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Law & Order: Sam Waterston confirmed returning for Season 22

Sam Waterston
Sam Waterston returns as Jack McCoy for the Law & Order revival. Pic credit: NBC

It’ll be at least another year of Jack McCoy on Law & Order. 

Sam Waterston has confirmed he will return for Season 22 of the NBC drama this fall.

This is the first confirmed star to return for the second year of the revival of the iconic series, and Waterston will continue his run as the famed D.A.

Jack McCoy’s Law & Order history continues

While Jack McCoy is often one of the first names that come to mind whenever Law & Order is mentioned, it’s easy to forget he didn’t debut until the show’s fifth season.

Before that, Michael Moriarty handled the duties as District Attorney Ben Stone. He left at the end of Season 4 with Waterston, a noted stage and TV actor, joining as Jack McCoy.

Known for his proudly liberal viewpoints and willingness to bend the law a few times to get a win, McCoy became the face of the series and aided in convicting scores of criminals.

In Season 18, after years as the ADA, McCoy was promoted to interim District Attorney. This had him in the ironic position of chastising ADA Michael Cutter just as McCoy had been called out by his bosses. 

McCoy was formally elected D.A. in Season 20 and remained in the position when Law & Order was canceled in 2010. He appeared as McCoy in some Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes, although it was later hinted a new D.A. had taken over.

But when Law & Order was revived for Season 21, Waterston confirmed he would return as McCoy under a one-year deal. The current season has had him handling the tactics of Nolan Price (Hugh Dancy) and Samantha Maroun (Odelya Halevi). 

The Season 21 premiere also had McCoy clashing with former ADA Jamie Ross (Carey Lowell) on a case. 

Who else is coming back for Law & Order Season 22?

Jack McCoy
Sam Waterston returns as Jack McCoy on Law & Order Season 21. Pic credit: NBC

Waterston’s confirmation he’s returning does help shape Season 22, which appeared to be in flux. 

In a surprise, Anthony Anderson announced he was leaving the series after returning as Detective Kevin Bernard. Like Waterston, Anderson had only signed a one-year deal for the revival and elected not to return. 

This leaves the status of cast members Dancy, Halevi, Jeffrey Donovan, and Camryn Manheim still up in the air, with no word on how many will be back for Season 22. 

Law & Order fans are used to the show’s revolving door of characters. Waterston’s original tenure on the show saw McCoy go through six ADAs, three D.A.s, and several cops. 

While Season 21 only had ten episodes, Season 22 is expected to be the standard twenty-two, meaning plenty of time for more stories and exploring the characters. 

While the rest of the cast is still up in the air, having Waterston back as McCoy maintains Law & Order’s great legacy as it continues its run as a hit show.

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

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