Anthony Anderson is already leaving the Law & Order reboot

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Anthony Anderson already leaving Law & Order reboot
Anthony Anderson already leaving Law & Order reboot


Anthony Anderson

Well, it was fun while it lasted. Or re-lasted, as it were. Anthony Anderson will not be returning to Law & Order after returning to Law & Order for the rebooted 21st season, Deadline reports.

The news is not totally unexpected (unless you watched the season finale, in which there was no indication that Anderson’s character, Detective Kevin Bernard, would be exiting the series). Anderson had only signed a one-season contract, and sources told Deadline that the actor “wanted to support [executive producer] Dick Wolf in the relaunch of the mothership of the franchise for one season and always planned to move on after that.”

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Anderson just completed another long run on Black-ish, so it makes sense he wouldn’t want to get tied down right away to another lengthy TV project. Although for what it’s worth, he told People he essentially volunteered for the job: “They made the announcement that Law & Order was coming back. So, I picked up the phone and called Dick Wolf up and said, ‘Hey Dick, is it true?’” Anderson explained to the outlet. “He said, ‘It is.’ I was like, ‘Well, you know, I’m a free agent as of Nov. 19th.’ And [Wolf] was like, ‘Anthony, you have no idea how happy this phone call makes me.’”

Sam Waterston, the series’ other returning vet, also signed on for just one season. Per Deadline, there’s no word yet as to whether Waterston has decided to stay on, though he did make an appearance at NBC’s upfronts, an event dedicated to promoting the network’s upcoming season. So, perhaps one alum will stick around.

There are also approximately one billion other actors from Law & Order history to choose from if Wolf wants more familiar faces–and some of them have already expressed an interest in returning. Ultimately, Law & Order got along just fine before Anthony Anderson arrived, and will likely survive just fine without him.