Sources say "Law & Order" veteran Jerry Orbach will depart Dick Wolf's long-running crime drama at the end of the season after 12 years on the beat as wise-cracking Detective Lennie Briscoe.
However, Orbach may still remain in business with Wolf with a role on the upcoming fourth installment of the franchise: "Law & Order: Trial by Jury."
As for the flagship series, there is no word yet about a replacement for Orbach, but one scenario involves his character's partner, Detective Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin), being promoted.
" 'Law & Order' has a 15-year track record of Dick Wolf never commenting on casting changes during the season," a spokesman for the show said Thursday. Indeed, "Law & Order" has famously weathered many cast changes since it bowed in 1990.
At present, Orbach is the longest-serving member of the current "Law & Order" cast members, having signed on during the show's third season in 1992.