Dylan McDermott on ‘FBI: Most Wanted’ Casting: ‘There’s a New Sheriff in Town’

by Suzanne Halliburton
Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Dylan McDermott is the new guy in charge of FBI: Most Wanted.

Check that, McDermott describes himself as the “new sheriff in town.” And like he’s done on a near-daily basis with his current show, Law & Order: Organized Crime, he’s providing on-scene photos. This time, he’s playing the good guy, at least we hope so.

McDermott Replaces Julian McMahon on FBI: Most Wanted

Producers of FBI: Most Wanted announced Monday that McDermott is joining the cast. However, the show also is losing its lead. Julian McMahon, who plays Jess LaCroix, the leader of the FBI’s fugitive task force, is leaving the show he’s been with for almost three seasons. McMahon’s last episode as Jess is March 8. CBS has yet to reveal a plot summary for Jess’ good-bye hour. The next new FBI: Most Wanted episode is Feb. 1. Then the show takes a break during the Winter Olympics.

McDermott is scheduled to debut on FBI: Most Wanted for episode 17. For context, the show’s last new episode was the 11th of the season. CBS provided no other information about McDermott’s new role, other than to specify he’ll play a new character.

But although McDermott is changing shows and networks, he’s sticking with the Dick Wolf universe. And with McDermott leaving, we’re going to miss his on-screen rivalry with Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Organized Crime. The two 60-year-olds are making Thursday nights must-watch television.

(Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

As Richard Wheatley, McDermott Is Creating Havoc on Organized Crime

We’re not sure if McDermott can use any of his most recent character experience on FBI: Most Wanted. McDermott plays the bad guy on Organized Crime. His Richard Wheatley character is charming, handsome, manipulative, and very well dressed. His black leather coat went viral earlier this month. However, Wheatley mostly uses his talents for making money any way he can. Who cares if most of what he does is illegal?

He signed on with OC, the newest Law & Order spinoff for season one. But McDermott’s Wheatley was only supposed to be a recurring character for the first season. However, fans loved to hate him so much that the show signed him for a recurring role for season two. Deadline reported that McDermott’s contract for season two is believed to be one of the highest on network TV for a guest-starring role. McDermott is right in the middle of an eight-episode arc as he butts heads with Meloni’s Stablers. And Stabler literally head-butted him in the last episode as the two had a fight in an elevator.

Wheatley killed Stabler’s wife, but a jury couldn’t return a verdict in an episode in December. The two characters are stalking each other and trying to throw the other off his game. Wheatley is trying to destroy the NYC financial markets. He stole $700 million with the help of a super hacker who goes by the nickname Constantine. Stabler learned that Wheatley is using the date of his wife’s death as part of his hacking code. That set him off and prompted the fight.

So, it will be interesting to see McDermott play a good guy on FBI: International. His new character likely will track criminals like his most recent role.