Law & Order entered its seventh season on a note of uncertainty: Had Assistant DA Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy) been killed by that drunk driver at the end of season six? The answer would remain vague until it was determined by the producers that actress Hennessy had no intention of returning to the series; it was at this point that the ...
Law & Order entered its seventh season on a note of uncertainty: Had Assistant DA Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy) been killed by that drunk driver at the end of season six? The answer would remain vague until it was determined by the producers that actress Hennessy had no intention of returning to the series; it was at this point that the unfortunate Kincaid was sadly and reverently referred to in the past tense. Her replacement was ADA Jamie Ross (played by Carey Lowell). The idealistic Ross, who struggled to balance her career with her home life as a single mom, proved to be an excellent opposite number for the jaded, unattached Executive ADA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston). In addition to claiming Kincaid, death took its toll on another of the series' characters. Throughout season seven, the never-seen wife of DA Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) lay virtually comatose in a hospital bed, tenaciously hanging on to life. The final episode of the season concluded with a grieving Schiff sitting at bedside as the monitor attached to his wife flat-lined. Nor was the brief sojourn to Hollywood taken by detectives Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) and Curtis (Benjamin Bratt) fraught with merriment. They had gone to Tinseltown to investigate the brutal murder of a female studio executive, a plot line which necessitated the series' first (and, to this point, only) three-part story. This expanded time frame afforded ample opportunity to probe the private lives of two of the series' principals: Curtis, devoted to his ailing wife (who had earlier been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis), nonetheless briefly drifted from his marital vows with a sexy Hollywoodite, and new ADA Jamie Ross was bedeviled by her ex-husband, scheming defense attorney Neal Gordon (Keith Szarabajka), both in and out of court. After several years worth of Emmy nominations but no wins, Law & Order closed out season seven with two new statuettes, for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Cinematography. Hal Erickson, Rovi
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