Anthony Anderson Exits Law & Order Reboot Ahead of Season 22

·3 min read
anthony anderson
anthony anderson

Eric Liebowitz/NBC

Anthony Anderson is saying goodbye to Law & Order — again.

The 51-year-old actor will not be returning for the NBC drama series for season 22, PEOPLE can confirm.

His character, Det. Kevin Bernard, was one of the familiar faces brought back when Law & Order was revived by the network last year (the show had been canceled in 2010). Anderson joined series mainstay Sam Waterston, alongside new stars Hugh Dancy, Jeffrey Donovan, Camryn Manheim and Odelya Halevi

Earlier this month, NBC announced Law & Order had been renewed. Anderson — who previously told PEOPLE that he had called series creator and producer Dick Wolf asking to reprise his role — had only signed a one-year deal.

Waterston too signed a one year deal, PEOPLE can confirm. It's unclear whether he'll be returning as District Attorney Jack McCoy. Waterston did just appear at NBC's 2022 Upfronts presentation.

PEOPLE has reached out to Waterston's reps for comment.

RELATED: Anthony Anderson Says He Approached Dick Wolf About Reprising His Law & Order Role

Sam Waterston returns to Law and Order
Sam Waterston returns to Law and Order


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Law & Order follows "the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders." It first premiered on NBC in 1990, earning 50 Emmy nominations across its original run and starring a series of notable stars like S. Epatha Merkerson, Jeremy Sisto, Jesse L. Martin and the late Jerry Orbach (to name a few).

The show's popularity gave way to a franchise, with the fan favorite Law & OrderSpecial Victims Unit spinoff becoming a mainstay in its own right, currently in its 23rd season. That series, led by Mariska Hargitay, will return for season 24 next year.

Another spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime, premiered in 2021, bringing back former SVU star Christopher Meloni to the franchise. The show's been renewed for a third season.

RELATED: Law & Order: Beloved Characters Return and New Faces Emerge in Dramatic Season 21 Premiere

Camryn Manheim, Anthony Anderson, Jeffrey Donovan
Camryn Manheim, Anthony Anderson, Jeffrey Donovan

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

RELATED: Anthony Anderson Says Black-ish Is One of His 'Proudest Moments' as Cast Says Goodbye to Series

Meanwhile, Anderson also recently said goodbye to his hit ABC sitcom Black-ish, which wrapped up its run in April after 8 seasons.

The acclaimed sitcom, which premiered in 2014, followed the Johnson family, a Black family who aims to get in touch with their cultural roots after moving into a wealthy and predominately white community. Anderson, as family patriarch Dre, earned 7 consecutive Emmy nominations for lead actor in a comedy series.

In April, Anderson told PEOPLE about the unapologetic nature of the series. "That's what made our show appealing," he said. "And with the worldwide audience, wanting to better ourselves and live the American dream and have the best for all of our family, that's what it was all about."

He went on to praise the show on social media for "the monumental mark" it not only made on his life, but on the lives of his "costars, the team at ABC, staff & crew and all of the guest stars that we have had on this show as well!"

"What this show has done and shown for the culture and African American families… really all American families overall, will never be forgotten," he said.

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