Law & Order (franchise)

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Law & Order franchise
Lawandorder01.jpg
Law & Order title card
Creator Dick Wolf
Original work Law & Order
Films and television
Television series Law & Order
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Law & Order: Trial by Jury
Law & Order: LA
Games
Video games Law & Order: Dead on the Money
Law & Order: Double or Nothing
Law & Order: Justice is Served
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Law & Order: Legacies
Miscellaneous
TV film Exiled: A Law & Order Movie
Foreign adaptations Paris enquêtes criminelles
Закон и Порядок: Отдел Оперативных Расследований
Закон и порядок. Преступный умысел
Law & Order: UK
Related TV series Homicide: Life on the Street
New York Undercover
Deadline
Conviction
In Plain Sight
Chicago Fire
Chicago PD

The Law & Order franchise is a number of related American television series created by Dick Wolf and originally broadcast on NBC, all of which deal with some aspect of the criminal justice system. Together, the original series, its various spin-offs, the TV film, and crossover episodes from other shows constitute over 1,000 hours of programming.

Shared people and resources in a common fictional setting are the connecting links between the shows, e.g., Hudson University and the New York Ledger tabloid newspaper. Many supporting characters, such as district attorneys, psychologists and medical examiners are also shared among the shows. Occasionally, crossovers of main characters or shared storylines between two of the shows will occur. A few major characters have also left the cast of one show within the franchise only to eventually join another.

The music, style and credits of the shows tend to be similar, with the voiceover in the opening of every series performed by Steven Zirnkilton.[1] Past episodes of the American series are in syndication with local over-the-air stations, along with cable channels such as USA Network and Bravo (both owned by the franchise's production company, NBCUniversal), TNT, WGN America, Ion Television, and AMC Networks' SundanceTV and WeTV, showing episodes sometimes up to six times a day.

In October 2012, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit show runner/executive producer Warren Leight said of the future of the Law & Order franchise, "(Dick Wolf and I) sometimes talk in general terms of where (the franchise) could go. I'm curious to see if there's another iteration somewhere down the line," he says. "We try hard to maintain a certain level of quality which I think is why the shows sustained in reruns so well. And I'd like to believe there's room for another generation in some way."[2]

As of October 22, 2014, 1,034 original episodes of the Law & Order franchise have aired.

The franchise[edit]

Overall[edit]

  • Original franchise run: (47 seasons, 1034 episodes) (September 13, 1990 – present)
    • Longest running series: Law & Order (20 seasons, 456 episodes) (September 13, 1990 – May 24, 2010)
    • Second longest running series: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (16 seasons, 348 episodes) (September 20, 1999 – present)
    • Third longest running series: Law & Order: Criminal Intent (10 seasons, 195 episodes) (September 30, 2001 – June 26, 2011)
    • Shortest running series: Law & Order: Trial by Jury (1 season, 13 episodes) (March 3, 2005 – January 21, 2006)
    • Second shortest running series: Law & Order: LA (1 season, 22 episodes) (September 29, 2010 – July 11, 2011)

Current series[edit]

Past series[edit]

TV film[edit]

The Law & Order franchise has one TV film, Exiled: A Law & Order Movie (1998). Chris Noth reprises his role as Mike Logan, as the film explores what happened to the character following his departure from the original series.

Video games[edit]

The franchise has also spawned a series of video games for the PC, which feature appearances by then-current cast members of the TV series.

The typical course of most of the games follows the original series' format with the player investigating a crime with interviews of witnesses and examination of evidence. After the arrest is made, the player then prosecutes the case with challenges such as selecting appropriate questions for witnesses on the stand, recognizing improper questions to raise objections and selecting the most persuasive arguments for the judge to allow certain evidence in court.

Crossovers[edit]

The following table lists all the crossover stories in the Law & Order franchise.

