This article is from the archive of our partner .

Whether you prefer SVU or have a taste for Criminal Intent, there's no denying the greatness of the "mothership" of Law & Order. Sadly, the show as we know it comes to an end tonight and while fans will be able to continue following the stories when the show re-ups in the fall in L.A., for New Yorkers, the program's cancellation leaves a much greater void than an hour-long Monday night time slot. Here's who really loses when Law & Order shutters.

  • The Actors  In a New York Times op-ed today, two-time Tony-nominated actress Jan Maxwell recounts the times she, and most of the theatrical community in New York, have appeared on Law & Order. "For two decades the show has been a staple gig for New York actors, a reliable way to make money between stage roles" she says. "Not only did it give us stage actors a temporary job, but it also employed old theater pros, like Jerry Orbach and Sam Waterston, in leading roles."
  • The City  When the show announced its cancellation over a week ago, New York Magazine writer Adam K. Raymond figured out Law & Order's economic impact on New York. "According to the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, Law & Order provided about 4,000 jobs each year of its life and pumped $79 million into the economy annually," he says. "Over the course of its twenty-year run, the show spent around $1 billion. The show also led to new laws providing tax breaks to productions that are shot mostly in the city, which brought other productions and more money to New York."
  • The Writing  New York Daily News writer, David Hinckley says the show's cancellation marks the end of an era of fact-based crime television programs. "Even when a 'Law & Order' episode feels thin or recycled, which can happen after 20 years, the show sticks to its mission," he says. "It's always about the investigation of a crime and prosecution of the alleged perpetrator--a focus to which all TV crime shows these days do not stick."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to