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Law & Order 

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Follows a crime, usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points, the police investigation and the prosecution in court.


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Nominated for 6 Golden Globes. Another 44 wins & 196 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:


The show follows a crime, ususally adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points. The first half of the show concentrates on the investigation of the crime by the police, the second half follows the prosecution of the crime in court. Written by Mike Menditto

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In the complex process of determining a verdict, lives will often hang in the balance. See more »


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

13 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Law & Order Prime  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(456 Episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Martin Sheen was considered for the role of Sergeant Max Greevey. See more »


Throughout the series, the detectives (or the Crime Scene Unit Forensic Technicians) are able to ID a bullet caliber from the wound size. In reality this is impossible. A 9mm, .38, .40 and even a .45 all make wounds that are indistinguishable from each other on a body. The police also often look at a bullet and ID the pistol from it. While possible, this requires forensic analysis and is generally not very conclusive because the bullet is too deformed. The conformation of a particular bullet coming from a particular gun using "ballistic fingerprinting" has never resulted in a conviction. See more »


[upon learning that an old gangster had himself killed to frame his cheating young wife and her boyfriend]
DA Branch: Well, I guess it beats dousing yourself in rum and lighting up a Cohiba.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the attack on the World Trade Center the opening was changed for one episode to reflect the sacrifices of the NYPD and the NYFD. See more »


Referenced in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Shaken (2003) See more »


I'm Not Driving Anymore
Written and Performed by Rob Dougan
(UK Version)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Still compelling after all these years
5 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

I only started watching L&O a few years ago, and am hooked on the brilliant writing, acting, and direction that have made this show so popular for so long. Jerry Orbach is great as Lennie, and I was stunned to learn that he also played the voice of Lumiere, the French candlestick in Beauty and the Beast! His sarcastic one-liners never fail to get me laughing, and he and his new partner, Jesse L. Martin as Ed Green, have a good rapport and are believable as partners. On the "Order" side, Sam Waterston, Dianne Wiest, and Elisabeth Rohm are equally compelling. New cast member Rohm has gotten better as she's gone along; she had big shoes to fill as Angie Harmon's replacement. Because the stories are all driven by the plots, and not the characters' personal lives, it makes the constant cast turnover more believable. It's a testament to Dick Wolf and co. that such a smart, sharp show has stayed on the edge after almost 12 years! My only beef is I'm tired of hearing "Ripped from the headlines" in every promo. That, though, is a minor quibble. Wednesday nights wouldn't be the same without it!

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