NBC will lawyer-up on Wednesday nights as the Emmy Award-winning "Law & Order" resumes with a two-hour season premiere event on Wednesday, January 2 (9-11 p.m. ET), and will continue on Wednesdays starting January 9 (10-11 p.m. ET) preceded by this season's network broadcast premiere of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (9-10 p.m. ET) in its return to NBC that night.
Joining the "Law & Order" cast for the show's 18th season are Jeremy Sisto as Detective Cyrus Lupo and Linus Roache as Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter. Cutter reports to Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) who has been promoted to District Attorney, replacing Arthur Branch (Fred Thompson).
"The last time Rene Balcer was showrunner of 'Law & Order' we won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. I am thrilled he is back," said Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of "Law & Order." "Jeremy and Linus bring a new energy to the cast and we hope the return to our longtime timeslot of Wednesday at 10 will bring renewed success to the show, not just from our core fans, but from a new generation of viewers as well."
Last season, "Law & Order" averaged a 2.7 rating, 8 share in adults 18-49 and 9.0 million viewers overall. "Law & Order" improved the Friday 10 p.m. (ET) hour by 12 percent in adults 18-49 versus NBC's average for the prior season and delivered Friday's most upscale audience (in concentration of homes with $100,000-plus incomes in its adult 18-49 audience).
Last season, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" delivered a 2.7 rating, 7 share in adults 18-49 and 8.7 million viewers overall, averaging a 23 percent build on its adult 18-49 lead-in. This season, with original telecasts on USA Network, "Criminal Intent" has generated an average of 1.8 million 18-49 viewers, more than doubling USA's Thursday 10 p.m. results of a year earlier and leading USA to a 70 percent increase in its Thursday primetime average.
"Law & Order," the longest-running crime series and the second-longest-running drama series in the history of television, enters its 18th season on NBC. The brainchild of creator Dick Wolf, "Law & Order" is the most successful brand in primetime television. It is the 1997 Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Drama Series and the record holder for the most consecutive (11) nominations in that category for a primetime series (tied with "Cheers" and "M*A*S*H").
Detective Edward Green (Jesse L. Martin) and his new partner Detective Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) investigate crimes and apprehend suspects under the supervision of their precinct lieutenant, Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson). In the second half-hour, the focus shifts to the criminal courts, as Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) and the Executive Assistant District Attorney Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) work within a complicated justice system to prosecute the accused under the guidance of the newly appointed District Attorney Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston). "Law & Order" is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Media Studios. Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer; Rene Balcer, Fred Berner and Peter Jankowski are the executive producers.
This season viewers can expect exciting new guest star appearances, including Patrick Stump (from musical group "Fall Out Boy"), Lara Flynn Boyle ("The Practice"), and January Jones ("Mad Men").
In "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth) and his partner, Detective Wheeler (Alicia Witt), make up the Major Case Squad alongside long-time partners Detectives Robert Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe). The two Major Case Squad detective teams split the caseloads week to week. The series takes viewers into the minds of its criminals while following the psychological approaches the Major Case Squad uses to solve the crimes. D'Onofrio ("Men in Black") stars as Detective Goren, an exceptionally bright homicide investigator with well-honed instincts that match up favorably with his criminal quarry. Likewise, his partner, Detective Eames (Erbe, "Oz"), brings an independence and stylish edge to her work that meshes well with Goren.
Alicia Witt ("Vanilla Sky") joins the cast for the first six episodes as Logan's detective partner while Nicholson is on maternity leave.
Eric Bogosian also plays Captain Ross who was rewarded with the Major Case Squad after heading a successful three-year Joint Task Force on International Money Laundering. "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Media Studios. Wolf, Warren Leight, Peter Jankowski and Norberto Barba are executive producers.