"Everybody's Favorite Bagman"
L&O, Episode 1.06
Production number: 83543
First aired: 30 October 1990
  1st of 456 produced in L&O
6th of 456 released in L&O
6th of 1229 released in all
Alfred Wentworth.jpg
Written By
Dick Wolf

Directed By
John Patterson

The mugging of a councilman leads the detectives to arrest a mobster, who in turn leads Benjamin Stone and Paul Robinette to corrupt city officials.


When a city councilman is robbed and his throat slit, the investigation ties the victim to organized crime. Logan and Greevey trace the crime to mob figure Tony Scalisi. Stone and Robinette cut a deal with Scalisi, who in turn leads them to corrupt city officials.


Main cast

Guest cast



"Are you The Man?"
"We sure are, honey."

- Little girl and Max Greevey

"You ain't got nothing on me, except what he said. And that's just heresy."
"The word's 'hearsay', genius."

- Simonize Jackson and Max Greevey

Background information and notes

  • This episode was originally written as the pilot episode of the series and was produced in 1988. The series was initially picked up by FOX, which ordered thirteen episodes. They passed the series on to CBS. CBS then turned it down and finally it was picked up by NBC. NBC made the decision to run it later in the first season and to use "Prescription for Death" as the "pilot" episode. In syndication and on the DVD the episode appears in the order it was originally aired in the season (as the sixth episode).
  • This episode was inspired by the 1986 New York Parking Violations Bureau corruption scandal. It was alleged that Queens borough president, Donald Manes (who had served from 1971 until 1986), had used political appointments and favors as the source of large kickback schemes involving personal bureaucratic fiefdoms such as the NYC Parking Violations Bureau. Zoning franchises and cable TV franchises were being investigated, and some of Manes’ appointees and associates were indicted or forced to resign. Manes committed suicide inside his residence, days away from being indicted when his crimes came to light and Stanley Friedman, Michael Lazar and Lester Shafran received convictions for racketeering. (Source: Donald Manes at Wikipedia)
  • Steven Zirnkilton, best known as the opening credits narrator for all L&O series, makes his sole on-screen appearance in this episode. He is one of the NYPD technicians conducting covert surveillance of a restaurant where corrupt politicians are dining. He has one line of dialogue: "Look at that. Do you believe these guys?"
  • Although listed in the opening credits, Steven Hill does not appear as D.A. Adam Schiff in this episode, because he joined the cast after the pilot was filmed. Hill replaced Roy Thinnes as D.A. Alfred Wentworth. Thinnes was the only member of the original cast not to return once the series was picked up by NBC.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

36th Precinct
Midtown Manhattan
Wednesday, October 25

Office of the District
Attorney, Manhattan
Friday, October 27

Supreme Court
Criminal Term
Arraignment Part 50
Monday, October 30

4 5 6

Yardarm Pub
1546 Ave. Of
The Americas
Friday, November 17

First Grand Jury
Monday March 5

Supreme Court
Criminal Term
Trial Part 43
Tuesday, April 17

7 8

After a six-week trial, all three
defendants were found guilty of
being accessories before the fact
and solicitation of murder.
They are free on their own
recognizance while their
convictions are being appealed.

Although inspired by an actual corruption
scandal, this story is entirely fictional and does
not portray any person or even associated
with that scandal.

Previous episode:
"Happily Ever After"
"Everybody's Favorite Bagman"
Law & Order
Season 1
Next episode:
"By Hooker, By Crook"
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