Changing faces of Law & Order

Gothamist was flipping through Entertainment Weekly yesterday and we spied the latest "Ask the TV Critic" with Ken Tucker and it's a doozy of a question: Which is the best Law & Order cast ever? Since you need an access code ("spidey" until tomorrow) to go to EW.com, we've reprinted the entire question and answer:

Ken, please put an end to the debate: Which ''Law & Order'' cast was the best? (Note: Anything Noth-less is just unacceptable.) -- Matthew Sosnowsky
Matthew, my man, this is a debate that rages across the country and in my house as well.

For me, the dream lineup was, for the cops, Chris Noth (a fan fave and a convincing flatfoot) and Jerry Orbach (yeah, he walked through the last few seasons, but in the mid-'90s he was aces). In the courtroom, I go with Michael Moriarty over Sam Waterston (Moriarty was fascinatingly mannered); in the endless parade of female ADAs (Elisabeth ''The Ice Sculpture'' Rohm will likely leave midway through next season), Jill Hennessy displayed a lotta moxie. Now I open it up to you, readers: What is your favorite ''L&O'' lineup? Cha-chung!
Goodness, a question like that is akin to asking which of your children do you like the best or which one of your best friends is the bestest. We sort of agree: Gothamist's pick for Law side would be would be Sam Waterston's Jack McCoy as D.A., a toss-up between Jill Hennessy's Claire Kincaid and Carey Lowell's Jamie Ross for A.D.A., and of course, Steven Hill for bigwig D.A. (J.K. Simmons' Dr. Emil Skoda is tops with us, because Dr. Olivet, as played by Carolyn McCormick, always seemed to become entangled in the cases). On the Order side, of course we love Jerry Orbach's Lennie Briscoe as the older wiser detective and S. Epatha Merkerson's Anita Van Buren as the captain but it's a toss-up between Chris Noth and Benjamin Bratt (in his later seasons) as the younger, hot-headed cop. But we also love Richard Brooks's A.D.A. Paul Robinette and Angie Harmon's A.D.A. Abby Carmichael, not to mention Jesse L. Martin as Detective Ed Green. Gothamist would say the only casting mis-step thus far has been Elisabeth Rohm. She brings NOTHING.

What is your favorite Law & Order cast?