Episode(s) Between Original Airdates Description
"Charm City" - Season 6, Episode 13
"For God and Country" - Season 4, Episode 11
Law & Order
Homicide: Life on the Street
February 7, 1996
February 9, 1996
Briscoe and Curtis clash with Pembleton and Bayliss, who have come to New York to investigate a subway explosion resembling an unsolved bombing in Baltimore from five years ago. The investigation soon leads to a larger conspiracy.
"Baby, It's You" - Season 8, Episode 6/Season 6, Episode 5 November 12, 1997
November 14, 1997
Falsone and Munch team up with Briscoe and Curtis to investigate the murder of a 14-year-old girl. They trace the suspect from New York back to Baltimore.
"Sideshow" - Season 9, Episode 14/Season 7, Episode 15 February 17, 1999
February 19, 1999
The New York and Baltimore detectives re-team to investigate the murder of a government worker and expose a connection to the White House.
"Entitled" - Season 1, Episode 15/Season 10, Episode 14 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order
February 18, 2000 The detectives of Special Victims Unit team with the 27th Precinct to investigate a salesman's murder, leading them to a politically influential family. When the case goes to court, McCoy finds the matriarch to be a formidable opponent.
"Tombstone" - Season 15, Episode 20
"Skeleton" - Season 1, Episode 8
Law & Order
Law & Order: Trial by Jury
April 14, 2005
April 15, 2005
Green is shot while taking a murder witness to trial, leading Fontana to team up with Salazar and uncover ties to a porn magnate.
"Night" - Season 6, Episode 20
"Day" - Season 1, Episode 11
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order: Trial by Jury
May 3, 2005 A man is suspected of rape and facts about his adolescence are revealed at his trial.
"Design" - Season 7, Episode 2
"Flaw" - Season 16, Episode 2
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order
September 27, 2005
September 28, 2005
Benson talks a pregnant woman off a ledge, only to find that she's the daughter of a scam artist and a controversial scientist. Afterwards, the woman and her mother are the main suspects in a murder investigation, giving Benson and Tutuola another chance to arrest them with the help of the 27th Precinct.
"Comic Perversion" - Season 15, Episode 15
"Conventions" - Season 1, Episode 6
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Chicago PD
February 26, 2014 Chicago detective Erin Lindsay asks the NYPD for help in solving a series of rapes and murders, so Tutuola and Rollins head to Chicago to help Voight and Antonio catch the culprit.

Related series[edit]

Within the Law & Order universe[edit]

In addition to the five Law & Order-titled series that comprise the franchise proper, other American TV series have been established as taking place in the same fictional universe as the franchise.

  • Homicide: Life on the Street (1993–1999)
    • Homicide and L&O occasionally crossed over. Various characters from L&O and Homicide appeared on the other series, as two-part stories were periodically begun on an episode of one series and concluded on the other, the same criminal having committed crimes in both Baltimore and New York City, or a crime in one city having a connection in the other.
    • Richard Belzer's Det. John Munch transferred from the Baltimore PD to the NYPD on SVU; one of Briscoe's former lovers had been previously married to Munch; although Munch was initially resentful of Briscoe, the two quickly bonded over their mutual resentment of the woman.
    • As Alfre Woodard and Ed Begley, Jr. reprised their roles as Dr. Roxanne Turner and Dr. Victor Ehrlich from St. Elsewhere in Homicide and its sequel Homicide: The Movie respectively, St. Elsewhere also takes place in the same fictional universe as the franchise. However, that series ended before Law & Order began.
    • The series also received a spin-off of its own, Homicide: Second Shift.
  • New York Undercover (1994–1998)
    • Co-created by Kevin Arkadie and Dick Wolf, was implicitly a part of the same universe as the franchise, as psychologist and psychiatrist characters from L&O appeared in the series.
  • Deadline (2000–2001)
    • Also created by Dick Wolf, featured reporters based at the franchise's fictitious newspaper, the New York Ledger.
  • Conviction (2006)
  • In Plain Sight (2008–2012)
    • Deputy Marshall Mary Shannon guest stars on the L&O: CI episode "Contract" to provide additional back-story for the suspect Frank Chess, whom she placed into Witness Protection prior to the events of this episode.
  • Jo (2013)
    • In the series' final episode "The Catacombs", Olivia d'Abo reprised her role as Nicole Wallace, who was operating in Paris under the pseudonym "Madeleine Haynes" five years after her supposed death.
  • Chicago P.D. (2014–present)
    • A crossover between Chicago P.D. and SVU aired on February 26, 2014.[14] Chicago PD was also created by Dick Wolf; as it is a spin-off of another series, Chicago Fire (2012–present), that establishes its parent series as being part of the Law & Order universe as well. A further crossover is planned for November 2014.

