Home Television Drama Law and Order

Law and Order

1 9 9 0 – 2 0 1 0 (USA)
456 x 60 minute episodes

“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups – the police who investigate crimes and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories”.

Set in New York City, this police/legal drama series featured two different segments. The first half of each show featured the police investigation of a crime, while the second half concentrated on the court battle that ensued after the criminals were arrested.

Actual high-profile cases taken directly from the news were used as the basis for stories on the series, although they were fictionalised and never used the names of real people.

The police section of the show often employed hand-held cameras, giving the show a realistic news-reporting appearance, which was enhanced by the location shooting on the streets of New York City.

When the series debuted, NYPD Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth) and Detective Sergeant Max Greevey (George Dzundza) were in charge of the police investigations. They reported to Captain Donald Cragen (Dann Florek).

In 1991, Greevey was replaced by Detective Phil Cerreta (Paul Sorvino), and in 1992 Cerreta was replaced by Detective Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach). Logan disappeared from the show in 1995 and was replaced by Detective Reynaldo ‘Rey’ Curtis (Benjamin Bratt).

In the legal half of the series, Assistant District Attorney Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty) was in charge of the cases that resulted from an arrest. Stone was assisted by Assistant DA Paul Robinette (Richard Brooks) from 1990 until 1993.

Assistant DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) replaced Stone in 1994, assisted by A.D.A Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy), A.D.A Jamie Ross (Carey Lowell) and A.D.A Abbie Carmichael (Angie Harmon). The District Attorney was Adam Schiff (Steven Hill).

Michael Moriarty – who played Ben Stone – quit the show in protest amid controversy about government interference with free speech when the show’s producer, Dick Wolf, bowed to government pressure to soften the scripts.

In 1999, a spin-off series called Law & Order: Special Victims Unit aired to an enthusiastic audience. The new series ran concurrently with Law & Order and delved into the darker side of the criminal world. The detectives of the Special Victims Unit investigated and prosecuted various sex crimes.

A second spin-off, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, appeared in 2001, depicting the criminal justice system from the criminal’s point of view. Further spin-offs – Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005 – 2006), and Law & Order: LA (2010 -2011) – followed.

The original series was also adapted for British television as Law & Order: UK with the setting changed from New York to London.

At the time of its cancellation in 2010, Law & Order was the longest-running crime drama on American prime-time television.

Detective Mike Logan
Chris Noth
Sergeant Max Greevey
George Dzundza
Captain Donald Cragen
Dann Florek
Sergeant Phil Cerreta
Paul Sorvino
Detective Lennie Briscoe
Jerry Orbach
Detective Rey Curtis
Benjamin Bratt
Lt. Anita Van Buren
S. Epatha Merkerson
Executive A.D.A. Ben Stone
Michael Moriarty
A.D.A. Paul Robinette
Richard Brooks
John (Jack) McCoy
Sam Waterston
A.D.A. Claire Kincaid
Jill Hennessy
A.D.A. Jamie Ross
Carey Lowell
A.D.A. Abbie Carmichael
Angie Harmon
D.A. Adam Schiff
Steven Hill
Dr Elizabeth Olivet
Carolyn McCormick
Detective Ed Green
Jesse L. Martin
Dr Elizabeth Rodgers
Leslie Hendrix
D.A. Arthur Branch
Fred Dalton Thompson
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn
Elisabeth Röhm
A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa
Alana De La Garza
Detective Cyrus Lupo
Jeremy Sisto
Executive A.D.A. Michael Cutter
Linus Roache
Detective Tony Profaci
John Fiore
Detective Kevin Bernard
Anthony Anderson
D.A. Nora Lewin
Dianne Wiest
Detective Joe Fontana
Dennis Farina
Dr Emil Skoda
J.K. Simmons
A.D.A. Alexandra Borgia
Annie Parisse
Judge Morris Torledsky
David Lipman
CSU Julian Beck
John Cariani
Detective Ana Cordova
Andrea Navedo
Detective Nina Cassady
Milena Govich
Detective Rivera
Selenis Leyva
Detective Morris LaMotte
Larry Clarke
Judge Walter Bradley
Peter McRobbie
Detective Joe Cormack
Joe Forbrich