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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?


The series was originally set to film in Los Angeles, but Dick Wolf fought NBC to film it in New York City, and won. In May 2010, it was announced that a new Los Angeles-based spin-off, tentatively titled Law & Order: LA (2010), would start in the 2010 fall line-up. See more »


The earliest episodes use many different numbers for the precinct occupied by the main police characters, before eventually settling on the 27th Precinct (or the "two-seven" as it is usually called) for the rest of the series. See more »


Ben Stone: Unless the victim qualifies for sainthood, we shouldn't prosecute? Lyndon Johnson tried governing by opinion polls... It didn't work.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Season 17 episode "Tombstone" ends with live action during the credits in stead of the usual black background. See more »


Spin-off Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001) 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

Gritty and Compelling Ensemble Drama That Works
27 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

This intense drama, now in its 15th season and still going strong, set the stage for ensemble drama, in which the cast plays a secondary role to the story. Law & Order, as originally conceived, drew the viewer into the process by which American law enforcement and litigation works, or doesn't, depending on the viewer's opinion. The first half-hour is devoted to the investigation of a crime, the second to its prosecution. Cases are made or lost by evidence, lack thereof, a technicality, or even judicial whim. Dick Wolf made it clear from day one that the cast was expendable; no prima donnas here. The first cast was all male, with one African-American. Wolf apparently caved to fan pressure for a more politically-correct spectrum, but it really didn't matter so long as the actors could carry the story forward. His best casting choice was Jerry Orbach, his worst Elisabeth Rohm, but with or without these people, the drama continues. In recent years, L&O has lost some of the grittiness that made it so compelling, and I do miss actors such as Steven Hill, Michael Moriarty, Chris Noth, Jill Hennessy and now Orbach, but the show is still far superior to the majority of what passes for prime-time programming. It only suffers in the rare episodes when a politically-correct message is pushed into the story, i.e., whenever it deviates from its original format of presenting how the criminal justice system works. Ignore the spinoffs; the original Law & Order is still the best.

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