Adaptations outside the U.S.[edit]

The franchise, as a result of its popularity, has led to the adaptation of scripts from the US-based series into foreign-produced series. These are:

John Munch crossovers[edit]

Main article: John Munch

The SVU character John Munch, who originated on Homicide, is notable for either appearing in or being referenced in a wide variety of other series, ranging from appearing in the science fiction series The X-Files, to the sitcom Arrested Development, to being referenced by name in the UK crime drama Luther. Whether this places these series in the L&O universe is a matter of debate.

Series overview[edit]

Series Duration Television seasons No. of
episodes
1990–91 1991–92 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 1995–96 1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15
Law & Order 1990–2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 456
Homicide: Life on the Street 1993–1999 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 122
New York Undercover 1994–1998 1 2 3 4 89
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 1999– 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 348
Deadline 2000–2001 1 13
Law & Order: Criminal Intent 2001–2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 195
Law & Order: Trial by Jury 2005–2006 1 13
Conviction 2006 1 13
In Plain Sight 2008–2012 1 2 3 4 5 61
Law & Order: LA 2010–2011 1 22
Chicago Fire 2012– 1 2 3 51
Chicago PD 2014– 1 2 20
Series Duration 1990–91 1991–92 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 1995–96 1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 No. of
episodes
Television seasons

Location[edit]

Setting[edit]

Most of the American series have been filmed almost entirely in the New York City area. The original Law & Order series has filmed a few episodes in the Los Angeles area and Baltimore; these episodes or portions of episodes were set in the cities in which they were filmed and concerned multi-jurisdictional investigations or extradition.

Law & Order: Los Angeles expanded the franchise to a new main city, the new series' namesake. L&O: LA was cancelled after one season.

Effects on casting[edit]

With some frequency, actors have appeared on the various series that make up the franchise, usually as different (sometimes very different) characters. This is because filming occurs in the New York City area and thus draws from the same pool of actors. Some prominent examples of the same actor playing different roles in different episodes are:

  • S. Epatha Merkerson playing a maid whose child was killed in a season 1 episode of the original L&O before joining the cast in season 4 as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren and going on to be the longest-serving cast member of the parent series.
  • Diane Neal playing a female rapist in an earlier season of Special Victims Unit before becoming the Assistant District Attorney for that series.
  • Annabella Sciorra playing a criminal defense attorney in Trial by Jury and later Det. Mike Logan's (Chris Noth) partner in Criminal Intent
  • Jerry Orbach playing a defense attorney on the original series before joining it as Det. Lennie Briscoe
  • Ice-T playing a pimp known as Seymour Stockton in the franchise's only film, Exiled: A Law & Order Movie, before taking on the role of Tutuola on SVU
  • Anthony Anderson playing Detective Lucius Blaine in a seventh season episode of SVU before playing Bernard on the original Law & Order
  • Jeremy Sisto played a defense attorney in the last episode of season 17 before joining the cast as Cyrus Lupo at the start of season 18.
  • Kelli Giddish played a rape victim in the eighth season episode "Outsider" of SVU before joining the show in season 13 as Amanda Rollins.
  • Raúl Esparza played different characters on Law & Order and Criminal Intent before joining SVU in it's 14th season as Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba.
  • Peter Scanavino multiple characters in Law & Order, Criminal Intent, Trial by Jury and SVU before joining the latter in season 16 as Dominick Carisi.

