‘Law & Order’ triple crossover did something really weird: Here’s what you need to know

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NBC’s three hit dramas “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Law & Order: Organized Crime” pulled off the first three-series crossover in the franchise’s history Sept. 22, 2022 — but some fans have been left confused about what order to watch them in, especially those who rely on DVRs or video on demand.

Normally NBC airs the shows in the order listed above starting at 8 p.m. eastern and finishing up at 11 p.m. eastern.

However, Sept. 22 saw “Organized Crime” and “Law & Order” swap places.

The reason is likely to help facilitate the storyline which, without giving away any spoilers, needed to have a crime take place early on that the three squads could partner on.

It’s also worth noting that “Law & Order,” unlike the other two series, typically follows a tighter format where the first half the show focuses on the crime and investigation and the second half follows the justice system side of things.

This could have also been one of the reasons NBC aired them in different order since prosecuting the crimes that take place in the two other shows couldn’t really come about 30 minutes into the crossover event.

NBC aired the shows in the order they were meant to be watched in: With “Law & Order: Organized Crime” airing at 8 p.m. eastern instead of 10 p.m. eastern. “SVU” stayed at 9 p.m. since it’s always in the middle anyway and the revived original “Law & Order” moved from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

That’s not a permanent change. The shows are scheduled to go back to their normal order Sept. 29, 2022.

The change appears to have caused some issues on some pay TV providers with DVR or on-demand services. In some cases, it appears that the shows did not record correctly, meaning viewers have been stuck watching VOD versions with non-skippable ads. It’s not immediately clear why this happened, but it’s likely due to issues in how the episodes were coded and tagged in the various systems that generate TV schedules.

Some users have also reported that all three episodes have disappeared from the show pages in DVR interfaces.

If this happens to you, you can try watching the shows on the free, ad-supported tier of Peacock or, if you have a pay TV subscription with a compatible provider, with on NBC’s website.

In most guides, the episodes are labeled as “Gimme A Break Part 1,” “Gimme A Break Part 2” and “Gimme A Break Part 3,” which will help ensure you watch in the correct order. Some listings also include “Part 1 of 3,” “Part 2 of 3” and “Part 3 of 3” notations in the program descriptions.