‘Law & Order’: Here’s Who Almost Played Mike Logan

by Suzanne Halliburton

Back in 1988, when Dick Wolf was looking for the perfect Mike Logan to cast in Law & Order, he first had another actor in mind.

As Law & Order fans know, Chris Noth portrayed Logan, the son of a cop. Noth’s Logan also was a complicated human. He eventually opened up about being abused as a child. His mother, an alcoholic, abused Logan emotionally. And Logan suffered physical abuse by the parish priest.

Logan had a huge temper. And he also liked to flirt with the ladies.

But Wolf, at first, wanted to go in a different direction with the casting. That’s why he first considered Michael Madsen for Dolan. Madsen, who still was six years away from Reservoir Dogs, was thought to have “great sex appeal.”

However, Noth had the better chemistry with actor George Dzundza, who was Logan’s partner, Max Greevey.

(Michael Hickey/WireImage)

NBC Picks Up Law & Order After Two Networks Said No

NBC picked up Law & Order in 1989 and aired it in 1990, two years after Wolf produced the pilot. Fox turned down the project, as did CBS. And Noth stuck with the series for five seasons, the longest run of any of the original cast members. But there’s a caveat. Roy Thinnes played the district attorney in the pilot, but because it took so long to get the pilot to the airwaves, he already accepted a role in another show. So technically, Thinnes played the first DA, but the show added Steven Hill to play Adam Schiff when Law & Order premiered. Hill stuck with the show for the first decade.

Noth’s Dolan had three partners on the show. Max Greevey died in the season two premiere. Paul Sorvino joined the cast as Phil Cerreta. And Cerreta’s character appeared in 31 episodes. He got shot and decided to take a desk job. And finally, Jerry Orbach made his Law & Order appearance as Lennie Briscoe. Orbach’s Briscoe became one of the most recognizable faces on the series, right up there with Sam Waterston and S. Epatha Merkerson.

Noth left in 1995. NBC didn’t want to pay him more money. It was that simple. On the show, Logan was transferred to Staten Island. Benjamin Bratt’s Rey Curtis replaced Noth’s Logan.

“This is one of the toughest decisions you’ve got to make as a producer,″ Wolf said. “I want to emphasize that Chris has done a spectacular job this year. He’s never been better.″

Noth Found Spot in Pop Culture History As Mr. Big

Noth, after leaving Law & Order, became a part of another show’s iconic history. He joined the cast of HBO’s ground-breaking Sex and the City as a recurring character in 1998. He was the love interest of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) known as the name, Mr. Big. Audiences didn’t even know his real name until the final scene of the final episode. That’s when Carrie took a call from “John.” Thank you, caller ID.

But Noth wasn’t finished with Law & Order. After Sex and the City ended, Noth joined the spinoff, Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

The revival of Law & Order premieres, Feb. 24. It’s coming back after a dozen years off the air.