‘Law & Order’ to return on NBC for 21st season

Law & Order
(Image credit: NBC)

While the Law & Order franchise has been running on NBC consistently for more than 30 years — currently with Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime — the original is making a comeback, as NBC has announced that it is moving forward with a revival of plain and simple Law & Order for what would be the show’s 21st season.

Law & Order was created by Dick Wolf and premiered on NBC in 1990. It ran for 20 seasons and 456 episodes, originally ending in 2010. It was nominated for more than 50 Emmys throughout its run, including winning Outstanding Drama Series in 1997. Among the original members of the Law & Order cast were Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Sam Waterston, S. Epatha Merkerson, Leslie Hendrix, Dennis Farina, Steven Hill, Fred Thompson, Benjamin Bratt, Carolyn McCormick, Richard Brooks and Dann Florek.

Wolf will once again be the executive producer and showrunner for Law & Order season 21, along with Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski. The series will keep its classic format of bifurcated episodes that examine the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.

“There are few things in life that are literally dreams come true,” said Wolf. “This is mine.”

Law & Order is quite simply one of the most iconic shows in television history, and the idea of continuing its legacy and partnering with Dick on an all-new season is nothing short of exhilarating” said Susan Rovner, chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, “This is great news for NBC as well as TV fans everywhere.”

NBC said that it will announce a premiere date and cast for Law & Order at a later date. You can watch episodes from Law & Order’s previous 20 seasons on Peacock.

It has been an interesting last few months for the Law & Order franchise. Heading into the fall 2021 TV season, it was thought that viewers would be getting a brand new Law & Order spinoff, Law & Order: For the Defense, that would join SVU and Organized Crime on NBC’s Thursday night lineup. However, the wheels never truly got rolling on For the Defense, and it was shut down. While we await the official word on where the Law & Order revival will fit in NBC’s lineup, it’s not that difficult to piece together that it will find a home alongside its two popular spinoffs. 

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.