Law and Order

The term Law & Order franchise is commonly used to describe a number of related American television programs created by Dick Wolf and originally broadcast on NBC, all of which deal with some aspect of the New York City criminal justice system.

So far, more than 1,000 episodes have been produced in the English language part of the franchise.

List of shows

  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The show's focus is on detectives who investigate sexually-based crimes. It is the longest running series in the franchise and the longest running primetime US drama series in history. As well as this, Mariska Hargitay, who has been on the series since the first episode is the longest serving actress on a primetime live-action series.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: This show focuses on high-profile cases investigated by the Major Case Squad, with special focus on the actions of the criminals pursued. It was cancelled in 2011 after ten seasons.
  • Law & Order: Trial by Jury: This show mostly followed the jury's side of a case, and was the first Law & Order series that was canceled due to low ratings.
  • Law & Order: UK: This show is the United Kingdom's version of the original series, with the series adapting episodes from the original series. It ceased production in 2014.
  • New York Undercover: This show was co-created by Kevin Arkadie and Dick Wolf, and was implicitly a part of the same universe as the franchise, as psychologist characters from Law & Order appeared in the series.
  • Deadline: This show was created by Dick Wolf and shown on NBC in the 2000-2001 season. It featured reporters and editors from the New York Ledger, a daily newspaper seen in many episodes of Law & Order.
  • Law & Order: LA: This show replaced the original Law & Order and is set in Los Angeles, California. Following the format of the original series, the first half hour of the show focuses on the police investigation; the second half takes place at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and focuses on the prosecution involving the criminal(s). The show was canceled on May 13, 2011 after one season.
  • Law & Order True Crime: In April 2016, Wolf and NBC announced they were working on True Crime, a scripted anthology series that follows one significant true-to-life case per season. Season one, titled Law & Order True Crime focused on the Menendez brothers murders, and stared Edie Falco as Leslie Abramson and Gus Halper as Erik Menendez. The series was cancelled after one season, making it the shortest serving series.
  • Law & Order: Organized Crime: On March 31, 2020, NBC announced that it had ordered a 13-episode series in which Christopher Meloni reprises his role as Elliot Stabler. The series centers around an organized crime task force headed by Stabler. On June 2, 2020, the title of Organized Crime was announced, and two weeks later, it was revealed that it would be a part of NBC's Fall 2020 schedule, but it was moved to April 1, 2021 for the midseason schedule as well as the 13 episode count being reduced to 8 due to delays in production as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Law & Order: Hate Crimes: On September 4, 2018, Wolf and NBC announced they were working on Hate Crimes, a scripted police procedural television series that will follow where crimes motivated by discrimination are investigated by an elite team of investigators. In June 2020, it was confirmed the series will be streamed on Peacock instead of being aired on NBC due to language concerns that would be inappropriate as well as unsuitable for broadcast television. A premiere date is to be confirmed.

Shared people and resources in a common fictional setting are the connecting links between the shows, for example 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 and/or shared story lines 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.

Never Aired Shows

  • Law & Order: You The Jury: On September 16, 2015, NBC confirmed a reality series in which viewers could vote on a verdict as well as throughout a trial on civil cases. The series never came to fruition.
  • Law & Order: For The Defense: On May 3, 2021, Wolf and NBC announced that it had given the show a straight-to-series order that would follow a criminal defense firm. However, on July 15, 2021, NBC decided not to move forward with the show, with the revival of Law & Order later being confirmed as the reason for cancellation.[1]

Crossover Shows

The franchise also crossed over on several occasions with other independently conceived shows, some of which were co-created by Dick Wolf.

  • New York Undercover: Had two different episodes where the original L&O supporting characters made appearances.