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The show follows a crime, usually 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.

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2010   2009   2008   2007   2006   2005   … See all »
Nominated for 6 Golden Globes. Another 44 wins & 196 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Anita Van Buren / ... (391 episodes, 1991-2010)
...
 Jack McCoy (368 episodes, 1994-2010)
...
 Lennie Briscoe / ... (274 episodes, 1991-2004)
...
 Adam Schiff (229 episodes, 1990-2000)
...
 Ed Green (198 episodes, 1999-2008)
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Storyline

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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories. See more »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

13 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Law & Order Prime  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(456 Episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of the show's creation, one-hour dramas were going through a slump, with sitcoms being more popular and much more likely to get strong syndication deals for re-runs. Dick Wolf thought that it might be easier to sell the show in 30-minute segments and came up with the concept of the first half of the show being the police investigation and the second half the legal procedure. Dramas started rebounding in popularity shortly after Law & Order debuted, so this never ended up becoming an issue with re-run deals. See more »

Goofs

When the Detectives want to "bring in" or "pick up" someone for questioning are usually located instantly. That might work if they had a consistent schedule they followed faithfully every day, but there are few people who do that. Also, many of the people they are looking for are homeless or otherwise itinerant, and even they don't know where they will be tomorrow. See more »

Quotes

Det. Lennie Briscoe: I told you, you should have gone to bed with her. You're getting the grief without getting the gravy.
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 »

Connections

Spin-off Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Not Driving Anymore
(Instrumental)
Written and Performed by Rob Dougan
(UK Version)
See more »

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User Reviews

Gritty and Compelling Ensemble Drama That Works
27 September 2004 | by (Manassas, VA) – 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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