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Law & Order: Trial by Jury - Jerry Orbach's Final Series Comes To DVD This Spring

Posted by David Lambert
In the criminal justice system, all defendants are innocent until proven guilty. Either by confession, plea bargain, or trial by jury. This is one of those trials.

From Dick Wolf, creator of one of the most successful franchises in primetime television, comes Law & Order: Trial by Jury. The show was meant to be a spin-off of the original Law & Order program and to move Jerry Orbach (as "D.A. Investigator Lennie Brisco") from there and become one of the centerpieces of this fourth version of the hugely successful franchise. Unfortunately, Orbach grew sick (he had been fighting with prostrate cancer for the past decade) and passed away early in the new show's run, leaving the producers without the clear plan that they had going in. "Forty-One Shots" was the final episode Orbach was able to film, and due to problems he had which prevented him from speaking above a whisper, a scene was re-arranged so that he and all the other characters were forced to speak in low voices (because they were talking just outside of a courtroom door). A shift to focus even more on Bebe Neuwirth as "Asst. District Attorney Tracey Kibre" and appearances from Fred Dalton Thompson as "District Attorney Arthur Branch" still were not enough to save the show.

13 episodes were shot, 2 of them being the second parts of two-part cross-overs with other programs in the franchise ("Skeleton" was the follow-up to the 15th-season Law & Order episode "Tombstone," while "Day" was the second half of the 6th-season Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Night"). Because of the cancellation, one episode of the 13-installment run of Trial By Jury has been unaired in the USA so far: "Eros in the Upper Eighties." This episode will be aired for the first time (WARNING: SPOILERS AT THE PRECEDING LINK!) in the USA on the CourtTV cable channel, this coming Saturday (January 21st) at 9PM Eastern (and repeated at 1AM, four hours later).

Law & Order: Trial By Jury - The Complete Series will arrive on DVD from Universal this coming April 25th. 3 single-sided discs will hold 561minutes of this excellent but short-lived program. Presentation is in full frame 1.33:1 video and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo audio, with English and Spanish subtitles. Extras, if any, have not yet been announced. Cost is $59.98 SRP. Guest stars include Candice Bergen, Annabella Sciorra, Sam Waterston, Peter Coyote, Carey Lowell, Lorraine Bracco, Richard Belzer, Debrah Farentino, Dennis Farina, William Sadler, Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Larry King, and Ron Silver (and a bunch of others we e-mails, please!). Here's the box art:

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UPDATE: Some factual corrections were made to the above story. TVShowsOnDVD regrets the errors.

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Law & Order: Trial by Jury

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