Why Is ‘SVU’ Moving? Plus: ‘Law & Order’s Sendoff, ‘LOLA’ Mystery

by | May 16, 2010 at 9:01 PM | TV News

'SVU' returns to the 9/8c time slot this fall (NBC)

'SVU' returns to the 9/8c time slot this fall (NBC)

Questions – lots of ‘em – surround NBC’s three ‘Law & Order‘ series, one of which isn’t even returning in the fall.

For starters: When NBC released its plan for the 2010-11 TV season, one conspicuous tweak found ‘Law & Order: SVU‘ returning to Wednesdays-at-9. Benson and Stabler called that time slot home just last fall, but after a ratings dip ultimately got bumped back to the 10 o’clock berth.

Fall TV Schedule: NBC Spies a Comeback With Eight New Shows

Still, NBC’s fall schedule has J.J. Abrams’ ‘Undercovers’ kicking off the night, followed by ‘SVU’ and then the shiny-new ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles‘ spin-off.

That brings us to Question 1: Fancast asked NBC Universal Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin what the thinking was behind ‘SVU’s return to the earlier hour, where it didn’t have much success before.

“‘SVU’ actually did fine at 9 o’clock,” he countered. “If you recall, the lead-in it had” – the since-canceled ‘Mercy’ – “did not live up to our expectations. Our hope is that ‘Undercovers’ will improve and help give it a better lead-in.”

Similarly, NBC is hoping to give the new spin-off – dubbed ‘LOLA’ – a strong and appropriate lead-in.

“In the end,” says Gaspin, “the best way to launch to the new ‘Law & Order’ franchise was behind ‘SVU.’”

‘Law & Order’ Officially Axed, ‘SVU’ Renewed, ‘LOLA’ Coming

Question 2: Will fans of the original and surprisingly canceled ‘Law & Order’ get a proper goodbye to the 20-year-old crime drama?

NBC primetime president Angela Bromstad says that since ‘Law & Order’ didn’t get a chance to prep a proper finale, “We’re discussing with [franchise creator] Dick [Wolf] a way of potentially wrapping up the series, with a movie or special event.”

Question 3: Who’s starring on the new ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’?

Bromstad says the show – greenlit sans a pilot, as is typical with Dick Wolf shows – is “coming together,” but that a cast announcement is still “a couple weeks” away. This much is known, however: ‘LOLA’ will feature the trademark “doink-doink!” musical cue.

So, there’s that.

For breaking news on the fall season, follow Matt Mitovich (aka MattMtvguy) on Twitter, and send any questions to MattMtvguy@gmail.com.