'Law & Order: Before They Were Stars': Release date, plot and all you need to know about the NBC special

'Law & Order: Before They Were Stars': Release date, plot and all you need to know about the NBC special

Dick Wolf's 'Law & Order' universe is just over three decades old and it is still going strong. The original show's spinoff 'Law & Order: SVU' is set to start its 22nd season in November and it is television's longest-running primetime series.

Starring Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish and Peter Scanavino, the police procedural series centers on Lt Olivia Benson (Hargitay) and her elite squad of New York City Police Department detectives that includes Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (T), Detective Amanda Rollins (Giddish), and Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi (Scanavino). They investigate crimes including sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence.


To mark the show's impact on entertainment history, NBC will be airing the special, 'The Paley Center Presents Law & Order: Before They Were Stars', immediately following the Season 22 premiere of 'Law & Order: SVU'. The hour-long special is an insightful look back celebrating 30 years of a legendary franchise and the stars who have helped pave the way. Read on to know more about the special.


Release date

'The Paley Center Presents Law & Order: Before They Were Stars' will air on NBC on Thursday, November 11, at 10/9c. The special will be available to stream on Peacock the following day.


For an up-and-coming actor, an appearance on a 'Law & Order' episode is a rite of passage. Since 1990, more than a few of the attorneys, victims, perpetrators, witnesses, kids, suspects and police of the week have gone on to become some of the biggest television and movie stars in the world.


In a statement to the press, Paley Center's President and CEO, Maureen Reidy said, "'Law & Order' is one of television's most legendary brands and has served as a springboard for so many talented actors." She continued, "We're honored to partner with our friends from NBC to present this entertaining look at where some of today's biggest stars got their first big break."


The telecast will feature interviews with actors whose roles on 'Law & Order' played an instrumental part in shaping their careers, including Ron Cephas Jones, Chris Sullivan, and Susan Kelechi Watson ('This Is Us'), Leslie Odom Jr ('Hamilton'), Michael Imperioli and Aida Turturro ('The Sopranos'), Ariel Winter ('Modern Family'), Abigail Breslin ('Zombieland') and S. Epatha Merkerson ('Chicago Med').


In addition to the above, several prominent actors who have a 'Law & Order' credit or two on their resume will be part of the special, including eight-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper.

For many actors, 'Law & Order' was a way to earn their SAG card. Some played multiple guest roles on the series before becoming famous and will explain what the experience on set meant to them at the time. Members of the 'Law & Order' ensembles will recount the experiences of working with the great actors who were not yet household names.


Some 'Law & Order' cast members discuss appearing on the show as other characters before landing a spot in the main cast. For example, Peter Scanavino appeared as double assailant Johnny Dubchek before he took the role of Sonny Carisi on 'SVU'. Kelli Giddish played a victim before she joined the force as Det Amanda Rollins. With over 1,200 episodes from the 'Law & Order' library to date and tens of thousands of roles for actors, it's no surprise that many of them have gone on to incredible careers.



'The Paley Center Presents Law & Order: Before They Were Stars' will be produced by The Paley Center for Media in association with Brad Lachman Productions. Maureen J. Reidy, Brad Lachman, and Diane Lewis will executive produce. Bill Bracken will co-executive produce.


There is no trailer for the special yet, but keep watching this space for future updates!


If you like this, you will love these:

'Law & Order'

'Law & Order: SVU'

'Chicago PD'

'Chicago Fire'


Share this article:

 paley center presents law and order before they were stars nbc special release date plot