The Odd Way Original Law & Order Members Quit The Show

It's hard to imagine a world without "Law & Order" and its corresponding spin-off shows. However, there was a chance the show wouldn't make it to air. According to Mental Floss, the first episode of the show was shot in 1988 with CBS intending to air the show, but that fizzled out. CBS passed due to the lack of well-known names in the cast and it took a few years before the show found its home on NBC. Now, however, you can find at least one series in the "Law & Order" family on practically any channel, any time of the day.

The "Law & Order" franchise didn't get its start on cable until the 1990s (via TV Insider). While spinoffs like "Law & Order: SVU" give the show a more modern feel, the parent series had a very '90s feel to it. Due to the time the original series was shot, you might not be surprised to hear one of the show's first stars quit the show in a very '90s, but odd, way.

One cast member quit via fax

Michael Moriarty played the memorable role of Executive Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Stone in the first four seasons of "Law & Order" (via Distractify). He fought for justice and was considered one of the top prosecutors in the country (well, in the television world that is). Fans loved his passion for justice and when he chose to leave the show, it was shocking.

While his exit left fans confused, the way he chose to let the team working on the show know he was leaving is even odder. According to Mental Floss, Moriarty left the show via fax. What could possibly be more '90s than quitting your job from a fax machine?

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the show's creator Dick Wolf shared, "I'll never forget when Michael [Moriarty] resigned [from "Law & Order"]. The fax came in the middle of the night to California, which means that he'd been up all night [in New York]. It was like, "I can't continue." It was things like the "Nazification of television" and everything else with Janet Reno."

For some background, Reno, the Attorney General, claimed the show was too violent for television. This struck a nerve with Moriarty, who chose to exit the show via fax. He was replaced by Sam Waterston, who stayed on the cast until the show came to a close in 2010.