Final Case Closing For 'Law And Order'

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In the fast-changing world of weekly crime dramas, Law and Order has endured by telling stories that are terse, pointed and ripped from tabloid headlines. Over its 20-year span, the show has become as New York as an onion bialy. On Friday, NBC announced that Law and Order will end on May 24.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

In the fast-changing world of weekly crime dramas, for the past 20 years, "Law and Order" has endured by telling stories that are�terse, pointed, ripped from tabloid headlines, and as New York as an onion bialy or the F-word as an adjective. Yesterday, NBC announced that "Law and Order" will end May 24.

(Soundbite of "Law and Order" sound effect)

SIMON: 456 episodes and I've seen them all over and over. Go to any New York show and read the actor's bios, they've all played at least a corpse on "Law and Order." Great stage names including Jerry Orbach, S. Epatha Merkerson and Sam Waterston made the acting as intense as New York pastrami.

The show reinvented the procedural with surprising plot twists, and maybe most surprisingly, the cops and prosecutors didn't let their personal lives, alcoholism, cancer or on-the-job romances deter them from the important work they'd been given to do by the city of New York.

(Soundbite of show, "Law and Order")

Mr. SAM WATERSTON: (as Jack McCoy) I don't give a damn about anything except putting the right people in jail.

SIMON: "Law and Order," RIP. Oy.

(Soundbite of theme song, "Law and Order")

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