‘Law & Order’: Anthony Anderson Speaks Out About Joining Revival Series

by Allison Hambrick

Law & Order star Anthony Anderson discussed his return to the show after the cancellation of his sitcom, Black-ish. Anderson previously played Detective Kevin Bernard on the series from 2008 to 2010, when it went off the air for the first time.

“It means a great deal,” said Anderson in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “They’re bringing the show back and billing it as their 21st year… full circle is what it is, and it’s a good thing.”

The creative force behind Law & Order, Wolf Entertainment, recently shared a first look at Anderson back in action. In the since-deleted photo, the actor was seen filming on location with costar Jeffrey Donovan, known for starring in Burn Notice. The caption read: “here we go. Season 21 of [Law & Order] is officially in production.”

As for why Anderson chose now to return to Law & Order, the actor cited a need for a change of pace. Moreover, he enjoyed his time on the procedural and was game for at least one more run as Bernard.

“You know, a lot of people ask why, and I say why not?” added Anderson. “It’s the opportunity to go back and reprise [my] character, and have a little fun in the dramatic space for a little while.”

For eight seasons, Anderson ported Andre Johnson Sr., an ad executive and father, on the critically acclaimed sitcom Black-ish. The Law & Order star also executive-produced the series along with creator Kenya Barris and costar Laurence Fishburne. The series was nominated for 11 Emmys but has yet to win any.

“Yeah, we are 0 for 11,” Anderson said in regard to the show’s nominations. “And if it doesn’t happen, then you’re gonna see me visibly upset on camera. We’re gonna move some furniture around, that’s what we’re gonna do!”

Anderson’s ‘Law & Order’ Partner Loved His Energy

Unsurprisingly, Anderson has a reputation of being fun to work with. Former Law & Order costar Jeremy Sisto said he often found it hard to “match” Anderson’s energy—in a good way. He said when the Black-ish actor joined the cast, he brought “fresh and fun” vibes to the show.

“[Anthony Anderson’s] really good bringing people out of their shell,” Sisto explained in an interview with Long Island Weekly. “He’s really lovable and also had a really positive outlook on work. He was always staying positive and had fun with it. Every now and then you’d come into some actors who complain a little bit about stuff and that kind of vibe can be contagious—that doesn’t even cross Anthony’s mind.”

See Anderson step back into the role of Detective Bernard when Law & Order returns next year. The first episode of the 21st season is set to air on Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. eastern on NBC.