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Law & Order

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Law & Order
Law and Order-title.jpg
Premiere September 13, 1990
Airs On hiatus
Creator Dick Wolf
Developed by Rick Eid (seasons 21-)
Network/Provider NBC (USA)
Citytv (Canada seasons 21-)
Style 60-minute crime drama
Company Wolf Films
Universal Television (seasons 1-8, 21-),
Studios USA (seasons 9-12),
Universal Network Television (seasons 13-14),
NBC Universal Television Studio (seasons 15-17),
Universal Media Studios (seasons 18-20)
Seasons 23
Episodes 501 + 1 telefilm (through season 23)
Status Renewed through season 24 (2024)
Origin USA

See the Law & Order franchise article for other Law & Order series.

Law & Order is a long-running crime drama that airs on NBC.

At the time of its cancelation in 2010, it was tied with Gunsmoke (at 20 seasons) as both the longest-running primetime drama in American television and the second longest-running scripted series in US primetime (second to The Simpsons, which continues in production), although Gunsmoke produced more episodes over its run (635) than either Law & Order (456) or The Simpsons until the latter series (750 episodes as of its 34th season) surpassed Gunsmoke with its 636th episode, "Forgive and Regret", on April 29, 2018.

Contents

Overview

Although the cast changed radically during its run, the format of Law & Order remained unchanged. A cold opening that is often unrelated to the crime itself occurs before the credits where someone finds the result of a crime. After the credits, two detectives investigate a crime committed, often murder but occasionally other crimes of the same variety, and follow through leads until a suspect is caught. An interrogation occurs and the Law portion of the episode ends. The second half of the episode is characterized by the trial of that suspect by the assistant district attorneys. Occasionally the detectives will make more appearances throughout the trial to follow up on leads that support the prosecution's evidence.

Because the series was set in New York City, filming is on location and often used local color to fill in extras. Beyond average joes on the street, New York politicians like Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg made appearances on the series. Keeping with this accuracy in setting, the series employed a number of police officers and legal experts as consultants in order to keep the plotlines as realistic as possible. This served in making the series different from previous detective shows like Perry Mason because not only did the police make mistakes, but the lawyers didn't always win their cases.

Law & Order is one of NBC's biggest revenue sources and ties Gunsmoke as the longest running drama in American prime time television history. The popularity of the series was such that it spawned a movie starring Chris Noth as well as several domestic and international franchise shows.

Cast

Actor Character Duration
Main Cast 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
George Dzundza Sgt. Max Greevey *
Paul Sorvino Sgt. Phil Cerreta * *
Jerry Orbach Det. Lennie Briscoe * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Dennis Farina Det. Joe Fontana * *
Milena Govich Det. Nina Cassady *
Jeremy Sisto Det. Cyrus Lupo * * *
Chris Noth Det. Mike Logan * * * * *
Benjamin Bratt Det. Rey Curtis * * * * o
Jesse L. Martin Det. Ed Green * * * * * * * * *
Michael Imperioli Det. Nick Falco *
Anthony Anderson Det. Kevin Bernard * * * *
Dann Florek Capt. Donald Cragen * * *
S. Epatha Merkerson Lt. Anita Van Buren * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Michael Moriarty E.A.D.A. Ben Stone * * * *
Sam Waterston E.A.D.A./D.A. Jack McCoy * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Richard Brooks A.D.A. Paul Robinette * * *
Jill Hennessy A.D.A. Claire Kincaid * * *
Carey Lowell A.D.A. Jamie Ross * * o
Angie Harmon A.D.A. Abbie Carmichael * * *
Elisabeth Röhm A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn * * * *
Annie Parisse A.D.A. Alexandra Borgia * *
Alana De La Garza A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa * * * *
Steven Hill D.A. Adam Schiff * * * * * * * * * *
Dianne Wiest D.A. Nora Lewin * *
Fred Dalton Thompson D.A. Arthur Branch * * * * *
Linus Roache E.A.D.A. Michael Cutter * * *
Jeffrey Donovan Det. Frank Cosgrove * *
Camryn Manheim Lt. Kate Dixon * * *
Hugh Dancy ADA Nolan Price * * * *
Odelya Halevi ADA Samantha Maroun * * * *
Reid Scott Detective Vincent Riley * *
Tony Goldwyn DA Nicholas Baxter * *
Orange/Red/o indicates a recurring or guest role during that season.
Dark Green indicates top billing during that season.
Supporting/Recurring Cast 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
John Fiore Det. Tony Profaci * * * * * * * * *
Leslie Hendrix Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Carolyn McCormick Dr. Elizabeth Olivet * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
David Lipman Judge Morris Torledsky * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
J.K. Simmons Dr. Emil Skoda * * * * * * * * *
Larry Clarke Det. Morris LaMotte * *
John Cariani C.S.U. Julian Beck * * * * * *
Andrea Navedo Det. Ana Cordova * * *

