Law & Order loses another cast member with the departure of Sam Waterston, who is exiting his role as District Attorney Jack McCoy after more than 400 episodes. His last appearance will be in the Feb. 22 episode of the series.
TVLine reports that the new DA on the series will be Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn. Further details on the new character are not yet available. Goldwyn is no stranger to the Law & Order family. He previously recurred on Law & Order: Criminal Intent playing Frank Goren, brother to Detective Robert “Bobby” Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio), who was murdered in the series.
Waterson is not leaving without a goodbye. He issued a statement through Wolf Entertainment:
“It’s a pleasure to talk directly like this to the backbone of Law & Order’s absolutely amazing audience. The time has come for me to move on and take Jack McCoy with me. There’s sadness in leaving, but I’m just too curious about what’s next.”
He continued, “An actor doesn’t want to let himself get too comfortable. I’m more grateful to you than I can say. L&O’s continuing and amazing long run, along with its astounding come-back, is all thanks to you and to Dick Wolf, but for whose vision, patience, perseverance, and unique combination of creative and business talents, none of this would have happened. I feel very blessed. I hope to see you all on the flip side.”
Waterston, who made his debut on the series in the season 5 premiere episode titled “Second Opinion” in 1994, earned three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1997, 1999 and 2000 for the role of Jack McCoy.
Law & Order has been a bit of a revolving door since its reboot on September 28, 2021, after an 11-year hiatus, with the departure of Anthony Anderson’s Det. Kevin Bernard after the first season back, replaced by Mehcad Brooks as Detective Jalen Shaw. And this season saw the exit of Jeffrey Donovan as Det. Frank Cosgrove, who was replaced by Reid Scott, who stepped in as Det. Vincent Riley.
Remaining cast members for L&O are Hugh Dancy, Brooks, Scott, Camryn Manheim and Odelya Halevi.
Law & Order airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.