Best Drama

Law & Order

Network: NBC

Showrunner: Michael Chernuchin

Total noms: 3

Emmy pedigree: Won best drama in 1997 and has been nominated 11 straight years.

2001-02 Nielsen ranking: No. 7; 20 million viewers

Pro: Procedural dramas are gaining in popularity among network programmers.

Con: Skein’s glory days may be behind it and many long-running shows took a back seat at nomination time.

Ripped from the headlines: ” ‘Law & Order’ remains relevant because it always deals with contemporary issues. First-rate writing, acting and directing are the keys to its continued success, as well as the satisfaction of a fully resolved storyline in each week’s episode,” says Chernuchin.

Critical viewpoint: ” ‘Law & Order’ has been one of (my) favorites from day one and hasn’t diminished despite numerous cast changes. The dramatic formula is stronger than any individual.” Bob Curtright, the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle

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