As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.
September 13, 1990
Law & Order premieres on NBC. The Law & Order franchise was created by Dick Wolf.
The first half of Law & Order, which is set in New York City, focuses on the police as they investigate a crime--often inspired by real-life news stories--while the second part of the show centers on the prosecution of those accused of that crime. Each episode opens with a narrator stating: “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”
Law & Order’s cast has changed continually throughout its run. Among the best-known characters are Homicide Detective Lennie Brisco, who was played by Jerry Orbach from 1994 to his death in 2004; Lt. Anita Van Buren, played by S. Epatha Merkerson since 1993; District Attorney Jack McCoy, portrayed by Sam Waterson since 1993; Detective Mike Logan, played by Chris Noth from 1990 to 1995 (he later reprised the character for the spin-off Law & Order: Criminal Intent); Detective Rey Curtis, played by Benjamin Bratt from 1995 to 1999; and Detective Ed Green, played by Jesse Martin from 1999 to 2008. The actresses Jill Hennessey, Carey Lowell and Angie Harmon each did a stint on Law & Order as assistant district attorneys. Fred Thompson, who was a U.S. Senator from Tennessee from 1994 to 2002, portrayed District Attorney Arthur Branch from 2002 to 2007. In 2008, Thompson launched an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. president. Law & Order has also featured a long list of guest appearances by famous actors, including Julia Roberts (Bratt’s then-girlfriend), Samuel L. Jackson, Chevy Chase and Edie Falco.
On September 20, 1999, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, starring Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni as a pair of New York City detectives who investigate sex-related crimes, premiered on NBC. Law & Order: Criminal Intent followed in 2001. Law & Order: Trial by Jury debuted in 2005 and lasted for one season.
September 16, 1949
Edward James Begley, Jr. was born.
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The actor and environmentalist. Begley is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Mark Craig's intern, Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the television series St. Elsewhere, for which he received six consecutive Emmy Award nominations. He currently has a reality show about green living called Living With Ed on Planet Green with his wife, actress Rachelle Carson.
September, 16, 1993
Frasier, a spin-off of Cheers, makes its debut on NBC.
Frasier starred Kelsey Grammer as the erudite, snobbish Dr. Frasier Crane, a radio psychiatrist who relocates from Boston to his hometown of Seattle following the breakup of his marriage. The main characters in Frasier’s life are his father Martin (John Mahoney), a down-to-earth retired cop; his younger brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce), a psychiatrist who shares Frasier’s taste for the finer things in life; his father’s kooky caretaker, Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves); his radio show producer, Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin) and his father’s dog, Eddie.
Kelsey Grammer, who was born on February 21, 1955, studied drama at New York City’s Juilliard School and began his professional acting career in theater. In 1984, he made his first appearance on Cheers as the fiance of one of the main characters, Diane (Shelley Long). Although Frasier Crane was originally only supposed to appear on Cheers for a few episodes, the popular character became a permanent member of the show. Frasier ran from September 1993 to May 13, 2004. After making an Emmy Award-nominated guest appearance as Crane on the 1990s sitcom Wings, Grammer became the only actor in TV history to earn Emmy nominations for playing the same character on three separate shows.
Grammer’s other acting credits include a recurring role as the voice of Sideshow Bob on Fox’s hit animated series The Simpsons.
To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".