Law & Order

20 Seasons

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“Law & Order” entranced audiences for 20 seasons, blending police drama and courtroom activity into a series that paved the way for one of the longest running television franchises in history.

Each episode depicted two sides of the justice system: the New York City Police Department’s homicide detectives investigating crimes plaguing their city and the district attorneys prosecuting the defendants. In addition to the hard-hitting investigative and prosecution skills, viewers caught a glimpse of the inevitable tension that arose between the police unit and the defense attorneys whose acute focus on justice bring an element of unpredictability. Throughout its run, the series featured several cast members, but the storytelling power remained the same year after year. Mainstay players included Lt. Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson), Jack McCoy (Sam Waterson), D.A. Adam Schiff (Steven Hill), Det. Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach), and Det. Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) was on the show for nine seasons. Countless stars and guest stars have appeared on “Law & Order,” with a list that includes Samuel L. Jackson (“Django Unchained”), Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote”), Jennifer Garner (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Peter Sarsgaard (“The Slap”), Allison Janney (“Mom”), and William H. Macy (“Shameless”).

“Law & Order” received countless awards and nominations over the years, including an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 1997. The show’s cast and crew also brought home numerous Screen Actors Guild Awards, ALMA Awards, GLAAD Media Awards, and Peabody Awards.

“Law & Order” was created by Dick Wolf for Universal Television and aired on NBC.

Select Cast Members

Sam Waterson
S. Epatha Merkerson
Jerry Orbach
Steven Hill
Jesse L. Martin