|Though there are many shows about crime solving on television today, the most popular is “Law & Order.” It’s so popular that it’s got three different shows — the original, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”|
All three shows, created by Dick Wolf, are set in New York City and combine police action with legal drama. “Law & Order” first aired in 1990, and its popularity lead to the spin-offs “SVU” in 1999 and “CI” in 2001.
The original “Law & Order” started its 17th season this fall. It’s the longest-running crime series and second-longest primetime drama on TV. The only two current shows that have been on longer are “The Simpsons” and “60 Minutes.”
However, “SVU,” which focuses on sex crimes and crimes involving children or the elderly, is the highest-rated show of the three. It stars Emmy winner Mariska Hargitay as Detective Benson and Emmy nominee Christopher Meloni as Detective Stabler. The head of the squad, Donald Cragen (Dann Florek), was originally a character on the regular “Law & Order.”
“CI,” the newest show of the three, follows the Major Case Squad of the NYPD — the cops who work on high-profile cases. It stars Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe as the two main detectives, Goren and Eames.
Ratings prove the franchise’s popularity, but how do the shows rate among teens?
“I don’t watch any ‘Law & Order.’ It doesn’t appeal to me,” said Sherman freshman Dustin Stone, who watches “Charmed,” “Will & Grace” and “The Real World” instead.
Dana Fields agreed. “I don’t watch ‘Law & Order’ because those types of television shows bore me.”
So does that mean “Law & Order” is for adults only? Not according to senior Sabrina Newman. “I love the show. I think I’ve seen every episode ever made. And when I’m not watching it, then I usually watch ‘CSI.’”
“Law & Order” airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on NBC. “CI” airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays and “SVU” at 10. All three shows are in syndication, with reruns of the original airing on TNT, “SVU” on USA and “CI” on USA and Bravo.