‘Law & Order’: Sam Waterston Opens Up About ‘Storytelling’ in the Revival Series

by Suzanne Halliburton

The correct term for the Law & Order reboot is the crime procedural is resuming. And after a dozen years off the air, Sam Waterston said the stories are as gripping as ever.

Circle the date for Feb. 24. That’s when Law & Order returns to NBC. It’ll give the network three hours of Dick Wolf’s crime procedurals.

The presence of Waterston, who plays District Attorney Jack McCoy, gives the resuming of the series a lot of heft. He defined the original Law & Order from season five through its abrupt cancellation in 2010. When it resumes it wouldn’t be the same show without him.

George Napolitano/FilmMagic

By as anyone who has watched Law & Order or any of its seven spinoffs, the crime of the week is the true star.

“It couldn’t be more timely, and its storytelling is rock-solid as ever,” Waterston told TV Insider. “Voices you can trust to tell all sides are always scarce. If we get it right, people will be back throwing their shoes at their TVs and loving it!”

OK, don’t throw your shoes at the TV, just scream at it. As anyone who follows Law & Order, this show broadly concentrates on “the police who investigate crimes and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.”  The first half of the show mainly is about the cops solving the crime, then in the second half, you see the trial.

Waterston, Anthony Anderson Are From First Law & Order Run

Hugh Dancy as Nathan Price and Odelya Halevi as Samantha Maroun join Waterston in the prosecutor’s office. Anthony Anderson, who starred in Law & Order for its final two seasons, also returns for the reboot to play detective Kevin Bernard. He’ll be joined by Jeffrey Donovan as Frank Cosgrove and Camryn Manheim as Kate Dixon.

It’s a really big deal for Wolf to develop another show for NBC, even if it’s as simple as the resuming of an old show. In the TV season for 2020-21, Wolf shows ranked 1-2-3 and 5-6 in network viewership for scripted series. The only non-Wolf series in the NBC top seven is This Is Us. That show, which ends this spring, ranked fourth.

Wolf now has the three Law & Order franchises plus the Chicago One shows — Chicago Med, Fire and PD. Those shows are on Wednesday. He also has the entire CBS Tuesday prime-time lineup with FBI, FBI: International and FBI: Most Wanted.

So about those story lines. They probably will sound familiar. When FBI and its spinoffs premiered in September, the cross-over storylines all involved a case about a fictitious version of Jeffrey Epstein.

Law and Order showrunner Rick Eid said of the resuming of the series: “It’s essentially the same show in a slightly different world, exploring modern issues and topics. The way people police, the way prosecutors try cases, has changed.”