Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Starring: Dann Florek, Richard Brooks, George Dzundza
  • Summary: Law & Order, the longest running crime series and the second longest-running drama series in the history of American broadcast television, started its 18th season on NBC in the winter of 2008. The brainchild of creator Dick Wolf, Law & Order is the most successful brand in the history of primetime television; the winner of the 1997 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series; ties Cheers and M*A*S*H for the most consecutive best series nominations (eleven) and the longest-running drama series currently on American television. The series has also turned into one of entertainment's preeminent brands using a distinct ripped from the headlines format, and has spawned the successful spinoffs Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Crime & Punishment and Law & Order: Trial by Jury. Filmed entirely in and around New York City, this realistic yet fictional drama looks at crime and justice from a dual perspective. Law & Order has been renewed through 2009 and delivers some of the highest ratings on television, ranking fourth for any drama on any network among adults 18-49 for the past four full seasons. Season-to-date, the show remains a top-25 series among adults 18-49, a top-20 series in total viewers and one of the most upscale dramas on television. Law & Order was also television's #5 drama in overall total viewers for the 2003-04 season with an average of 15.9 million viewers. The acclaimed crime drama has chased away more than 20 competing dramas from the Wednesday (10-11 p.m. ET) hour since moving to that time period in 1992-1993. In 2006, after nearly fourteen years of airing at 10:00 PM, the series was moved to 9:00 PM to make room for the new NBC series Heist. After only two weeks, NBC opted to return the show to its 10:00 P.M. timeslot after the show fared poorly at 9:00 P.M. Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: John J. O'Connor
    Mar 7, 2013
    90
    The first four episodes, made available for preview, indicate that Law and Order could climb quickly to the top echelons of the genre, right up there with "Crime Story" and "Hill Street Blues." [13 Sept 1990, p.C26]
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 7, 2013
    83
    It's a little gimmicky, but it works, primarily on the strength of the cast.
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Mar 7, 2013
    80
    Nothing if not serious, and nothing if not good, NBC's Law & Order nevertheless seems a victim of one particular TV tyranny. Its stories are too long for the one-hour format into which they are stuffed. Otherwise the series... has all the ingredients associated with quality television: strong scripts, relevant themes and a cast that qualifies as first-rate-plus. [13 Sept 1990, p.D1]
  4. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Mar 7, 2013
    50
    Missing here is the complexity that makes shows like "L.A. Law" or "Hill Street Blues" fun to watch. Executive producer Dick Wolf has said Law & Order is not an ensemble show. What it is is a show about police and legal procedures -- and they're recounted in almost documentary fashion. Of course, as with so much TV law, time is collapsed and these complicated procedures are neatly wrapped up by the show's conclusion. [9 Sept 1990, p.H1]
  5. Reviewed by: Ed Siegel
    Mar 7, 2013
    25
    All the masturbation jokes in the world don't help a script that is as inherently stale and as turgidly moralistic as "Dragnet"...This program only makes me want to shut the TV off, not put a foot through the screen. [12 Sept 1990, p.51p]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 9, 2014
    10
    It's like watching two shows, a police investigation series for the first half hour, and a legal series for the next half an hour. Performances are very convincing, lots of mystery and drama, but very realistic. 20 great seasons. Expand

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