In this Feb. 16, 1999 file photo, actor Jerry Orbach, right, and his double, Ed Murphy, talk on the set of “Law & Order” in New York (AP Photo/Lynsey Addario, File)

Everyone’s favorite legal drama series “Law & Order” premiered on this date in 1990, according to The NBC show, created by Dick Wolf, has been one of the longest-running primetime dramas in TV history.

Each episode focused on the investigation and prosecution of crimes often based on real-life news stories. Although the cast changed throughout the course of the show, some of the most famous characters stuck around for the duration of the show. S. Epatha Merkerson, who played Lt. Anita Van Buren appeared in 391 episodes, according to Other famous characters District Attorney Jack McCoy, played by Sam Waterston, and Homicide Detective Lennie Brisco, played by Jerry Orbach, were both prominent actors on the show.

The famous opening statements of every episode reads, “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups.” The phrase has been used in other series spinoffs, including one of the most successful ones, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Season 19 of “SVU” premieres on Sept. 27, 2017 on NBC. The original “Law & Order” ran for 20 seasons.