Law & Order originally aired on September 13th, 1990. The show’s final episode on NBC is set for May 24,2010. This show is the longest running crime drama on American prime time television. It is also tied with Gunsmoke for the longest running drama of all time.
Law & Order was created by Dick Wolf, and is a show based out New York City. The show used to have episodes that were “ripped from the headlines”. Wolf has announced that he is currently trying to find a new home for his show to be aired on a weekly basis. If that doesn’t work, he has plans for a two-hour final episode on NBC.
The show had a unique format, the first 30 minutes featured a crime and fast police work. In the second half, the scene is set in the courtroom. Each crime can be solved and prosecuted within the hour time frame.
Many shows have been a successful spin-off of this parent show. Some have left NBC, some are still running strong, and a new one is set to premiere this fall.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit aired in 1999. Starring Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, the two lead detectives solve crimes of a sexual nature as well as crimes against children.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent debuted on NBC in 2001. While the cast has changed repeatedly over the years, the current cast is Jeff Goldblum and Saffron Burrows. This show varies from the others in the franchise, by paying attention to the victim’s or perp’s personal life, ultimately providing the “criminal intent” for each crime. The show features high-profile cases that are investigated by the Major Case Squad.
Law & Order:Trial By Jury ran from 2005-2006 and starred Bebe Neuwirth. This was the second series from the franchise to be canceled. The first was Crime & Punishment, which ran for two seasons as well. This series ended in 2004.
Formatted for another country, Law & Order: UK debuted in February of 2009 and is currently still in production.
Having their series premiere in the fall of 2010, Law & Order: Los Angeles,is the newest show in the highly popular franchise.
Four video games are also part of this huge franchise.
Syndicated reruns of all the Law & Order shows can be found on partner station, USA Network.
Many shows have a successful run, but Law & Order has provided 20 seasons of entertaining, crime fighting plots. The detectives will be missed.