Also due to the New York filming, a number of actors appearing in Law & Order shows have had regular or recurring roles on soaps. Most notable is Tamara Tunie, who simultaneously played both medical examiner Melinda Warner on SVU as well as (until 2007) District Attorney Jessica Griffin on As the World Turns. Likewise, New York theater actors have also been frequently cast.

Also as the result of sharing the same pool of New York-based television actors, the series' casts have had significant overlap with that of the former HBO series Oz. This is perhaps most pronounced in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, whose cast has included three regularly credited actors (Christopher Meloni, B. D. Wong and Dean Winters), as well as two recurring actors (J. K. Simmons and Mike Doyle) who were also regularly credited actors on Oz, also Kathryn Erbe from Oz starring in Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Similarly, Law & Order: UK sees significant overlap with other programs' casts; most prominently series regulars Freema Agyeman and Peter Davison, who starred in Doctor Who as companion Martha Jones and the Fifth Doctor, both of whom appeared in the mini-episode "Time Crash".

Characters in the franchise[edit]

Police and District Attorney investigators[edit]

Character Portrayed by Occupation Franchise Episodes
(franchise)
Episodes
(franchise
and universe)
L&O SVU CI TBJ LA
Max Greevey George Dzundza Detective
Sergeant
1990–1991 22
Mike Logan Chris Noth Detective 1990–1995 2005–2008 147 148
Donald Cragen Dann Florek Captain 1990–1993, 1995, 1999, 2005 1999–2014 399
Phil Cerreta Paul Sorvino Detective
Sergeant
1991–1992 31
Lennie Briscoe Jerry Orbach Detective
DA Investigator
1992–2004 1999–2000 2001 2005 280 283
Anita Van Buren S. Epatha Merkerson Lieutenant 1993–2010 2002 2005 393
Rey Curtis Benjamin Bratt Detective 1995–1999, 2010 95 98
John Munch Richard Belzer Detective
Sergeant
1996–2000 1999–2014 2005 330 456
Ed Green Jesse L. Martin Detective 1999–2008 1999–2000 2001 2005 202
Olivia Benson Mariska Hargitay Detective
Sergeant
2000–2005 1999–present 2005 352
Elliot Stabler Christopher Meloni Detective 2000 1999–2011 2005 275
Brian Cassidy Dean Winters Detective 1999
2012–2014
27
Monique Jeffries Michelle Hurd Detective 1999–2001 25
Odafin "Fin" Tutuola Ice-T Detective 2005 2000–present 322 328
Robert Goren Vincent D'Onofrio Detective 2001–2011 141
Alexandra Eames Kathryn Erbe Detective
Lieutenant
2012–2013 2001–2011 146
James Deakins Jamey Sheridan Captain 2001–2006 111
G. Lynn Bishop Samantha Buck Detective 2003–2004 7
Joe Fontana Dennis Farina Detective 2004–2006 2005 47
Nick Falco Michael Imperioli Detective 2005 6
Carolyn Barek Annabella Sciorra Detective 2005–2006 12
Hector Salazar Kirk Acevedo DA Investigator 2005 2005 2005–2006 14
Chris Ravell Scott Cohen Detective 2005–2006 10
Dani Beck Connie Nielsen Detective 2006 6
Nina Cassady Milena Govich Detective 2006–2007 23
Megan Wheeler Julianne Nicholson Detective 2006–2009 24
Danny Ross Eric Bogosian Captain 2006–2010 61
Cyrus Lupo Jeremy Sisto Detective 2007–2010 64
Kevin Bernard Anthony Anderson Detective 2008–2010 50
Chester Lake Adam Beach Detective 2007–2008 21
Nola Falacci Alicia Witt Detective 2007 5
Zack Nichols Jeff Goldblum Detective 2009–2010 24
Serena Stevens Saffron Burrows Detective 2010 15
Zoe Callas Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Captain 2010 14
Rex Winters Skeet Ulrich Detective 2010 2010–2011 15
Tomas "TJ" Jaruszalski Corey Stoll Detective 2010–2011 22
Arleen Gonzales Wanda de Jesus Lieutenant 2010 1
Arleen Gonzales Rachel Ticotin Lieutenant 2010–2011 21
Ricardo Morales Alfred Molina Deputy District Attorney
Detective
2010–2011 8
Joseph Hannah Jay O. Sanders Captain 2011 9
Nick Amaro Danny Pino Detective 2011–present 76
Amanda Rollins Kelli Giddish Detective 2011–present 76 77
Dominick Carisi, Jr. Peter Scanavino Detective 2014–present 4
Additionally, the characters of Mike Logan, Lennie Briscoe, Rey Curtis, Don Cragen and Anita Van Buren appear in the 1998 TV film Exiled: A Law & Order Movie

