‘Law & Order: Sam Waterston Returning as District Attorney Jack McCoy in Revival

by Allison Hambrick
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Law & Order fan favorite Sam Waterston is officially joining the cast of the revival for its 21st season, alongside Anthony Anderson. He will reprise his role as D.A. Jack McCoy, which he played for 17 years in the original show. The actor also appeared in a season 19 episode of the spinoff Law & Order: SVU.

Also in the cast of the revival is returning cast member Anthony Anderson, who plays Detective Kevin Bernard. Other cast members include Jeffrey Donovan as a detective, Camryn Manheim as Lt Kate Dixon, Hugh Dancy as an A.D.A., and Samantha Maroun also as an A.D.A. Other than Anderson and Waterston, no other cast members from previous seasons are slated to return.

Additionally, the show will stick to its usual procedural structure. Detectives will solve cases, and attorneys will try them. Created by Dick Wolf in 1990, the series’s original run lasted for 20 years. Wolf will again executive produce alongside showrunner Rick Eid. The series returning to NBC makes sense given the substantial fanbase and the current popularity of reboots.

Law & Order is quite simply one of the most iconic shows in television history,” said Susan Rovner, chairman of Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “And the idea of continuing its legacy and partnering with Dick on an all-new season is nothing short of exhilarating. This is great news for NBC as well as TV fans everywhere.”

As expected, Rovner isn’t alone in her excitement. Wolf referred to the news as a dream “come true.” A certain returning detective also expressed his thoughts on the series’s revival.

Anderson Talks Law & Order Return

For Anderson, a return to Law & Order is both a change of pace and a return to his roots.

“It means a great deal,” Anderson stated in an interview. “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.”

While he spent several seasons on the procedural, Anderson is arguably more known for his comedic roles. In particular, the actor played Andre Johnson, an ad executive and father of five, on the sitcom Black-ish. The series, which Anderson also executive-produced, was critically acclaimed and scored consistently good ratings. As a result, some questioned the actor’s choice to return to a dramatic role.

“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.”

Anderson’s Law & Order Partner Loved His Energy

Given his comedy background, it is not surprising that Anderson has a reputation of being fun to have on set. Jeremy Sisto, who once played Anderson’s partner, found his energy hard to “match.” However, this wasn’t a bad thing. Sisto revealed that the Black-ish actor brought “fresh and fun” vibes to the Law & Order.

“[Anthony Anderson’s] really good bringing people out of their shell,” Sisto explained. “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.”

Law & Order will make its return, along with Anderson and Waterston, on Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. eastern on NBC.