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 44 wins & 196 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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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:

Meet the Detectives and Prosecutors with a duty to bring Law & Order to New York City. See more »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

13 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Law & Order Prime  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(456 Episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Law & Order episodes are often advertised as being "ripped from the 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. However, with almost no exceptions, only a fairly small portion of the episode will resemble the real incident or incidents that it is inspired by. There might be a few scenes that resemble a well-known headline while the majority of the episode goes in a different direction, or there could be one character that is based on a famous individual, but the circumstances the person encounters are largely made up. See more »

Goofs

Number of times "ballistic fingerprinting" has been used to ID a murder weapon in New York = 0. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Puncture (2011) 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

 
The Criminal Justice System
26 April 2010 | by See all my reviews

Law And Order is a testament to the intelligence of the American viewing public that if police drama and courtroom drama is presented intelligently doesn't need crazy car chases nor choreographed police shootouts to become a hit. It has stayed at the top of the viewing public's taste because of the intelligent way it presents the criminal justice system and the issues of the day.

The typical Law And Order episode will have a murders the cops will investigate and arrest their suspect and then the District Attorney will take over. The ADA be it Michael Moriarty, Sam Waterston, or Linus Roache will have some obstacle tossed his way by smart defense lawyering or a judge that will hinder the prosecution. They will have to overcome it and most of the time they do. But not always, defense lawyers do win, it's why they command the fees they do and folks this is not Perry Mason.

The show's concept has struck a resonating tone with the public, it has to be the concept because no other show in the history of television drama has undergone as many cast changes as Law And Order. Even the boss has changed with New York County having four District Attorneys in the time of the show with Steven Hill, Dianne Weist, Fred DaltonThompson and now Sam Waterston moved up through the ranks. Hill was clearly based on the District Attorney in Manhattan for almost 40 years Robert Morgenthau.

The police are also an interesting lot. I think the show really lost something when Jerry Orbach left and died. Lennie Briscoe had the map of New York written across his face and I used to live for Orbach delivering Briscoe's cynical, but uncanny observations about life and love. There were good actors before and after Orbach, but none ever really got the essence of New York in their character.

Three regulars have died on the show, ADAs Jill Eikenberry and Annie Parisse, and Detective George Dzundza. Two of the ADAs Richard Brooks and Carey Lowell have become defense attorneys and have come back to the show on a few occasions. One I've been waiting to come back as a defense attorney was Elizabeth Rohm. When Fred Dalton Thompson fired Rohm and said she was more suitable as a defense attorney and after she confessed that she was a lesbian, I've been waiting for her return.

One of the other things I liked about the show was the steady semi-regular cast of defense attorneys who would appear now and then. Of the group I liked the late George Grizzard, Tovah Feldshuh, and Bob Dishy. And it was a special episode indeed when the late William Kunstler did a cameo role to defend a Sixties radical who was now in custody.

This show spun two successful other Law And Order franchises, Special Victims and Criminal Intent. Those shows have their points, but I think Law And Order sticks far more to reality than the others. Both the two spin-offs are likely to come up with some really wacky scenarios that go far beyond the scope of the shows.

This show could run forever as it apparently isn't dependent on any one player to succeed. And it has a never ending supply of plots taken from real life. What could be better?


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