District Attorney's office[edit]

Character Portrayed by Occupation Franchise Episodes
(franchise)
Episodes
(franchise
and universe)
L&O SVU CI TBJ LA
Alfred Wentworth Roy Thinnes District Attorney 1990 1
Benjamin Stone Michael Moriarty Executive Assistant District Attorney 1990–1994 88
Paul Robinette Richard Brooks Assistant District Attorney 1990–1993 66
Adam Schiff Steven Hill District Attorney 1990–2000 2000 231
Claire Kincaid Jill Hennessy Assistant District Attorney 1993–1996 68 69
Jack McCoy Sam Waterston Executive Assistant District Attorney
District Attorney
1994–2010 2000
2007
2010
2005 373 375
Jamie Ross Carey Lowell Assistant District Attorney 1996–1998 47 48
Abbie Carmichael Angie Harmon Assistant District Attorney 1998–2001 1999–2000 78
Nora Lewin Dianne Wiest District Attorney 2000–2002 2001–2002 2001 50
Alexandra Cabot Stephanie March Assistant District Attorney 2000–2003
2005
2009–2010
2011–2012[21]
96 109
Stan Villani Ron Liebman Executive Assistant District Attorney 2001 4
Serena Southerlyn Elizabeth Röhm Assistant District Attorney 2001–2005 85
Ron Carver Courtney B. Vance Assistant District Attorney 2001–2006 111
Elizabeth Donnelly Judith Light Bureau Chief Assistant District Attorney 2002–2004
2008
12
Arthur Branch Fred Thompson District Attorney 2002–2007 2003–2006 2005 2005 141 142
Casey Novak Diane Neal Assistant District Attorney 2003–2008
2011–2012[21]
2005 113
Alexandra Borgia Annie Parisse Assistant District Attorney 2005–2006 33
Tracey Kibre Bebe Neuwirth Bureau Chief Assistant District Attorney 2005 2005–2006 14
Kelly Gaffney Amy Carlson Assistant District Attorney 2005–2006 13
Connie Rubirosa Alana de la Garza Assistant District Attorney
Deputy District Attorney
2006–2010 2014 2011 94
Michael Cutter Linus Roache Executive Assistant District Attorney
Bureau Chief Assistant District Attorney
2008–2010 2011–2012[22] 67
Kim Greylek Michaela McManus Assistant District Attorney 2008–2009 22
Sonya Paxton Christine Lahti Executive Assistant District Attorney 2009–2011 7
Jo Marlowe Sharon Stone Assistant District Attorney 2010 4
Ricardo Morales Alfred Molina Deputy District Attorney
Detective
2010–2011 8
Jonah "Joe" Dekker Terrence Howard Deputy District Attorney 2011 2010–2011 16
Evelyn Price Regina Hall Deputy District Attorney 2010–2011 7
Lauren Stanton Megan Boone Deputy District Attorney 2010–2011 7
Sherri West Francie Swift Assistant District Attorney 2010–2011 5
Gillian Hardwicke Melissa Sagemiller Assistant District Attorney 2010–2011 10
Jerry Hardin Peter Coyote District Attorney 2010–2011 8
Rose Callier Tabitha Holbert Assistant District Attorney 2011–2012
2014
6
David Haden Harry Connick, Jr. Executive Assistant District Attorney 2012 4
Rafael Barba Raúl Esparza Assistant District Attorney 2012–present 40
Additionally, the character of Jack McCoy appears in the 1998 TV film Exiled: A Law & Order Movie

