Law & Order
Law& Order
George Dzundza, Chris Noth, Dann Florek, Michael Moriarty, Richard Brooks
Dick Wolf
Country of origin
Original channel
Legal drama, police procedural
Years on air
No. of seasons
No. of episodes

Law & Order was an American police procedural and legal drama series created by Dick Wolf for NBC. It ran for 20 seasons and spawned four Law & Order-branded spin-offs, as well as several other spin-offs set outside the New York Police Department. There was also a 1998 TV movie, Exiled: A Law & Order Movie.

Series summaryEdit

Each episode of Law & Order follows a complete criminal prosecution, from the initial investigation by police detectives to the subsequent prosecution, with the first half hour following the former and the last half hour the latter. The show rotated casts several times over the course of its 20-year run, but its most famous character probably remains detective Lennie Brisco, played by Jerry Orbach.

Westphall connections to Law & OrderEdit

  • In "Law & Disorder", an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street, the pre-credits sequence sees Law & Order's detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth) delivering a criminal (played by film director John Waters) into the custody of the Baltimore PD.
  • After that season three episode, seasons four, six and seven featured true crossover stories, with storylines starting in Law & Order and concluding on Homicide, which followed it immediately. In order: Law & Order "Charm City" sees New York being attacked by a domestic terrorist who is then brought to Baltimore in Homicide "For God and Country"; "Baby, it's You (part 1/2)" begins with a body in New York and ends in Baltimore, where the victim was raped; and finally "Sideshow (part 1/2)" see the two teams investigating the murder of an important official.
  • New York Undercover featured appearances by Emil Skoda (JK Simmons), a police psychologist who appeared in several Law & Order series.


  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was based on the titular (and fictional) unit, which dealt with victims of sexual crimes. One of its main characters was John Munch (Richard Belzer), who was originally a regular character in Homicide: Life on the Street.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent focused on high-profile cases and showed scenes from the private lives of the victims and criminals, giving the viewer an insight into their 'intent'.
  • Law & Order: Trial by Jury focused entirely on the legal process as the prosecution and defense prepare and execute their cases.
  • Law & Order: LA was a short-lived attempt to revive the Law & Order format, moving the action out of New York for the first time in the US franchise's history.
  • The New York Ledger was a newspaper featured frequently in Law & Order; the TV series Deadline followed the reporters that worked on it.

Non-Westphall connectionsEdit

  • The Law & Order franchise has been sold to other countries, with Russian, French, British and South African versions of Law & Order and its spin-offs. However, to date none of them have featured crossovers or references to the US franchise.
  • Crime & Punishment was a documentary series following real-life lawyers in New York. Although it was closely linked with Law & Order, even using a remixed version of the theme tune, the real-life nature of the show means it cannot be included in the multiverse.

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