SUPPORTING GREAT TELEVISION

Law & Order: When Advertisers Abort

In Flashbacks on January 8, 2011 at 12:00 am

Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty) questions a suspect in the “Law & Order” episode “Life Choice.” (Screen cap)

On January 8, 1991, NBC aired Life Choice, the Law & Order episode that series creator Dick Wolf has called his favorite.

The plot: An anti-abortion fanatic dies while bombing a Manhattan clinic, dividing police investigators Max Greevey (George Dzundza), who opposes abortion rights, and Mike Logan (Chris Noth), who considers himself pro-choice.

District Attorney Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) also supports abortion rights and questions whether colleague Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty) should prosecute the case.

“Just because I’m personally against abortion means I can’t prosecute a bomber?” Stone asks.

Life Choice reportedly cost NBC $800,000 in lost advertising; the network declined to repeat the episode.

It remained out of circulation until 2001, when TNT began showing Law & Order reruns.

See for yourself: Life Choice is part of Law & Order: Year One, which is on DVD and can also be purchased through iTunes and Amazon.com video on demand.

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