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Law & Order

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Law & Order
Law and Order-title.jpg
Premiere September 13, 1990
Finale May 24, 2010
Creator Dick Wolf
Network NBC
Style 60-minute crime drama
Company Wolf Films
Universal Television
(seasons 1–8)
Studios USA Television
(seasons 9–12)
Universal Network Television
(seasons 13–14)
NBC Universal Television Studio
(seasons 15–17)
Universal Media Studios
(seasons 18-20)
Seasons 20
Episodes 456 + 1 telefilm
Origin USA

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

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

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).

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
George Dzundza Sgt. Max Greevey 1
Paul Sorvino Sgt. Phil Cerreta 2 3
Jerry Orbach Det. Lennie Briscoe 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Dennis Farina Det. Joe Fontana 15 16
Milena Govich Det. Nina Cassaday 17
Jeremy Sisto Det. Cyrus Lupo 18 19 20
Chris Noth Det. Mike Logan 1 2 3 4 5
Benjamin Bratt Det. Rey Curtis 6 7 8 9 20
Jesse L. Martin Det. Ed Green 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Michael Imperioli Det. Nick Falco 15
Anthony Anderson Det. Kevin Bernard 18 19 20
Dann Florek Capt. Don Cragen 1 2 3
S. Epatha Merkerson Lt. Anita Van Buren 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Michael Moriarty E.A.D.A. Ben Stone 1 2 3 4
Sam Waterston E.A.D.A./D.A. Jack McCoy 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Richard Brooks A.D.A. Paul Robinette 1 2 3
Jill Hennessy A.D.A. Claire Kincaid 4 5 6
Carey Lowell A.D.A. Jamie Ross 7 8
Angie Harmon A.D.A. Abbie Carmichael 9 10 11
Elisabeth Röhm A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn 12 13 14 15
Annie Parisse A.D.A. Alexandra Borgia 15 16
Alana De La Garza A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa 17 18 19 20
Steven Hill D.A. Adam Schiff 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Dianne Wiest D.A. Nora Lewin 11 12
Fred Dalton Thompson D.A. Arthur Branch 13 14 15 16 17
Linus Roache E.A.D.A. Michael Cutter 18 19 20
Season numbers in red indicate a recurring or guest role in that season.
Supporting/Recurring Cast
John Fiore Det. Tony Profaci 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Leslie Hendrix Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Carolyn McCormick Dr. Elizabeth Olivet 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
David Lipman Judge Morris Torledsky 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
J.K. Simmons Dr. Emil Skoda 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 20
Larry Clarke Det. Morris LaMotte 9 10
John Cariani C.S.U. Julian Beck 12 13 14 15 16 17
Andrea Navedo Det. Ana Cordova 12 13 14

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

In-Depth

DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
Season Sets
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

External Sites

The Law & Order Franchise
Current Series

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitLaw & Order: UK

Past Series

Law & OrderLaw & Order: Criminal IntentLaw & Order: Trial by JuryLaw & Order: Los AngelesConviction