Sometimes it seems the only constants on TV are late-night infomercials and the ever-present Law & Order “chung-chung” sound. But now, after 20 seasons of putting bad guys in prison after an appropriately unforeseen plot twist 30-minutes into each show, the venerable crime series has been canceled by NBC.
Law & Order ties Gunsmoke as the longest-running primetime drama on TV. While we mourn the loss of a television establishment, let’s remember what we’re really losing here — hot assistant district attorneys. The string of attractive assistant DAs who look good in a pantsuit while crossing their arms has been truly remarkable. In fact, it’s almost too hard to choose a favorite — almost.
With that, let’s take a look back in fondness at Law & Order’s deputy DAs. I mean, 30 years is a long time. The memory can get hazy. Like, did you know the very first deputy DA wasn’t even a woman? Seriously, and he was there for three seasons.
Richard Brooks as Paul Robinette (1990-1993)
They must not rerun those first three seasons on an endless loop like all the others because I only have the vaguest of memories of Robinette’s character (far right). Or maybe that’s just because he’s not a hot lady.
Jill Hennessy as Claire Kincaid (1993-1995)
The first of the fiery female ADAs, Kincaid was a feminist who often butted heads with Executive Assistant DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston). It was later revealed they had an affair. She died in a car accident after being struck by a drunk driver. Three years later Jill made Chutney Popcorn where she makes out with Nisha Ganatra. Fair trade off, I think.
Carey Lowell as Jamie Ross (1996-1998)
Another ADA who butted heads with McCoy, but then became close friends (though not that close). She left after a nasty divorce and custody battle for her daughter. In real life, Carey married Richard Gere.
Angie Harmon as Abbie Carmichael (1998-2000)
The first conservative ADA (mirroring Angie’s actual political views), Carmichael took no prisoners in the courtroom. And that voice! I would commit crimes just to be prosecuted by that voice.
Elisabeth Rohm as Serena Southerlyn (2000-2005)
Smart, compassionate and a stealth lesbian through much of her appearance, ADA Southerlyn had a social justice bent that didn’t sit well with conservative DA Arthur Branch (the equally conservative Fred Thompson). Her surprise firing by Branch was met with the most out-of-the-blue coming out line in TV history: “Is this because I’m a lesbian?” Don’t go, things were just getting good.
Annie Parisse as Alexandra Borgia (2005-2006)
I won’t lie; I do not remember ADA Borgia at all. Apparently she was kidnapped while working on a case and died a horrible, grisly death. Yeah, I still don’t remember her.
Alana de la Garza as Connie Rubirosa (2006-current)
Much of her job seems to be mediating disputes between the new District Attorney McCoy and his replacement Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter. But she can raise a mean disapproving eyebrow, that one.
Geez, did Law & Order have a type or what? Dark-haired ladies in power suits. So, who is your favorite ADA? I’ve got to pledge lesbian allegiance and go with ADA Serena Sotherlyn. Also, will you miss the show, and that ever-present “chung-chung” sound? Discuss.