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Law & Order 

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.


Dick Wolf
240 ( 7)




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2010   2009   2008   2007   2006   2005   … See all »
Nominated for 6 Golden Globes. Another 47 wins & 197 nominations. See more awards »



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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


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


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


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

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





Release Date:

13 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Law & Order Prime See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(456 Episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


George Dzundza left the series after the first season, because he tired of the commute to New York City from his Los Angeles house. He was replaced by Paul Sorvino. Sorvino left in the third season, because he disliked show's work schedule, and, because he was an opera singer, he wanted to preserve his vocal cords. See more »


When the Police need to arrest a medical professional, they are frequently shown barging into his/her office, exam room, or even the operating room. This would never happen in real life and is strictly forbidden, as it is a gross violation of the patient's privacy, and in the case of the OR, could contaminate the sterile environment, thereby jeopardizing patient safety as well. See more »


Det. Lennie Briscoe: Just like the Bates Hotel. They check in but they never check out.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the start of the season one episode "Torrents of Greed, Part 2" the customary "In the criminal justice system..." opening monologue and screen title were replaced with a monologue and screen title about manipulation of the legal system. See more »

Alternate Versions

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


Referenced in 2 Broke Girls: And the Drug Money (2012) See more »


I'm Not Driving Anymore
Written and Performed by Rob Dougan
(UK Version)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Intriguing and thrilling series follows a crime usually adapted from current front pages and from two separate vantage points
11 April 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

For every right there's a wrong. For every action there's a consequence. For every weeknight there's a Law & Order . Here we meet the Detectives and Prosecutors with a duty to bring Law & Order to New York City , in this series appears prestigious actors as Jerry Orbach, Jesse L Martin , Sam Waterston, Epatha Markeson ,Michael Moriarty , Elizabeth Rohm , Carolyn MacCormick ,Carey Lowel, Leslie Hendrix, Dennis Farina , JK Simmons , Anne Parish and many others . Protagonists of the series' longest-serving cast members that were not there when the series ended lasted far longer than the ones that replaced them. Interesting and overlong TV series dealing with investigation of heinous crimes presented from the perspectives of an expert police force and the prosecutors who accuse at criminal court . As 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 . As the toughest cases requires the toughest justice when dealing with the worst criminals meet the people who deal with them on their level. Long running TV drama produced by Dick Wolf, Warren Leight ,Rene Balcer , Arthur Fornier ,Ted Kotcheff and usual musical score by Mike Post , it tells the stories of two different yet equally important teams , the main : the cops who investigate crimes , carried out by the law enforcement and the public attorney at law who prosecute the offenders . The matter is then taken over by the prosecutors of the Manhatten District Attorney's office, who discuss deals and plea bargains, prepare the witnesses and evidence all whilst conducting the people's case in the trial of the accused. Dealing with the cops pursue the delinquents and the subsequent criminal justice system with spectacular trials . In NYC the dedicated detectives that investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite special of expert policemen . In the complex process of determining guilt and innocence, lives often hang in the balance.

Nice show that follows a murder , from two separate vantage points, the police investigation and the prosecution in court , including judge , jury , solicitor and prosecutor ; it delves into the more ominous offenses and grisly killings , investigating the crimes committed in NYC , usually adapted from current headlines, . Many people mistake this to mean that they are based on real events. In reality, the slogan is referring to the show's practice of coming up with stories that are partially inspired by recent headlines.. Both teams , Cops and Prosecutors , work together as well as with the Medical Examiners Office, Crime Lab and Police and District Attorney psychologists or psychiatrists. At the same time the protagonists are attemting to balance the consequences of the investigations on their own lives .

The series displays great actors , many of the actors on Law & Order were also regular cast members on HBO series The Wire . It is well starred by Jerry Orbach (274 episodes) as cop Lennie Briscoe until his death , Jesse L. Martin as cop Ed Green (198 episodes) , Dennis Farina as cop Joe Fontana ( (46 episodes) , their chief S. Epatha Merkerson as Anita Van Buren (391 episodes) and prosecutors as Sam Waterston , Elisabeth Röhm as Serena Southerlyn (85 episodes) ,Fred Dalton Thompson as Arthur Branch (116 episodes) , Steven Hill (229 episodes) , Leslie Hendrix as Dr. Forensic Elizabeth Rodgers (143 episodes) . All three of the series' longest-serving cast members lasted far longer than those they replaced: Jerry Orbach (Detective Lennie Briscoe) (1992-2004) lasted twelve years and replaced Paul Sorvino (Sergeant Phil Ceretta) who lasted only a year and a half (1991-1992); S. Epatha Merkerson (Lieutenant Anita Van Buren) (1993-2010), was with the series for seventeen seasons, replaced Dann Florek (Captain Don Cragen), who lasted three years (1990-1993); Sam Waterston (Executive District Attorney/District Attorney Jack McCoy) (1994-2010), who was with the series for sixteen seasons, replaced Michael Moriarty (Executive Assistant District Attorney Ben Stone), who lasted four years (1990-1994) .The series is well directed by good filmmakers as Ernest Dickerson ,Gabrielle Beaumont , Kristopher Tabori, alan Taylor , Eric Stoltz , Bruce Seth Green , Rick Wallace , Adam Bernstein , Fred Gerber , David Platt , Richard Dobbs , Matthew Penn , Jean de Segonzac , Michael Pressman , Arthur W. Forney ,Tony Goldwyn James Frawley , Vincent Misiano , John Whitesell and many others .

Other series about Law and order produced by Dick Wolf are the following ones : the first ¨Law and Order : special victim unit ¨ and following ¨Law and order : Criminal intent ¨ , ¨Law & Order: Trial by Jury¨, ¨Law & Order: Los Angeles¨ , ¨Ley and Order , True Crime: El caso Menéndez ¨(2017). Furthermore , a British version of the long running series produced by Dick Wolf , Rene Balcer , starred by a new elite force headed by Jamie Bamber , Ben Daniels, Freema Agyeman , Bill Paterson , Harriet Walter .

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