When NBC announced this week that it was canceling Law & Order, fans of the 20-year old procedural wept in pixels and message boards throughout the Internet. But nobody has more cause to weep than the 4,000 Big Apple actors and contractors who relied on the program for work every year. Yes. Four thousand. Turns out the show's famous "two separate but equally important groups" played two separate but equally important roles: television entertainer and New York economic stimulus.

The New York Times reports that the city is already mourning the loss of the Dick Wolf flagship:

Katherine Oliver, the commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, said that every year the show provided jobs to about 4,000 people, including one-day acting roles. Its spending totaled about $79 million annually, she said, including things like coffee and bagels, boom microphones and duct tape. During its 20-year run, that impact amounted to as much as $1 billion or more, she said.

Amazing. The Law & Order stimulus effect. Call it Bucks for Bum-Bum.

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