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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 46 wins & 196 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...  Anita Van Buren / ... 391 episodes, 1991-2010
...  Jack McCoy 368 episodes, 1994-2010
...  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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the complex process of determining guilt and innocence, lives often hang in the balance. See more »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Bravo [Canada] | Channel 5 [UK] |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Law & Order Prime  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(456 Episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The show was based on and inspired by a BBC 4 part drama about the British legal system broadcast in 1978 and seen by Dick Wolf. The drama looked at an event ( a corrupt Scotland Yard detective frames a known criminal for an armed robbery) from four different perspectives: the policeman's, the criminal's, the prosecution and defence lawyers and finally life in prison for the unfairly convicted villain. Wolf liked the innovative idea of following a crime from both the police investigation and then the lawyers perspective through to the trial and verdict. See more »

Goofs

We see the detectives arrest wealthy people going about their business and when taken down to the precinct where they actually cooperate with the authorities rather than allowing their attorneys to speak on their behalf. This doesn't happen as wealthy people who aren't flight risks are allowed to surrender rather than be arrested in public and will let there attorneys do all the talking. See more »

Quotes

Det. Mike Logan: [to a girl who's being unhelphul] Listen... Somebody blew your boyfriend's brains out with a 48, okay?
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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 Hot in Cleveland: Funeral Crashers (2011) 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 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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