‘Law & Order’ Revival: See First Look at Anthony Anderson’s Highly-Anticipated Return

by Allison Hambrick
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for the Critics Choice Association)

Wolf Entertainment shared a behind-the-scenes photo of Anthony Anderson returning to his Law & Order role as NYPD Detective Kevin Bernard alongside series newcomer Jeffrey Donovan of Burn Notice fame.

In the since-deleted photo, the two were seen filming together on location. The caption read: “here we go. Season 21 of [Law & Order] is officially in production.”

Predictably, the Law & Order revival picks up where the original left off. Created by Dick Wolf in 1990, the series ran for 20 years. It created a number of successful spin-offs, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Wolf again executive produces alongside writer-showrunner Rick Eid. It will remain episodic in structure, and again follows “the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.”

New Cast Added to ‘Law & Order’ Revival

Additionally, Emmy-winning actress Camryn Manheim joined the series as Lt. Kate Dixon. Her character replaced Lt. Anita Van Buren, who was played by S. Epatha Merkerson from season four to season 20. Merkerson declined to return to the series as she is currently starting in another Wolf-produced series, Chicago Med.

Interestingly, Manheim started her small-screen career on Law & Order. Her first role was a guest appearance on the show’s debut season. She appeared again as different characters in seasons three and four. This means that Manheim played four roles in the series, with Dixon making five.

Also, another new cast member is Hugh Dancy, who starred in Hannibal. Dancy will be playing an Assistant District Attorney, a role notably filled by Sam Waterston in previous seasons.

Wolf on Returning to his ‘Law & Order’ Roots

When the Law & Order reboot was announced, series creator Dick Wolf called it one of the “few things in life that are literally dreams come true.”

Wolf is confident that the series will be successful the second time. Why? Because his years of production experience don’t lie.

“We always approach storytelling the same way: Good writing, acting, and production values, and give the viewers what they want,” said Wolf. “That’s been our mantra from day one.”

Additionally, the series’ return sets the stage for crossovers with the other shows. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has the distinction of having spun off from the original show and having its own spinoff.

Centered around Detective Elliot Stabler, Law & Order: Organized Crime is the only serialized entry in the franchise. Introducing that concept into the original Law & Order could create an interesting dynamic.
Also, who wouldn’t want to see the ultra-serious Stabler and Benson team up with Bernard? The opportunities are “countless,” according to NBCUniversal chairman Susan Rovner.

Additionally, the series will share a night with the rest of the franchise. Law & Order makes its highly-anticipated return on Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. eastern on NBC.