Power Rankings: Law & Order, Order edition, Part 1

12 Dec

(Power Rankings sum up:  Each week, we’ll pick a television show and rank the actors/actresses/contestants/correspondents/etc. based on what they’ve done after the series ended (unless we’re ranking a current series, in which case we’ll have to bend the rules).  Preference will be given to more recent work, but if the work was a long time ago, but much more important/relevant, that will be factored in as well)

We’re going to take on a major challenge this week in Power Rankings.  We’re raking just the actors (and actresses) who who have played detectives on the “order” section of Law & Order.  Because the show lasted 20 years, some cast members have had more time to build up their resumes since their tenure ended, so we’ll do our best to take that into consideration but it will still be admittedly unfair (ie. Jeremy Sisto is not expected to have done as much as Paul Sorvino to get the same rankings).  I’ll make note of what seasons every character was on.  Eventually, we’ll return with the attorneys.  Sadly, Jerry Orbach died shortly after he left the show, after he had just filmed a couple of episodes of short-lived spin off Law & Order: Trial By Jury.  He won’t be included formally, but will get a special shout out.  We begin.

11.  S. Epatha Merkerson (as Anita Van Buren, season 4-20) – She was in 391 episodes, more than any other cast member.  Unfortunately, since she was on until the end, she hasn’t done anything since the show’s finale.  It’s rough and kind of unfair, but hey, I don’t make the rules.  She’ll be in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln next year.

10.  Jessie L. Martin (as Ed Green, season 10-18) – He cameoed in A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa and he co-starred in NBC’s one season The Philanthropist, about a billionaire playboy who decides to devote his fortune to helping others.  He was in the Shakespeare in the Park Central Park productions of The Winter’s Tale and The Merchant of Venice in 2010.

9.  Anthony Anderson (as Kevin Bernard, season 18-20) – Just out of L&O, he was in Scream 4 and The Big Year and an episode of Shameless.  He’s lined up to be in Scary Movie 5.

8.  Milena Govich (as Nina Cassady, season 17) –  Govich portrayed the only female detective, and by far the most irritating detective in Law & Order’s 20 year run, and not because of her gender.  Cassady was in four episodes of K-Ville with fellow Law & Order detective Anthony Anderson and was in 16 episodes of Rescue Me as a con-woman and prostitute.  She was in one episode of Psych and Body of Proof and two of The Defenders.

7.  Paul Sorvino (as Phil Cerreta, season 2) – He spent the ‘90s with steady TV movie work, with the titles including A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Wicked Wives, Parallel Lives, The Art of the Cigar, Escape Clause, Houdini, The Championship Season, and best remembered by me, Joe Torre: Curveballs Along the Way, in which he played Joe Torre.  He was in movies Nixon, Romeo + Juliet, Money Talks, Most Wanted, and Bulworth.  For two seasons starting in 2000, he starred in CBS drama That’s Life alongside Ellen Burstyn.  He was in four episodes of Still Standing.  He’s been in The Cooler, Hey Arnold: The Movie, Mr. 3000, Repo! The Genetic Opera and a host of smaller projects including a TV movie with the fantastic name Mafia Doctor.

6. Jeremy Sisto (as Cyrus Lupo, season 18-20) – He’s basically only been done a year and in that time he’s hooked up with ABC surprise hit Suburgatory which has been picked up for a full season.  Sisto plays dad George Altman who moved his daughter from the city to the suburbs after finding condoms in her drawer.

5.  Dennis Farina (as Joe Fontana, season 15-16) – He was in What Happens in Vegas and in lesser known films The Grand, You Kill Me, Bottle Shock, and The Last Rites of Joe May.  He’s currently the host of Unsolved Mysteries on Lifetime and will be co-starring in Luck on HBO with Dustin Hoffman where he’ll play Hoffman’s character’s driver.

3 Responses to “Power Rankings: Law & Order, Order edition, Part 1”


  1. Power Rankings: Law & Order, Order edition, Part 2 « Television, the Drug of the Nation - December 15, 2011

    […] Law & Order Power Rankings, Order edition has been chopped into two parts for convenience – you can find the first part here. […]

  2. Power Rankings: Law & Order, Law edition, Part 1 « Television, the Drug of the Nation - December 20, 2011

    […] week, it was Order, this week it’s Law, and the actors and actresses who played the lawyers on the 20 year show […]

  3. Power Rankings: Law & Order, Law edition, Part 2 « Television, the Drug of the Nation - December 20, 2011

    […] Law & Order Power Rankings, Law edition has been chopped into two parts for convenience – you can find the first part here. […]

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