Part of the nostalgic fun of watching the reboot of Law & Order this season was to check out which actors decided to reprise their roles. Casting directors even brought back some of the same guest stars, but not having them play the same character.
Admit it. You squealed when you saw Carey Lowell come back as Jamie Ross in the premiere of season 21. She still works in the prosecutor’s office. But Law & Order fans hadn’t seen her since 2001.
The revival, which premiered on Feb. 24, featured two characters from the show’s original run. Sam Waterston portrayed Jack McCoy for 368 episodes during the first 20 years of the show. Now he’s back as the NY District Attorney. Meanwhile, Anthony Anderson reprised his role as Detective Kevin Bernard. He owned that role for the final two years before NBC canceled the series in 2010. But Anderson recently announced he was leaving the show. Initially, he was expected for only this abbreviated season, so his departure wasn’t a surprise.
As Lt Kate Dixon, Camryn Manheim heads up the cop portion of the show. And although her character is new, she’s a familiar face to Law & Order. She guest-starred on three episodes of the show between 1991-94. When she reported for this new season, Manheim said that the sets hadn’t even changed. She also noted that the show was pulling its guest-starring talent from the same vintage pool.
“One of the most amazing things on the show … [is] you come to work, and then New York’s finest actors just come and play with you,” Manheim told reporters. “I have been surprised and excited already several times, and I think the viewers will be, too.”
So who are some of the Law & Order returnees? Let’s check.
Dylan Baker definitely was a throwback to several characters. This season, he revived defense Sanford Rems. This character has been around the show since 2004. But he also appeared as Sean Hyland in his series debit in 1991. He then played Aaron Downing in 1998. The last time Law & Order fans saw him as Rems was back in 2006. Welcome back.
The finale also featured some familiar faces. Michael Beach portrayed attorney Brian Harris. It was his second appearance this season playing the character. But he also appeared as “Mr. Elliott” in a 1995 episode of the show.
And the finale also featured a crossover with two characters from Law & Order: SVU. Mariska Hargitay showed up as Captain Olivia Benson. Before the show rebooted, Hargitay appeared as Benson on the original three times. Meanwhile, Terry Serpico, who plays police chief McCoy on SVU, made an appearance this season on the OG show. But he also portrayed two other characters in the original run.
Zach Grenier appeared as defense attorney Ed Zanini this season. It was his seventh different character dating back to 1991. And Angel Desai showed her super morphing skills. She played a doctor this season. But in her six other appearances, she’s portrayed a judge and a medical examiner.
Francie Swift also could is a Law & Order guest star mainstay. She’s had parts in four episodes playing a different character each time.
It’s no wonder Angie Harmon wants to return and get into her old character’s skin. She was Abbie Carmichael, an ADA from 1998-2001.
“I would love to revisit Abbie,” Harmon told Entertainment Tonight. “She was just so fun and wonderful.”