Jeffrey Donovan discusses the Law & Order cast shake-ups

Jeffrey Donovan
Jeffrey Donovan as Detective Frank Cosgrove on Law & Order. Pic credit: NBC

Jeffrey Donovan is opening up about the Law & Order cast shakeup.

The actor who played Detective Frank Cosgrove shared his thoughts on the departure of Anthony Anderson from the iconic series and his first impressions of Mechad Brooks joining as Cosgrove’s new partner. 

He also poked some light fun at himself and his lack of fame.

Jeffrey Donovan and the Cosgrove/Bernard dynamic

When Law & Order was revived for Season 21, the producers had a good idea to bring some continuity by having Anthony Anderson reprise his role as Detective Kevin Bernard.

Anderson had joined the series in Season 18 and remained until it was canceled after Season 20 in 2010. 

The series showed that Bernard had been at the job during the twelve-year gap and seen a few partners come and go. His latest was Frank Cosgrove, with tension as Bernard had once investigated Cosgrove as an Internal Affairs officer.

The pair got along okay, although a few clashes regarding issues of race, police misconduct, and more. They still seemed a tight unit as the Season 21 finale had Cosgrove taking the murder of a policeman friend of his personally. 

Right after the finale, Anderson announced he was leaving the series. It was then announced that Mehcad Brooks of Supergirl would be playing Cosgrove’s new partner. 

Speaking to Cinemablend, Donovan shared some of his thoughts on how Anderson helped the revival get on its feet and some funny jokes about which of them got more attention from fans.

“So, I met Mehcad over Zoom and he’s a fine young gentleman and I’m looking forward to working with him and I will, as will many on the cast and crew, miss Anthony, but he’s in charge of his own destiny. And he helped create a buzz about this first season which I’m eternally grateful for, because as we walk down the streets of New York, they yell ‘Anthony, Anthony, and the other guy from Burn Notice,’ so you know, his notoriety certainly drew eyes, and I’m very appreciative of that.”

The Burn Notice reference is part of a long-running joke by Donovan. Even though he was the main star of the 2007-2013 USA Network series, the actor claims more fans recognized co-star Bruce Campbell than Donovan. 

Hopefully, that same bond carries over to Cosgrove’s new partner.

Brooks and Donovan on the new Law & Order detective

Donovan added another tongue-in-cheek observation about Brooks joining with him that once more mocked his lack of name recognition. 

“Yet another more prominent and famous guy walking down the street to draw attention away from me. I love it.”

Brooks himself was happy about the casting, posting to his Instagram page how honored he was to join the franchise. 

“I’m humbled, honored, grateful and invigorated by this. Stick to your manifestations, believe in yourself and keep the faith that you will be acknowledged for your hard work. Thank you to my incredible team, my family, friends, the producers, network, studio and fans. Asé.”

Brooks does have experience with Law & Order, having guest-starred as a basketball star in a Season 13 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode. 

Law & Order Season 22 is still weeks away from production, but the addition of Brooks looks to spark the new season as he and Donovan seem eager to join together on screen. 

Law & Order Season 22 airs Thursdays this fall on NBC.

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