‘Law & Order’: The Best Part of the Revival, According to One Star

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Dick Wolf really leaned on hiring New York-based stage actors for Law & Order. And he’s carrying on that tradition in the revival.

Camryn Manheim, one of the new Law & Order cast members, loves it. In fact, she said the presence of these actors, including some who guest-starred in the original run, is the best part of the show.

“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 said at an introductory Law & Order press conference this past week.

“I have been surprised and excited already several times, and I think the viewers will be, too.”

Manheim portrays Lt. Kate Dixon. She’s basically replacing S Epatha Merkerson, who played Lt. Anita Van Buren. Merkeson appeared in 391 Law & Order episodes. But she’d already decided to leave the show before NBC abruptly canceled it the first time. Merkerson stuck with Dick Wolf productions and now is a star on Chicago Med.

Meanwhile, Manheim, as Dixon, is in charge. And she conceded she needs to keep an eye on the cops she supervises.

“They’re skilled and smart but sometimes get off track, and she has to rein them in,” Manheim said. “Especially Cosgrove, who’s a fantastic detective but a hothead.”

(Photo by George Napolitano/FilmMagic)

Law & Order, literally, picks up 12 years later. It’s premiere date is Feb. 24, with Thursday primetime devoted to the Law & Order franchise, including its two spinoffs, SVU and Organized Crime.

Writers called the opening episode “The Right Thing.” And NBC — finally — has revealed the plot summary. “Newly acquainted partners Bernard and Cosgrove investigate the murder of a notorious entertainer. A dispute over throwing out a confession creates a rift in the DA’s office.”

Bernard, of course, is Anthony Anderson’s character. Anderson was on Law & Order for its final two seasons. Cosgrove is Jeffrey Donovan, the former Burn Notice star.

Sam Waterston, another well-known Law & Order cast member, offered some clues as to the dynamics of how his office will work. Waterston reprises his role as District Attorney Jack McCoy. But he told the media it will be Hugh Dancy, McCoy’s senior assistant DA Nolan Price who does most of the leg work. “He is the one who’s working his tail off and will have the satisfaction of killing the bull every week,” Waterston said.

Dancy’s character is a former defense attorney. And Odelya Halevi joins the prosecutor’s office as Samantha Maroun.

Waterston also dropped a clue about a guest star in the Law & Order opener. “one of my favorite people in the world,” he said.

He conceded that when he first thought about reprising Jack McCoy he pondered whether you could “go home again.”

“But when I walked on the set, I realized, ‘How could I have considered the possibility of missing this?’” 

Outsider.com