Sam Waterson is Leaving “Law & Order” After 20 Seasons

Sam Waterson attends the 2022 NBCUniversal Upfront
Sam Waterson attends the 2022 NBCUniversal Upfront. Photo by John Nacion/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (12943176g)

Sam Waterson has been a crucial member of the Law & Order family for 20 seasons, but he’s finally ready to leave this series behind. The Emmy winner will say goodbye to Jack McCoy after playing him for 400 episodes, and he’s expected to make his final appearance on the show later this month.

Waterson released an emotional statement announcing his departure and explained why he decided to take this drastic step. He said “there’s sadness in leaving”, but added he’s curious about what’s next because an actor shouldn’t let himself get too comfortable.

Waterson also expressed gratitude to the show’s fans and gave a special shout-out to the Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.

L&O’s continuing and amazing long run, along with its astounding come-back, is all thanks to you and Dick Wolf, but for whose vision, patience, perseverance, and unique combination of creative and business talents, none of this would have happened,” said Waterson in a statement.

Waterson will make his exit on February 22, but Law & Order will be in good hands after his departure. Tony Goldwyn (Oppenheimer, Scandal) will join the series in the role of a new district attorney, after previously appearing in the Law & Order spin-off Criminal Intent.