TV STUFF: ‘Law & Order’ Forever

Benjamin Bratt SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 27, 2000 — A prediction: In the futuristic world of 2005, “Friends” will be ex-“Friends,” “ER” will be closed, but “Law & Order” will still be making people nauseous with shaky cameras. The first two are guesses; the third is a lock. On Wednesday, NBC announced that it had renewed the looong-running cop-and-lawyer show for five years — or through the 2004-2005 season.

“Law & Order” debuted in 1990. It is only peaking ratings-wise this year, ranked No. 13 among all primetime shows.

We’d tell you who stars in the show, but that changes every 15 minutes so what’s the point. Although for the uninitiated, this is the show that used to star Julia Roberts‘ boyfriend Benjamin Bratt.

COMINGS, GOINGS: “The Jamie Foxx Show” is looking like a likely candidate to be back for a fifth season, today’s Daily Variety says; over at the UPN, the Barry Levinson-produced “The Beat” has been canned after six broadcasts.

THE MISSING LINKS: Two episodes of “Manchester Prep” — the axed-before-it-aired Fox drama about randy-minded teens — will resurface on video as a “movie” prequel to 1999’s “Cruel Intentions, producers tell The Hollywood Reporter. “Manchester” was a TV-land spinoff of “Cruel Intentions.” Or, at least, it was supposed to be.

INSTA-COMEDY: Wednesday’s installment of “South Park” on Comedy Central was completed just hours before its airtime, the network says. The episode focused on a ripped-from-the-headlines Elian Gonzalez-esque case. Only not as funny.

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