Sam Waterston Is Leaving ‘Law And Order’ After More Than 400 Episodes

Law and Order‘s Jack McCoy falls into a special category: TV characters who don’t make their first appearance until years into a show’s run, but who are so essential to the series, they feel like they were there all along, Other examples include Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm and Erin on The Office. District Attorney McCoy, as played by Sam Waterston, didn’t show up on Law and Order until season five; the NBC legal drama is now in season 23, and he’s still around. But not for much longer.

After more than 400 episodes, Waterston is leaving Law and Order and “his last episode will air on Thursday, Feb. 22,” according to Variety. “Tony Goldwyn, best known for his role as Fitz in ABC’s Scandal, has been cast as the new district attorney.”

Waterston joined the Dick Wolf mothership series in 1994. He remained a main cast member until the show’s original run came to an end in 2010. When the show was revived for its 21st season in 2022, he stepped back into the role. Waterston, who has been a mainstay in the entertainment industry for decades, earned three Emmy nominations for the role and 11 SAG nominations, winning one in 1998.

If Waterston gets sick of retirement, he can always come back on one of the 12 other Law and Order shows.

(Via Variety)