|Production on NBC's latest "Law & Order" spinoff, "Trial by Jury," will continue despite the death of one of its stars, Jerry Orbach.|
Six episodes of the midseason series have been completed, with Orbach, who died Tuesday (Dec. 28) of prostate cancer, appearing in three of them, according to news reports. The long-time star of the original "Law & Order" was reprising his character from that show, Detective Lennie Briscoe, in the new series.
Orbach, 69, left "Law & Order" at the end of last season, seeking a lighter workload after 12 seasons playing the sardonic, seen-it-all Briscoe. His role on "Trial by Jury" did not require him to be on set every day.
The show's producers, while "deeply saddened" by the loss of Orbach, say the series will go on.
"While Jerry is irreplaceable, 'Law & Order: Trial by Jury' is an ensemble and will continue in production," the producers say in a statement. "A new cast member will join the company. Announcements will be forthcoming."
"Trial by Jury" focuses on the prosecution of criminal cases and stars Bebe Neuwirth ("Cheers"), Amy Carlson ("Third Watch") and Kirk Acevedo ("Oz") as lawyers and investigators with the Manhattan district attorney's office. Orbach's Briscoe, after leaving the NYPD, works as an investigator for the DA in the show.
NBC hasn't said yet when "Trial by Jury" will premiere.