Sam Waterston And Anthony Anderson Couldn't Pass Up The Chance To Return For Law & Order

Dun dun! During a Television Critics Association panel on Friday, actors Sam Waterston and Anthony Anderson shared their excitement about the upcoming "Law & Order" revival, which will see the seminal series brought back after 12 years off the air. The "Law & Order" ran for 20 seasons from 1990 to 2010, using a split format that follows both the detectives that solve crimes and the lawyers who prosecute them. The revival series was announced in September 2021, with plans to bring back some of the original cast on top of introducing some high-profile newcomers like "Hannibal" alum Hugh Dancy. Original series creator Dick Wolf will also return, along with writer and showrunner Rick Eid. 

"Law & Order" just isn't "Law & Order" without Sam Waterston, so fans were delighted to hear that he would be returning as District Attorney Jack McCoy. There are plenty of spin-offs, including "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: Organized Crime," and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," but only the original series had the real McCoy.

"We stopped making the shows, but the audience never stopped watching them."

The return of the original "Law & Order" is turning out to be a bit of an encore. After the series went off the air in 2010, fans kept watching it via streaming and on demand, showing that the desire for this crime and courtroom series was still there. Per TheWrap, Waterston had to be convinced a little bit, but between Wolf's enthusiasm and the fans' enthusiasm, he realized he had to come back:

"[Wolf] was talking about it five years ago and I don't think he's ever stopped talking about it. One of the reasons that we're back is because of his persistence and determination — and his conviction that it was a terrible mistake to stop in the first place. The other reason we're coming back is because we stopped making the shows, but the audience never stopped watching them. The audience's persistent appetite for 'Law & Order' is a major reason why we're back, so thanks to them."

Anderson took far less convincing. In fact, he reached out to Wolf as soon as he heard rumors of the revival:

"I called Dick once I found out the show was coming back and he was excited to hear from me. Ending eight seasons on 'Black-ish' and coming back to an iconic show like 'Law & Order' was a no-brainer for me. Leaving one great show to go back to another show? I jumped at the opportunity to do it."

"Law & Order" is an American television institution, and I can't wait to see how they bring it back after more than a decade away. The series premieres Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. on NBC, and will be available to stream the next day on Peacock.