Research: Viewers to Miss Law & Order the Most

In the TV-viewing system, the people are divided into two not very equal parts: those who’ll miss Law & Order the most, now that (endless re-runs aside) it’s no longer on the air, and those who’ll miss some other now-defunct show the most.

In a Rasmussen Reports survey conducted last month, respondents were asked to say which of seven popular-but-not-returning TV dramas they’ll miss the most. Law & Order, which enjoyed a two-decade run and spawned more spinoffs than you can shake a remote control at, won a plurality of the vote (26 percent), more than doubling the tally for its nearest rival, 24, which tallied 12 percent.

The rest of the vote was scattered among Monk (9 percent), Lost (8 percent), Ghost Whisperer (7 percent), Numbers (5 percent) and Heroes (4 percent). Nineteen percent said they’d most miss some show not on the survey’s roster of choices, and the rest weren’t sure one way or another.

The same survey asked respondents to pick the comedy show they’ll miss the most. In a positive harbinger for Conan O’Brien’s next foray into TV, 13 percent picked The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien as the comedy they’ll miss most. The runner-up, inevitably, was The Jay Leno Show (12 percent). Scrubs was the only other comedy to score in double digits (at 11 percent).

In this context—questions about popular shows that are no more—it’s perhaps unsurprising that respondents were predisposed to say the medium is getting worse. In any case, when asked whether they think television shows are “getting better or worse as the years go by,” 61 percent said “worse” and 15 percent said “better.” Nineteen percent said they’ve stayed about the same, and the rest weren’t sure.