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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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191 ( 9)

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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:
...
 Lt. Anita Van Buren / ... (391 episodes, 1991-2010)
...
 Jack McCoy (368 episodes, 1994-2010)
...
 Detective 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

Steven Zirnkilton, who narrates the opening credit sequences, only appeared on screen once. He played a detective in the pilot episode ("Everybody's Favorite Bagman"). He had one line of dialogue: "Look at that. Do you believe these guys?" See more »

Goofs

Throughout the series, the detectives (or Crime scene analysts) are able to ID a butter 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 a dis 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 »

Quotes

Ben Stone: Although justice must be tempered with mercy, it must still maintain a sense of retribution.
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

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Scarlett Johansson/Björk (2007) 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

 
The Criminal Justice System
26 April 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Law And Order is a testament to the intelligence of the American viewing public that if police drama and courtroom drama is presented intelligently doesn't need crazy car chases nor choreographed police shootouts to become a hit. It has stayed at the top of the viewing public's taste because of the intelligent way it presents the criminal justice system and the issues of the day.

The typical Law And Order episode will have a murders the cops will investigate and arrest their suspect and then the District Attorney will take over. The ADA be it Michael Moriarty, Sam Waterston, or Linus Roache will have some obstacle tossed his way by smart defense lawyering or a judge that will hinder the prosecution. They will have to overcome it and most of the time they do. But not always, defense lawyers do win, it's why they command the fees they do and folks this is not Perry Mason.

The show's concept has struck a resonating tone with the public, it has to be the concept because no other show in the history of television drama has undergone as many cast changes as Law And Order. Even the boss has changed with New York County having four District Attorneys in the time of the show with Steven Hill, Dianne Weist, Fred DaltonThompson and now Sam Waterston moved up through the ranks. Hill was clearly based on the District Attorney in Manhattan for almost 40 years Robert Morgenthau.

The police are also an interesting lot. I think the show really lost something when Jerry Orbach left and died. Lennie Briscoe had the map of New York written across his face and I used to live for Orbach delivering Briscoe's cynical, but uncanny observations about life and love. There were good actors before and after Orbach, but none ever really got the essence of New York in their character.

Three regulars have died on the show, ADAs Jill Eikenberry and Annie Parisse, and Detective George Dzundza. Two of the ADAs Richard Brooks and Carey Lowell have become defense attorneys and have come back to the show on a few occasions. One I've been waiting to come back as a defense attorney was Elizabeth Rohm. When Fred Dalton Thompson fired Rohm and said she was more suitable as a defense attorney and after she confessed that she was a lesbian, I've been waiting for her return.

One of the other things I liked about the show was the steady semi-regular cast of defense attorneys who would appear now and then. Of the group I liked the late George Grizzard, Tovah Feldshuh, and Bob Dishy. And it was a special episode indeed when the late William Kunstler did a cameo role to defend a Sixties radical who was now in custody.

This show spun two successful other Law And Order franchises, Special Victims and Criminal Intent. Those shows have their points, but I think Law And Order sticks far more to reality than the others. Both the two spin-offs are likely to come up with some really wacky scenarios that go far beyond the scope of the shows.

This show could run forever as it apparently isn't dependent on any one player to succeed. And it has a never ending supply of plots taken from real life. What could be better?


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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