Law & Order
See the Law & Order franchise article for other Law & Order series.
At the time of its cancellation in 2010, it was the longest-running primetime drama in American television, and the second longest-running scripted series in US primetime (second to The Simpsons).
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.
|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|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
|The First Year||October 15, 2002||6||purchase|
|The Second Year||May 4, 2004||3||purchase|
|The Third Year||May 24, 2005||3||purchase|
|The Fourth Year||December 6, 2005||3||purchase|
|The Fifth Year||April 3, 2007||5||purchase|
|The Sixth Year||December 2, 2008||5||purchase|
|The Seventh Year||January 19, 2010||5||purchase|
|The Fourteenth Year||September 14, 2004||3||purchase|
- Official NBC website for Law & Order
- Law & Order Episodes, TV Listings, News, Photos and More at TVGuide.com
|The Law & Order Franchise|