Psychiatrists and Psychologists[edit]

Character Portrayed by Occupation Franchise Episodes
(franchise)
Episodes
(franchise
and universe)
L&O SVU CI TBJ LA
Elizabeth Olivet, Ph.D. Carolyn McCormick Psychologist 1991–2010 1999–2001,
2013
2006 2005 93 94
Emil Skoda, M.D. J. K. Simmons Psychiatrist 1997–2010 2000–2001 2002 53 54
Agent George Huang, M.D. B. D. Wong Psychiatrist 2001–2014 229
Paula Gyson, Ph.D. Julia Ormond Psychologist 2011 7

Medical Examiners[edit]

Character Portrayed by Occupation Franchise Episodes
(franchise)
Episodes
(franchise
and universe)
L&O SVU CI TBJ LA
Elizabeth Rodgers, M.D. Leslie Hendrix Assistant Chief Medical Examiner 1992–2010 1999–2000 2001–2011 2005 262
Melinda Warner, M.D. Tamara Tunie Medical Examiner 2000–present 2005 217
Miwako Nishizawa, M.D. Tamlyn Tomita Medical Examiner 2010–2011 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ask the Editors"; TV Guide; April 19, 2010; Page 6.
  2. ^ Jodha, Michael (October 3, 2012). "There’s no shortage of crimes for ‘SVU,’ says executive producer". CTV. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ Scott, Andrew (May 13, 2010). "Law & Order officially cancelled". TV Squad (AOL). Retrieved May 14, 2010. 
  4. ^ Carter, Bill (May 17, 2010). "‘Law & Order' Creator Still Looking to Bring Original Back". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/07/law_order_amc.html
  6. ^ Levin, Gary (July 30, 2010). "'Law & Order' is L.A.-bound". USA Today. Retrieved July 31, 2010. 
  7. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2010/09/usa-picks-up-law-order-ci-for-final-season-with-star-vincent-donofrio-gives-dick-wolf-pilot-commitment-for-new-project/
  8. ^ http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2010/10/08/law-order-criminal-intent-kathryn-erbe-returns/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Law & Order: Criminal Intent' Gets New Captain, 'Pan Am' Gets First Stewardess". DeadlineTV. February 10, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ Mitovich, Matt (July 11, 2011). "No Reprieve for Law & Order: CI: 'It Was a Good Series Finale,' Says USA Network Boss". TV Line. Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ Mirkinson, Jack (May 13, 2011). "'Law And Order: LA' Canceled By NBC". Huffington Post. 
  12. ^ USA Today. May 13, 2011 http://content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2011/05/nbc-renews-chuck-for-final-season/1 |url= missing title (help). 
  13. ^ Carter, Bill (May 13, 2011). "Upfronts: Networks Order New Shows and Cancel Others". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ "Exclusive: Law & Order: SVU Cops to Guest Star on Chicago PD". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  15. ^ French producer's website
  16. ^ "Good Cops, Bad Cops". Context.themoscowtimes.com. Retrieved 2006-12-01. 
  17. ^ Official site in Russian
  18. ^ http://ruskino.ru/mov/9438
  19. ^ The Hollywood Reporter
  20. ^ Broadcasting - News - 'Torchwood' writer to lead UK 'Law & Order' - Digital Spy
  21. ^ a b TV Line:Law & Order: SVU Scoop: Stephanie March, Diane Neal Heading Back to Court
  22. ^ Stanhope, Kate (August 8, 2011). "Law & Order Alum Linus Roache to Reprise Role on SVU". TV Guide. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 

External links[edit]