‘Law & Order’: Sam Waterston Reaction to First Day Back on Set

by Chase Thomas
(Photo by Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images)

Sam Waterston is back on Law & Order, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, the iconic actor and attorney from the original run is back in the reboot on NBC starring Anthony Anderson. Waterston, a legend on the program dating back to the 1990s, returns to the program on February 24. In a new interview with TV Insider, Waterston talked about his own reaction to being back on the set where it all began those years ago.

Waterston said, “I wasn’t at all expecting to be bowled over, and I was.” It was a lot for the legendary actor and he was honest about how it all hit him when he first got back on the set. He continued, “I was amazed at how great—and strange—it felt to step onto what looked exactly like the old sets, all brand-new, with dear old friends and cool new people.”

Sam Waterston’s Importance

Everything was different, but Waterston was like a kid in the candy store where all the stuff he knew was still there, but it was all fresh and new and exciting. Some faces will change on the return, others will not. From his quotes, you get the sense that Waterston really is over the moon to return for Season 21 of the program on NBC. He’s excited. Unlike other characters in the past for a variety of actors, Waterston wants to get back to playing this role. Along with working with the group that started it all once again.

Folks who might be surprised to see Jack McCoy back on the program this winter should not be. The series creator, Dick Wolf, said of Waterston’s character, “Since day one, Sam has had perfect pitch when it comes to Jack McCoy as a character who both reflects and expands our ability to understand the law. He is the ultimate conscience of the show.”

Dick Wolf on The Character

He is the backbone of the program in a way. Out of everyone in the past, his character perhaps sticks out the most from the original sow that started it all. Wolf has always seen that with the character. From Wolf’s words, you get the sense that he has seen Sam’s character as a home run all the way. He is such a critical character to the program and how he is presented in each episode matters. Especially when things become grey, as they typically do in this particular universe.

How long, though, will this run go? Is there a plan or an idea on that front? Well, showrunner Rick Eid said, “We’re trying hard to continue the legacy.” He concluded, “I’d love for this to last another 20 years.”

The much-anticipated return of Law & Order will happen on NBC on February 24 starring Sam Waterston and Anthony Anderson.