Law & Order will be giving us at least 18 seasons of Jack McCoy.
Sam Waterston will be back as the DA for Season 22 of the NBC drama series, Deadline reports. (He first appeared on the series in the Season 5 premiere in 1994.) With Anthony Anderson (who played Detective Kevin Bernard) not returning, that makes Waterston the only star from the original run still part of the continuation going forward. With this return reportedly for one more season, we’ll have to wait to find out, if Law & Order is renewed for Season 23, if this could be it or if he could sign a new deal again. (Anderson and Waterston signed on for one season originally for their returns.)
“Very few casting announcements have ever given me this much pleasure,” executive producer Dick Wolf said in a statement with news of Waterston reprising his role for Season 21 in December 2021. “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 and I look forward to him emulating the career of New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who served until he was 90.”
Wolf had also noted that Waterston and Anderson’s returns “shows that the 21st season is merely a continuation of where we left off,” as did Carey Lowell returning as Defense Attorney Jamie Ross in the premiere. While some Law & Order stars are now part of other Wolf series (including Jeremy Sisto and S. Epatha Merkerson, on FBI and Chicago Med, respectively), there are still plenty of actors from over the first 20 seasons who could always show up.
“I thought, ‘Can you go home again?’” Waterston previously told TV Insider of returning to the series. “But when I walked on the set, I realized, ‘How could I have considered the possibility of missing this?’”
Joining McCoy on the “order” side of the show are Hugh Dancy’s Nolan Price and Odelya Halevi’s Samantha Maroun. “Working with Sam is truly incredible and I can’t wait for the scenes with him! He is so funny, his energy is just wonderful. He’s like my Papa bear,” Halevi said prior to the Season 21 finale. “He teaches me so much and it’s always with just his amazing light and amazing personality. I’m so incredibly grateful that I get to work with this legend. He’s God, he’s Law & Order’s God.”
Law & Order, Season 22, Fall 2022, NBC