Although in this case, twenty years can't be wrong.
I started watching Law and Order when my first son was born in 1990. I have clear memories of bravely fighting sleep at 10 pm, and making it through the arrest before falling asleep on the loveseat. I don't think I saw anyone prosecuted (10:30 pm - 11 pm) until at least 1995.
I also remember startling myself awake one night to the sound of a baby in distress and starting up the stairs to check on him. My husband stopped me and said, "It's on TV." Ah - Law and Order; got it. This is partly why I could watch the show for years and they were all new. I never saw the second half.
My attraction to the show never faded; in fact I've shared the experience with my boys, who agree that Jack McCoy is fiercesome.
All this to say, it's the end of an era. (Note: a brief but sincere "thanks for trying," to James.) I'm not sure I'll be literally wearing a black arm band on Monday, but I'll want to. As my brief homage, I offer today's Daily Caller column.