Law & Order: Organized Crime’s Dylan McDermott to be new lead on FBI: Most Wanted

Dylan McDermott
Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) returns in Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2. Pic credit: NBC

Dylan McDermott is trading his villainous Law & Order role to join the other side of the fence.

McDermott, who currently plays Richard Wheatley on Law & Order: Organized Crime, will be replacing Julian McMahon as the star of FBI: Most Wanted. 

This doesn’t bode well for the Wheatley character while ensuring FBI: Most Wanted continues to entertain.

The shocking Julian McMahon exit

FBI: Most Wanted has already seen a lot of cast turnover in its two-and-a-half-season run. 

Midway through Season 2, Nathaniel Arcand, who played Clinton Skye, departed with his character explained as transferring to a separate division. This was due to Arcand being unable to leave his native Canada due to the coronavirus pandemic. Arcand confirmed in June of 2021 that he was leaving the series.

In September, just a day after the Season 3 premiere, Kellan Lutz announced he was leaving the show to spend more time with his family. His Kenny Crosby character had been shot in the line of duty and further episodes explained he’d moved back home to recover. 

Also, Season 3 saw Hana Gibson absent for the first four episodes due to Keisha Castle-Hughes giving birth over the summer. Ironically, Roxy Sternberg announced in late December that she’s expecting her first child in April, meaning her Sheryll Barnes character may be taking a leave of absence. 

Yet fans never expected the shocking announcement that Julian McMahon, who plays team leader Jess LaCroix, would be leaving the series in March. McMahon explained he’d been planning the exit for some time and was working with the producers to find a proper way to send Jess off. 

Now, the announcement has been made on who will be taking over as the team leader, and it’s another familiar face to Dick Wolf viewers.

Dylan McDermott is swapping shows

Dylan McDermott
Dylan McDermott returns as Richard Wheatley on Law & Order: Organized Crime. Pic credit: NBC

Since breaking out as the star of the long-running Emmy-winning ABC drama The Practice, Dylan McDermott has been a familiar TV face. His role as Bobby Donnell earned McDermott a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination. 

McDermott has continued with a steady career in TV series such as Big Shots, Dark Blue, and American Horror Story.

In 2021, McDermott began his role as Richard Wheatley, the sinister mobster and main villain of Law & Order: Organized Crime. Season 2 has focused on Wheatley trying to regain his fortune while engaging in a battle of wits with Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).

This casting indicates that Wheatley seems likely to either be put back in prison or receive a nastier fate when Law & Order: Organized Crime returns from its extended break after the Olympics.

McMahon’s final episode is scheduled to air on March 8th. McDermott (whose character has yet to be revealed) is expected to debut in Episode 17 shortly afterward. 

This quick casting shows that the FBI: Most Wanted producers are stepping up fast to ensure a smooth transition for the new team leader, and McDermott should bring his unique energy to the show to keep it a popular hit for viewers.

FBI: Most Wanted Season 3 returns with new episodes Tuesday, February 1 at 10/9c on CBS. Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 returns with new episodes Thursday, February 24 at 10/9c on NBC. 

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