Plot Twist: NBC Renews 'Law & Order'

'Mothership' back for season 18, but spinoff to move to cable sibling
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2007 2:23 PM CDT
Dick Wolf Receives A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – In a fitting move for a show that made its name with unexpected twists, ratings-challenged "Law & Order" will return to NBC's fall lineup for its 18th season, the network announced today. The eleventh-hour deal relegates the show's "Criminal Intent" spinoff to fellow NBC Universal network USA, with reruns on NBC, a reversal of the current broadcast-to-cable arrangement.

The unexpected renewal is a victory for Dick Wolf, executive producer of both series as well as the "Special Victims Unit" spinoff (in recent years the most successful "L&O" incarnation). Wolf has made no secret of his desire to have "Law & Order" run longer than "Gunsmoke," which aired for a record 20 seasons.