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

19 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)

Last week, it was Order, this week it’s Law, and the actors and actresses who played the lawyers on the 20 year show get their chance to shine.  I think overall the cops have done more, but the lawyers have had their share of productive work as well.  Since people have been on the show drastically different lengths of time, I’ll give a slight credit to people who have had less post-L&O time to appear in TV and movies.  Let’s rank ’em.

13.  Steven Hill (as Adam Schiff, seasons 1-10) –  Hill’s 89 now, and was 78 when his time on Law & Order wrapped up.  Besides his age, his orthodox Judaism makes it difficult to work.  Suffice it to say, Law & Order was his last role.  Sometimes I like to make a comment about what a loser the last person on a rankings is, but Hill was old and had a long and distinguished acting career.

12.  Sam Waterston (as Jack McCoy, seasons 5-20) – He’s done nothing yet but he’s slated to be in an upcoming Aaron Sorkin series for HBO based around TV news and starring Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer.  I hate having to put the man  behind the legendary McCoy, with the second most episodes of Law & Order of any actor, this low, but I have no alternative until his new show airs.

11.  Carey Lowell (as Jaime Ross, seasons 7-8) – She was in a couple of episodes of short-lived Ed O’Neill series Big Apple.  She was in two episodes of the short-lived Law & Order spin-off Trial by Jury as her Law & Order character, now a judge.  She had a small role in the TV miniseries Empire Falls based on the novel of the same name.  She had a recurring role in one season J.J. Abrams series Six Degrees.

10.  Fred Thompson (as Arthur Branch, seasons 13-17) – Thompson played President Ulysses S. Grant in TV movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and then attempted to play the real president with a relatively quickly aborted run at the 2008 Republican nomination.  Afterwards, he was in movie Secretariat and episodes of Life on Mars and The Good Wife.

9.  Linus Roache (as Michael Cutter, seasons 18-20) – The British Mr. Roache appeared in five episodes of British soap Coronation Street, which has starred Roache’s father for many years (Would a twitter “Occupy Coronation Street” trend be funny in the UK?).  He appeared in four episodes as his Law & Order character in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in which he’s been promoted to bureau chief.  He will soon be starring in British series Titanic.

8.  Alana De La Garza (as Connie Rubirosa, seasons 17-20) – She spun off from Law & Order into the one season Law & Order: LA, playing the same character.  De La Garza reprised her role in CSI:Miami from Season 4 appearing a apparition to Horatio (her character had died earlier in the series).

7.  Michael Moriarty (as Ben Stone, seasons 1-4) – Moriarty has become a certified kind of crazy person, with such wonderful statements as, “ The Supreme Court took a once individually free nation and corrupted it by the lie of Science that fetuses are, in their first two trimesters, no more than egg yolk.”  He’s done some acting too though.  In the ‘90s, he was in movies Courage Under Fire and Shiloh and TV movies Children of the Dust, Cagney and Lacey: True Convictions, Crime of the Century, The Arrow, Galileo: On the Shoulders of Giants, and Earthquake in New York.  Later he was in episodes of Touched by an Angel, The Outer Limits, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, The 4400 and Masters of Horror.  He was in Along Came a Spider and won an Emmy for his role in a James Dean TV movie in 2001, where he played Dean’s father.

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