Seasons

Season  Premiere Finale #
NBC
Season One September 13, 1990 June 8, 1991 22
Season Two September 17, 1991 May 14, 1992 22
Season Three September 23, 1992 May 19, 1993 22
Season Four September 15, 1993 May 25, 1994 22
Season Five September 21, 1994 May 24, 1995 23
Season Six September 20, 1995 May 22, 1996 23
Season Seven September 18, 1996 May 21, 1997 23
Season Eight September 24, 1997 May 20, 1998 24
Season Nine September 23, 1998 May 26, 1999 24 + 1
Season Ten September 22, 1999 May 24, 2000 24
Season Eleven October 18, 2000 May 23, 2001 24
Season Twelve September 26, 2001 May 22, 2002 24
Season Thirteen October 2, 2002 May 21, 2003 24
Season Fourteen September 24, 2003 May 19, 2004 24
Season Fifteen September 22, 2004 May 18, 2005 24
Season Sixteen September 21, 2005 May 17, 2006 22
Season Seventeen September 22, 2006 May 18, 2007 22
Season Eighteen January 2, 2008 May 21, 2008 18
Season Nineteen November 5, 2008 June 3, 2009 22
Season Twenty September 25, 2009 May 24, 2010 23
Season Twenty-One February 24, 2022 May 19, 2022 10
Season Twenty-Two September 22, 2022 May 18, 2023 22
Season Twenty-Three January 18, 2024 May 16, 2024 13
Season Twenty-Four October 3, 2024

In-Depth

DVD Releases

Title Release Discs
Season Sets  (Region 1)
The First Year October 15, 2002 purchase 6
The Second Year May 4, 2004 purchase 3
The Third Year May 24, 2005 purchase 3
The Fourth Year December 6, 2005 purchase 3
The Fifth Year April 3, 2007 purchase 5
The Sixth Year December 2, 2008 purchase 5
The Seventh Year January 19, 2010 purchase 5
The Eighth Year December 7, 2010 5
The Ninth Year December 6, 2011 5
The Tenth Year February 28, 2012 5
The Eleventh Year November 6, 2012 5
The Twelfth Year February 26, 2013 5
The Thirteenth Year November 5, 2013 5
The Fourteenth Year September 14, 2004 purchase 3
The Fifteenth Year November 4, 2014 5
The Sixteenth Year November 4, 2014 5
The Seventeenth Year November 4, 2014 5
The Eighteenth Year May 5, 2015 5
The Nineteenth Year May 5, 2015 5
The Twentieth Year May 5, 2015 5

External Sites

The Law & Order Franchise
Current Series

Law & OrderLaw & Order: Special Victims UnitLaw & Order: Organized Crime

Current Adaptations

Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent

Past Series

Law & Order: Criminal IntentLaw & Order: Trial by JuryLaw & Order: Los AngelesConvictionLaw & Order: True Crime

Past Adaptations

Law & Order: UK