Originally created 03/27/04

Sources: Law & Order actor Jerry Orbach leaving show

NEW YORK -- It may be time for a less stressful job for Detective Lennie Briscoe.

Veteran "Law & Order" actor Jerry Orbach is likely to leave the hit NBC drama after this season, his 12th as Briscoe, according to industry sources who would not speak for attribution on Friday.

Orbach may not venture too far professionally: he's reportedly in line for a job in the fourth installment of the crime franchise, "Law & Order: Trial By Jury."

That series is expected to join "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" on the NBC schedule next fall.

Orbach has portrayed Briscoe since 1992, the show's third season. It's still going strong in the ratings for NBC, and reruns are also a hit on cable's TNT.

"Law & Order has a 15-year track record that (series creator and executive producer) Dick Wolf never comments about casting changes during the season," said Neil Schubert, a spokesman for Universal Studios.


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