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Law & Order 

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Follows a crime (usually a murder), usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points, the police investigation and the prosecution in court.

Creator:

Dick Wolf
Reviews
Popularity
172 ( 16)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



20   19   18   17   16   15   14   13   12   … See all »
2010   2009   2008   2007   2006   2005   … See all »
Nominated for 6 Golden Globes. Another 47 wins & 196 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
S. Epatha Merkerson ...  Anita Van Buren / ... 391 episodes, 1991-2010
Sam Waterston ...  Jack McCoy 368 episodes, 1994-2010
Jerry Orbach ...  Lennie Briscoe / ... 274 episodes, 1991-2004
Steven Hill ...  Adam Schiff 229 episodes, 1990-2000
Jesse L. Martin ...  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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Bravo [Canada] | Channel 5 [UK] | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Law & Order Prime See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(456 Episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jerry Orbach left the show after twelve years to star in the spin-off Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005). He died after filming only two episodes. See more »

Goofs

In more than one episode, characters refer to the District Attorneys of various New Jersey counties. New Jersey has County Prosecutors, not District Attorneys. However, this error is very common. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Donald Cragen: [repeated line, annoyed every time someone calls] WHAT?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Rebroadcasts on TNT were digitally altered to include product placements. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Drew Barrymore/Macy Gray (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Law and Order X 3
7 January 2003 | by schappe1See all my reviews

It was suggested to me that one of the best performances on television was being given by Vincent D'Onofrio on Law and Order: Criminal intent. I've always admired D' Onofrio's work, including his Orson Welles in Ed Wood and his turn as the man crushed in the subway accident on Homicide. I particularly liked that one because of his refusal to compromise by making the character likable. He was just a guy who had not planned to die that day and was angry at everybody for the fate that had befallen him. He made the character human so we could all relate to him. Unfortunately, I can't relate to the guy he plays on L&O:CI, an overbearing ham who chews up every scene he's in. I much prefer the other Law and Orders where the actors use more restraint.

I've watched the original L&O for about 10 years. When I first saw it I thought it was the best show I'd ever seen. it seemed grounded in the reality of it's subject and unlike the cross-sectional shows that tell too many stories at once and do justice to none of them. But I've grown tired of the rigid format of the show. The original law and order is still a good show but I get tired of it's rigid format where you can guess what will happen next based on the minute hand of the clock. At the top of the hour, some people are having a conversation when they suddenly find a body. Then we jump to the crime scene investigation where the detectives get the low-down and Briscoe, at about 5 after makes a wisecrack. then comes the opening credits. The detectives try to find out as much as they can over the next ten minutes but don't have any real leads. The lieutenant tells them they're full of it and sends them to check out some particular thing with uncovers an apparent motive for the murder. This comes at about 15 after. They grill the guy at the station house and maybe put him through a lineup with a defense attorney yipping at their heals. Then they find out the guy didn't do it and it turns out this story is about something else entirely. They find out what it is and at 25 after they tell it to the assistant DA who tells them they are full of it. But they convince her that they aren't full of it and she tells them to arrest the guy. Then comes everybody's favorite scene at half past, the "How dare you arrest me! Can't you see I'm doing something important?" scene. Then we come to everybody's other favorite scene, the arraignment where the other defense attorney tells the judge the prosecution's full of it and the judge tells the defense attorney that he's full of it. Then, at 25 of, the district attorney tells the executive district attorney and the assistant district attorney that they're full of it. The defense attorney concurs and presents the executive assistant DA with a motion to suppress whatever evidence they have for some ridiculous reason except that the judge thinks it's a wonderful reason at 15 of we're back where we started. Now the executive assistant and the assistant DA hatch a plan to bend the rules to get the guy convicted anyway. The only suspense is whether it works. And if it doesn't there's usually some extralegal retribution at the end. It's been a great show and it may go on forever but it is possible to get a little tired of it.

I'm not tired of SVU. This has an open-ended format. It's 90% the police and 10% the lawyers but it's mostly about the victims and the perpetrators and how they got that way. It can get a bit seamy at times but the writing and acting are great. Christopher Meloni and Jayne Mansfield's kid, Mariska Hargitay are passionate but under control as the leads. Dann Florek, who was on the original L&O at the beginning is great as their superior. Stephanie March is better than any of the assistant DA's on the original L&O since Jill Hennessy. And they have Richard Belzer reprising him "Munch" character from Homicide. It's always compelling.


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