character of Lt. Anita Van Buren. Thousands of women found her character's cancer battle to be TOO personal and too painful to watch, so perhaps they tuned out the show.
One always hopes that a TV show can exit on terms that it can control, to wrap up story lines, bring back characters....but a sudden cancellation still makes me wonder what happened to the airplane at the end of 'The New WKRP in Cincinnati'? 'M*A*S*H' left television with a completed journey.
LAW & ORDER improved over the years. It deserves a crowning exit rather than a kick to the curb.