Television

NBC to maintain 'Law & Order' situation

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MUMBAI: Fresh of the back of acquiring Universal, NBC and NBC Universal Television have completed a multi-tiered agreement with Wolf Films and executive producer Dick Wolf. This will extend Wolfs deal for his three Law And Order shows until the end of July 2008

Wolfs three NBC shows are Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent . In India the second one is currently airing on Star World. Filmed in New York it chronicles the life and crimes of the elite Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department. The show follows detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni), a seasoned veteran of the unit and his partner, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), also a longtime detective in the unit. Dann Florek, Richard Belzer, Ice-T, B.D. Wong and Diane Neal also star.

There is more good news for fans of the franchise. The agreement has added a fourth brand Law & Order: Trial by Jury for the 2004-05 season. The latest spin on the increasingly complex and controversial American legal system is set entirely in the arena of the courthouse.

Wolf added, "Ive been on the air at NBC continuously for the past 20 years and this new deal means that I could be as lucky for the next 20. Synergy has become an overused word, but the concept of a true partnership never goes out of style. I couldnt possibly have a better team than Bob, Jeff, Randy and Kevin to help me maximise the potential of the brand.

The deal means that Law & Order will have a 15th and 16th season. Likewise, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is assured of sixth and seventh seasons. The third member of the franchise Law & Order: Criminal Intent is currently in its third season and has been picked up for a fourth and fifth season.

NBC issued a release claiming that all the franchises were faring well in the ratings. On Wednesdays Law & Order is one of televisions top-four dramas among adults 18-49 for the fourth-consecutive season and is winning its hour by a 35 per cent margin. On Tuesdays, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has improved the time period by 26 per cent versus last season in 18-49 and claims to have won the hour with each of its last 24 telecasts.

On Sundays Law & Order: Criminal Intent is undefeated against regular competition this season in 18-49 and is the only NBC regular series to win this time slot in the last eight seasons.

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