Why doesn’t the ‘Law & Order’ ‘ching ching’ sound effect always play?

During nearly all “Law & Order” franchises, a custom designed sound effect is played — known as the “ching ching.”

  • The sound typically plays after the opening statement from announcer Steven Zirnkilton.
  • The sound then appears when the show displays white text (in its trademark font Friz Quadrata) on a black background when there is a change in time or location.
  • The “ching ching” sound effect is typically reserved for significant passages in time or changes in locations.
  • Therefore, it does not play when every location and date graphic is shown.
  • The graphics used to give locations of where action is taking place typically are used in place of “establishing” shots used by many other shows, which show the exterior of a building that represents the location where action is taking place.
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