It has been 11 long years since Law & Order left screens with a flourish but now the long-running crime show is returning to NBC. There is no question as to why NBC decided to revitalize the series. Law & Order continues to be one of the most popular franchises and was one of the longest running shows in TV history (via USA Today). Some may wonder why it was canceled to begin with. But in September, NBC reversed their decision after more than a decade. Law & Order will be returning for its 21st season.
After some question about who would be returning, Anthony Anderson answered at least a portion of that question. Anderson announced on his Instagram that he will be reprising his role as Detective Kevin Bernard when the series returns. He posted a few photos of filming which also shows newcomer Jeffrey Donovan who has been confirmed to join the cast by Deadline. Also confirmed to join the cast of Law & Order is Hugh Dancy. Dancy is most notable for playing Will Graham in NBC’s Hannibal. Unfortunately for Hannibal fans that may mean the cult favorite will not be returning for a 4th season any time soon (via IndieWire). You can see the shots from the Anderson’s Instagram below.
Law & Order first aired in 1990 to critical acclaim, with over 50 awards and nominations. The show also boasted significant guest stars who went on to be acclaimed in their own right (Entertainment Weekly). The structure of the show made it must-see television for its entire run. True to its name, Law & Order first depicts the police officers on the street solving the crime. The second half of the episode always features the court case. The cast also had an abundance of talented actors. Among many of the most famous artists included Jerry Orbach, Sam Waterson, Jesse L. Martin, and Chris Noth in the early seasons. Fans are excited to see which of their favorites will return to the series (TV Insider).
Not only was Law & Order a cultural touchstone, but it launched other series. One of the most popular spin-offs is Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) were an iconic duo that solved the worst of the worst crimes. Fans watched every week through the trials and tension between Olivia and Stabler, and were heartbroken when Christopher Meloni left SVU in season 12 (CinemaBlend). Meloni eventually returned to the role of Stabler in season 22 and went on to the new Law & Order property, Organized Crime. Among other stars of the crime drama is Dylan McDermott.
Law & Order’s popularity may be only one of the reasons why it’s a good time to bring back the show. Revitalizations have been all the rage in film and television. Michael Myers returned to Haddonfield in Halloween in a direct sequel (via The Hollywood Reporter). And fellow crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has been given new life as well. Initially billed as a miniseries, Gil Grissom (William Peterson) and Sarah Sidle (Jorja Fox) returned to the lab in CSI: Vegas. Due to the hype and appreciation of the CBS show, CSI: Vegas may not just stop there. Showrunner Jason Tracey has been vocal about wanting to continue the story (via Looper). Hopefully this would be a chance to bring back more beloved characters from the original show.
Fans can only hope as much for Law & Order as well. Law & Order has not been rebooted in any way. It is an additional season to the flagship show. Returning to run the show is creator Dick Wolf and Rick Reid, who has had many previous Law & Order writing credits (Collider). Audience members can tune in on February 24th on NBC.