Law & Order Plot
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.