Law & Order: Two decades of storytelling, and the powerful producer still does not control story placement

Law & Order
Law & Order

One of my favorite shows – Law & Order – could be bidding adieu later this month.  The Wall Street Journal reported in its weekend edition that the longest running drama in the history of TV will have its final show May 24.

Law & Order has been a mainstay on NBC for a generation. The show, in its 20th year, has spawned multiple spinoffs. The most popular, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is set to return for another season, the Journal reported.

Show producer Dick Wolf and NBC have been in talks to extend the original series. But NBC reportedly has said, “No.’’

The Journal speculated that the death of Law & Order could be a “casualty of changing tastes.” NBC’s decision about Wolf’s show highlights that no one can control the media or a powerful medium. Wolf’s  Law & Order series and its spinoffs have generated billions in advertising and syndication rights for NBC and its cable networks. Yet Wolf still lost his show spot.

What does all this mean for public relations? Especially for small businesses? When a business is lucky enough to get its positive story told on national broadcast – it should celebrate and never take anything for granted. Nobody knows when a good story might abruptly end. Just ask Dick Wolf.

Wolf noted through a spokesperson, “Never complain. Never explain.’’

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