‘Law & Order’ Star Sam Waterston to Exit After 400 Episodes: ‘Time Has Come for Me to Move On’

In major “Law & Order” news, stalwart Sam Waterston is stepping down as District Attorney Jack McCoy on the NBC drama, NBC announced on Friday.

“Scandal” star Tony Goldwyn has been cast as the new district attorney, who will presumably oversee the current prosecutor Nolan Price, played by Hugh Dancy.

Waterston’s last episode will air Feb. 22.

In a statement released by Wolf Entertainment, Waterston wrote, “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. An actor doesn’t want to let himself get too comfortable.”

He added, “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 first joined the show in 1994 and has been in more than 400 episodes. For his role as the often crusading attorney, he won a SAG Award in 1999 and was multi-nominated for both an Emmy and Golden Globe.

When the series returned in 2022 after a 12-year hiatus, Waterston was one of the few familiar faces to anchor the show.

Tony Goldwyn
Tony Goldwyn (CREDIT: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

The current line-up on “Law & Order” is Waterston, Dancy, Camryn Manheim, Odelya Halevi, Mehcad Brooks and Reid Scott. Scott made his debut as Detective Vincent Riley in the Season 23 season opener. His character replaces Frank Cosgrove, who was portrayed by Jeffrey Donovan.

Goldwyn is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.

Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer. Rick Eid, Pamela Wechsler, Alex Hall, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski are executive producers. “Law & Order” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment.

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