Sam Waterston Shares New Details on Law & Order Revival

Sam Waterston explained why he ultimately signed on to return as Jack McCoy and why now’s a good time for Law & Order to return.


The latest hit series from the past to get the revival treatment is the original Law & Order. While the franchise is still going strong with multiple spinoffs airing on television, many longtime fans still miss the original Law & Order and its original cast. It has since been announced that the show is returning with the cast including Sam Waterston reprising his role as District Attorney Jack McCoy. We are now days away from the revival’s Feb. 24 premieres on NBC.

In a new interview with VarietyWaterston touched on Law & Order‘s return. Similar to how things were before, the show primarily follows three police officers investigating a crime and three DAs prosecuting offenders. The actor also explained how the new season will not be dancing around the real-life hot button issues that people are talking about, instead choosing to tackle them head-on by incorporating them into the storylines.


We are not shying away from any of those [timely] conflicts. In fact, it’s always been the goal of the show to get people throwing their shoes at the television, and certainly there are issues that are going to infuriate people and frustrate people about how they turned out. That’s the pleasure of watching Law & Order; there is a resolution but there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with the way it goes. It feels, to me, like Law & Order might have something to contribute to the general conversation because we’m all mad about something. We’re all mad as hell about something right now and mad at each other. For us to get these big issues aired, and to have not a conclusion but a resolution of some kind that you can chew on, might be a useful service. ”

Related: The Job’s Denis Leary Joins Law & Order: Organized Crime

Law & Order’s Revival Will Feel Familiar While Also Presenting Something New


A veteran actor, Sam Waterston was initially reluctant to return as Jack McCoy in the new season of Law & Order. He was at first concerned that reprising the role he’d already spent years playing in the past would not offer him anything new as an actor. Still, Waterston realized he’d be missing out on something he’d regret if he did not revisit Jack McCoy, leading to his decision to sign on for the series.

“I thought at first, ‘Haven’t I done this already?’ I’m so glad I did not miss this chance, because you’re racing through your life and you’re in a big hurry all the time. You do not really get much opportunity to ever look at it or look back at it or look down at it at the height of it. You know, a life is a big deal. ”

Waterston went on to share some additional details about the Law & Order revival. He teases that while fans will recognize the characters along with the classic structure of the show, what’s new will be catching up the fans to what’s going on in their lives and how they do things differently in 2022. In fact, Waterston feels this actually makes things a lot more interesting.

β€œIt does feel familiar, but we are completely different people. The structure of the show, the names of the characters, they’re there from the past. But I feel like I have to find a new way to live in the show. I think that’s what will make it interesting. We’re going to do that together. It’s the same show but it’s a new day. The new people who Jack will be working with most of the time are going to change McCoy, and the relationships will be different. It really is the most extraordinary thing, the overlays of past and present. ”

Law & Order will return when its 21st season debuts on Feb. 24, 2022, on NBC.

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