7.7/10
31,327
161 user 30 critic

Law & Order 

Trailer
1:04 | Trailer
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
146 ( 10)

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 & 197 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
S. Epatha Merkerson ...  Lieutenant Anita Van Buren / ... 391 episodes, 1991-2010
Sam Waterston ...  E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy / ... 368 episodes, 1994-2010
Jerry Orbach ...  Detective Lennie Briscoe / ... 274 episodes, 1991-2004
Steven Hill ...  D.A. Adam Schiff 229 episodes, 1990-2000
Jesse L. Martin ...  Detective Ed Green 198 episodes, 1999-2008
Edit

Storyline

Filmed on location in New York, the drama showcases the sometimes-complex process of determining guilt or innocence, while lives hang in the balance. Often inspired by the latest headlines, the plots highlight legal, ethical or personal dilemmas to which people can relate.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the complex process of determining a verdict, lives will often hang in the balance. See more »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end of the fifth season, executive producer Dick Wolf decided not to renew Chris Noth's contract, citing that the interaction between Logan and the similarly jaded Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) lacked enough dramatic contrast. Viewers and critics were shocked at the dismissal of the most popular cast member at that time. Years later, Noth convinced Wolf to produce "Exiled (1998)" to wrap up the story of Mike Logan, which Noth felt had been prematurely extinguished on the show. Noth returned again to revive the character for three seasons of Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001). See more »

Goofs

Throughout the series, the detectives (or the Crime Scene Unit Forensic Technicians) are able to ID a bullet 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 and is 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

Emil Skoda: That's just a load of rehearsed crap.
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 »

Alternate Versions

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

User Reviews

How You Can Tell
30 November 2004 | by schappe1See all my reviews

Here's how you can tell, (sort of), which season a rerun of this show was originally part of. Most of us watch the reruns even more than the regular show and even discovered the regular show through the re-runs so I thought this might be helpful for the newbies.

1988: The pilot has a grainy look to it. The offices of the lawyers are more proletarian that the wood-paneled hives they now work in. The big thing is that the DA, (as opposed to the Executive Assistant DA- let's call him the EADA, or the assistant DA- let's call her the ADA), is played for the one and only time by Roy Thinnes, who must have finally escaped from 'The Invaders'. It's about the Masucci Crime Family, (who will be back), corrupting public officials and ends will a lengthy scroll about the ongoing fight against corruption, etc.

1990-91: Short, heavy-set, balding George Dzundza is the cynical older cop. Dzundza left because he preferred to live and work where it was warmer and his character, (played by his stand-in), gets bumped off in the first episode of the second season.

1991-92: Paul Sorvino plays his replacement, nice-guy Phil Cerretta. The show actually began the next year with the same cast but Sorvino wanted to leave to become an opera singer so poor Phil got shot by a black-market arms dealer in November, 1992 and was replaced by the classic dog-faced flatfoot, Jerry Orbach as Lenny Briscoe.

1993-94: It had been an all-male cast so they brought in Jill Hennessy to replace Richard Brooks as the ADA. But Brooks was black so they had to bring in another black character, (my interpretation) so out went the excellent Dann Florek as Lt. Cragan, to be replaced by S. Epatha Merkerson, (I can always remember her name but not the characters).

1994-5: Michael Moriarity had come apart due to, (from what I've read), alcohol and chronic mental problems that resurfaced. He was replaced this season by Sam Waterson, who came over from 'I'll Fly Away' as the EADA. Meanwhile perennial malcontent, (again from what I've read), Chris Noth either wanted out or was wanted out and his character, Mike Logan, slugs another corrupt public official on the steps of the courthouse, (after the smug perp gets off), and is banished to Staten Island, later to return in a TV movie.

1995-96: The year of the first true 'Homicide' cross-over, (Noth as Logan had done a cameo the previous year), and the rare L&O episode that was about the regulars, who witnesses an execution and then spend the day and night drinking it off. It all ends with Hennessy's character, Clare Kincaid, dying in an auto accident. RIP.

1996-98 Carey Lowell replaced Hennessy. Dick Wolf had apparently decided to get ready for the next abrupt departure by creating a sub-plot for each character to explain why they might leave: Adam Schiff was facing a tough election, (and his wife was dying), McCoy was up on ethics charges, (finally). Jaime Ross's sleazy ex-husband was trying to win custody of their child by claiming she was working too hard. Van Buren was suing the city for discrimination in promotions. Lenny Briscoe's daughter gets rubbed out by a dope ring. Rey Curtis' wife has MS. So what happened? Nothing. Everyone stayed.

1998-99: Lowell DID leave, for a similar reason as her character's- she had a baby with Richard Gere and wanted to spend time with her child. Angie Harmon, a real firecracker, came in to replace her.

1999-00: Bratt left to spend more time with HIS movie star other half, Julia Roberts, (it didn't last). Jesse Martin replaced him.

2000-01: Hill finally left to be replaced with Diane Wiest.

2001-02: Harmon left to be with her new hubby, football star Jason Sehorn, to be replaced by the much maligned, (and under-rated), Elizabeth Rohm. 9/11 made it an interesting season to come in.

2002-04: Senator Fred Thompson replaces Wiest.

2004-05: By bye Lennie Briscoe. Hello Dennis Farnia. Does it even matter that his character's named Fontana?

Sooo…Thinnes= '88 pilot. Dzundza = 1st season (90-91). Sorvino = 2nd season or early third, (91-92). Orbach reporting to Florek = 3rd season, (92-93). Moriarity working with Hennessy = 4th season, (93-94). Waterson and we still have Noth= 5th season, (94-95). Bratt and we still have Hennessy = 6th season, (95-96). Carey Lowell is either the 7th season, (96-97) or 8th season, (97-98). Harmon and we still have Bratt = 9th season (98-99). Martin and we still have Hill = 10th season, (99-00). Wiest working with Harmon = 11th season, (00-01). Wiest working with Rohm = 12th season, (01-02). Thompson and we still have Orbach = 13th, (02-03) or 14th, (03-04) season. Farina, so far = 15th season, (04-05).

My dream cast? I'll take the crusty but forceful Thompson over the merely crusty Hill as the DA. I like Moriarity's Stone somewhat more than Waterson's McCoy. They are two of the finest actors of their generation but I prefer Stone's idealism to McCoy's 'winning is everything' attitude. Actually, I wish the series had both of them and had them alternated, with their different approaches. Hennessy's intelligent sensitivity and expressive face made her the best ADA. Florek is the classic middle manager who gets it from both sides. Orbach fits like an old glove. Noth's emotionalism made him more exciting that the other young cops. There was never a season when they were all together but the fourth season, 1993-94 was about the best.


168 of 200 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 161 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Bravo [Canada] | CBS Justice [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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed