October 28, 2008 at 08:42 PM EDT

It’s not always that noteworthy to report a drama’s return to primetime, but in the case of Dick Wolf’s Law & Order, we’re going to make an exception: The show returns Nov. 5 at 10 p.m. for its 19th year. Get that? That’s 19 years — longer than any hour-long show on TV today. In fact, the Jeremy Sisto-starrer just keeps stacking up the records. It certainly ranks as the longest-running police drama in the U.S. and is the second longest-running prime-time drama series in the history of boob tubes (behind Gunsmoke, which ran from 1955-75). In fact, it’s long been Wolf’s dream to beat Gunsmoke’s record. The series is also tied with M*A*S*H and Cheers in holding the most consecutive Best Series Emmy nominations.

The upcoming season will feature appearances from Sherry Stringfield, Katee Sackhoff, Viviva A. Fox, and Jena Malone, who’ll play a young woman who escaped from a polygamist cult in another ripped-from-the-headlines episode, which is de rigueur for L&O. That episode airs Dec. 3.

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