Abbie Carmichael

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Abbie Carmichael
Law & Order character
Abbie Carmichael - SVU.png
First appearance "Cherished" (L&O)
"Payback" (SVU)
Last appearance "Deep Vote" (L&O)
"Entitled" (SVU)
Portrayed by Angie Harmon
Time on show 1998–2001 (L&O)
1999–2000 (SVU)
Seasons 9, 10, 11 (L&O)
1 (SVU)
Credited appearances 72 (L&O)
6 (SVU)
78 (total)
Preceded by Jamie Ross
Succeeded by Serena Southerlyn (L&O)
Alexandra Cabot (SVU)

Abigail "Abbie" Carmichael is a fictional character on the TV drama Law & Order created by René Balcer and portrayed by model/actress Angie Harmon. The character was regularly featured from 1998 to 2001. She appeared in 78 episodes (72 episodes in Law & Order, and 6 episodes in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit).

In Law & Order[edit]

Abbie Carmichael is introduced in the episode "Cherished", having transferred from the Narcotics Bureau to replace Jamie Ross (Carey Lowell) as Jack McCoy's (Sam Waterston) assistant in the New York County DA's office. The series reveals that she attended the University of Texas, where she was on the track team. ("Shield").

Carmichael is characterized as a staunch political conservative: She is pro-life, opposes gun control, favors the death penalty, and has no faith in criminal rehabilitation programs. These political beliefs often put her in conflict with McCoy and DAs Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) and Nora Lewin (Dianne Wiest), all of whom are of a more liberal stripe.

In the episode "Punk", Carmichael's prosecution of an incarcerated woman who had murdered a corrections officer she claims had forced her into a sexual relationship affects her political outlook. Carmichael, who had prosecuted the woman before on a drug charge, has no sympathy for her and seems hell-bent on putting her in prison for life — until she cross-examines the woman, who reveals that she blames herself for being raped. This strikes a chord in Carmichael, who suddenly arranges a lenient plea bargain for the woman. Carmichael later reveals to McCoy that she had been raped as a freshman in college by a third-year law student she had been dating.

In the 1999 episode "Refuge", her friend and fellow ADA, Toni Ricci, is murdered by the Russian mobsters she was prosecuting. It is the only time during Carmichael's tenure in the DA's office that she lets anyone see her cry.

Carmichael makes her final appearance in the episode "Deep Vote", as she accepts an offer to join the U.S. Attorney's office in New York. She is replaced by Serena Southerlyn (Elisabeth Röhm).

In Law & Order spinoffs[edit]

Carmichael also appeared in six episodes of the first season of the spinoff series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: "Payback", "A Single Life", "Sophomore Jinx", "Closure", "Bad Blood" and "Entitled".

Behind the scenes[edit]

Despite describing Abbie Carmichael as a "great character", Harmon nonetheless was frustrated with the fact that her shooting schedule on the show caused her to miss out on roles in the movies Charlie's Angels and Spy Kids.[1] Additionally, she felt that "the character didn't grow". Harmon asked producer Dick Wolf to kill off the Carmichael character in a dramatic fashion, but he refused.[2]

Credits[edit]

Harmon has been credited in a total of 78 episodes of the Law & Order franchise – 72 of Law & Order and 6 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[3]

Seasons Years Episodes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
9 1998–99
1
(SVU)
1999–2000
10 1999–2000
11 2000–01
Seasons Years 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Episodes

References[edit]

  1. ^ Law & Order: 20 Years of Arresting Drama, TV Guide Special Collector's Issue
  2. ^ Law & Order: 20 Years of Arresting Drama, TV Guide Special Collector's Issue
  3. ^ Abbie Carmichael — IMDb