NBC finally canceled Law & Order today, leaving the program tied with Gunsmoke as the longest-running TV drama series. When the show debuted in September 1990, U.S. troops were massing in Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Shield and George H.W. Bush was President of the United States.
Over its 20-year run, Law & Order provided hundreds of roles for actors and thousands of jobs to New York production workers, effectively providing huge cash subsidies for the city's theatre and independent film communities. Many fans believe the current cast has returned the show to past creative glories. Production has ended for the current season, so the show will end without a proper sendoff.