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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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
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 Anita Van Buren / ... (391 episodes, 1991-2010)
...
 Jack McCoy (368 episodes, 1994-2010)
...
 Lennie Briscoe / ... (274 episodes, 1991-2004)
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 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 | Plot 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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

13 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Law & Order Prime  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(456 Episodes)

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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

When witness or suspects are brought to the station and interrogated sometimes it's pretty clear they didn't want to come. If there is no probable cause for an arrest or an active arrest warrant, the police can't make you go anywhere against your will. Once in a while, a wealthy or educated person will assert this, but mostly the cops just walk up to people, put the cuffs on them, and place them in the car. See more »

Quotes

Adam Schiff: A motive pulled straight from the tabloids. And what about means and opportunity? Are you getting that from comic books?
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Crazy Credits

Some (but not all) episodes show a disclaimer emphasizing the fictional nature of the story just prior to the closing credits. This is particularly important on those episodes that were inspired by well-known real- life legal cases. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Boston Legal: A Whiff and a Prayer (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Not Driving Anymore
(Instrumental)
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 (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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