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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Episodes

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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 44 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

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Release Date:

13 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Law & Order Prime  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(456 Episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The distinctive typeface used for all titles, credits, and on-screen "scene change" cards, for this show, and all of its spin-offs, is named "Friz Quadrata." The typeface used for "Starring" and "Created By" in the opening credits, the lone exception, is Eurostile. See more »

Goofs

When the detectives are interviewing someone or working a crime scene, they are never seen taking notes. Real detectives are constantly taking notes. The notes are so important that they are occasionally booked into evidence to ensure the originals will be available for review before trial. See more »

Quotes

ADA Serena Southerlyn: So, her sex life is way better than mine, so what?
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Steinjive (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Gritty and Compelling Ensemble Drama That Works
27 September 2004 | by (Manassas, VA) – 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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