"Law & Order" to return for 20th season

Tue May 19, 2009 12:14am EDT

Actor Jeremy Sisto from the show 'Kidnapped' arrives at the NBC All-Star Party in Pasadena, California July 22, 2006. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

Actor Jeremy Sisto from the show 'Kidnapped' arrives at the NBC All-Star Party in Pasadena, California July 22, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Phil McCarten

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Law & Order" will match "Gunsmoke's" record 20-year run.

NBC on Monday renewed Dick Wolf's veteran crime drama for a 20th season, sources said.

The order is believed to be for 16 episodes.

Wolf had been open about his desire to tie "Gunsmoke" for the longest-running drama series on television.

Once a staple at NBC, "L&O," which spawned two successful spin-off series with "Law & Order: SVU" and "Law & Order: CI," has seen its ratings slide in the past couple seasons, when it served as a midseason replacement.

Its current cast includes Jeremy Sisto, Anthony Anderson, Sam Waterston, S. Epatha Merkerson, Alana De La Garza and Linus Roache.

NBC is slated to announce its schedule for next season Tuesday in New York.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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