Law & Order: Season 4, Episode 1

Sweeps (15 Sep. 1993)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Stone goes after a sensational tabloid talk show host after a child molester is murdered on live television by the father of his victim.



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Airs Tue. Jun. 02, 7:00 PM on WE

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Title: Sweeps (15 Sep 1993)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Mason
Scotty Fisher
Alexandra Gersten ...
Sarah Fisher
Sid Fisher
David Little ...
Debbie Courio (as Margaret Gibson)
Alice Sutton
Paul Geier ...
Barry Talbott


Rick Mason is the host of a trashy tabloid TV show, the kind that likes to create confrontations among guests, all in the hopes of getting ever better ratings. For his latest program, the guests are a young boy and his mother and the psychiatrist who molested him three years before but has now been released from prison. The show has barely started when the boy's estranged father bursts onto the stage and shoots the psychiatrist, killing him. Detectives Briscoe and Logan seem to have an pretty straightforward case but soon begin to suspect that Mason may have set up the confrontation and was well aware that such a confrontation could be violent. ADA Stone is keen to prosecute Mason but it will be difficult to overcome Mason's popularity and to convince a jury of his guilt. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

15 September 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first episode for S. Epatha Merkerson as Lietunent Anita Van Buran(she had appeared as another character in the first season episode _ "Law & Order" Mushrooms (1991)_) and for Jill Hennessy. The network had insisted that women characters be added to the show in order to attract more female viewers. See more »


The show host's lawyer says that any conversation she had with her client on the phone is privileged and that anything overheard by an employee is also privileged because that person is an employee. There is not and never has been any such extension of lawyer-client privilege to employees of a client simply by virtue of their being an employee, and any lawyer should know that. See more »


[after he kills the man who molested his son]
Sid Fisher: Somebody shot an animal. Call a vet.
See more »

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User Reviews

18 July 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It's a sad and curious thing about how television appeals to the lowest common denominator at times. Law And Order in this episode explores that phenomenon and the almighty pursuit of ratings with sensationalism. In real life all that came to a head when Jenny Jones had as guests on a show that never aired, a man who had a long ago gay crush on another and the object of said affection. After the taping the object shot and killed the gay man who had secretly lusted after him when he was a youth. Her career was over, but these shows remain.

Robert Klein is the host of such a show and like Jerry Springer brings together folks for sensationalism. He brings together a kid who was molested and the guy who did the molesting back in the day. And the father comes along and shoots him on camera.

Jerry Orbach and Chris Noth develop the case which is pretty straightforward. But as things move along it turns out that Klein was quite the puppetmaster. He's also shown as one of the sleaziest individuals ever portrayed on Law And Order.

Klein's character as written is over the top, but that does make the point. These folks only exist because we watch them.

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