‘Law & Order’ coming back to NBC for 21st season

LOS ANGELES — More than a decade after it last aired, “Law & Order” is coming back to NBC.

The network announced Tuesday that it is bringing the cops-and-courts police drama back for a 21st season. When the show left the airwaves in May 2010, it was tied with “Gunsmoke” for the longest running prime-time TV drama.

NBC says the series will keep the split format of focusing on police officers investigating crime and the prosecutors who take the cases to court. No cast or premiere date have been announced.

“There are few things in life that are dreams come true,” series creator Dick Wolf said. “This is mine.”

The “Law & Order” franchise lived on even after the original series was canceled, through several spinoffs including the popular “Law & Order: SVU.”

Wolf’s shows remain a popular draw for NBC, with his three prime-time “Chicago” series making up the network’s Wednesday night schedule. The popularity of those shows help NBC beat out other networks as the new fall TV season get underway, especially with the crucial 18 through 49-year-old audience.

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