Anthony Anderson to exit ‘Law & Order’ ahead of season 22

The actor recently reprised the role of Detective Kevin Bernard when the series returned earlier this year

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Law & Order is returning for season 22, but this time without one very familiar face. Anthony Anderson will officially exit the series after helping relaunch the show in season 21 and reuniting viewers with his character Detective Kevin Bernard.

As theGrio reported earlier this year, one of the biggest TV moments in 2022 was the return of Law & Order, the “mothership” series that launched the massive Dick Wolf franchise. With iterations like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Organized Crime, the show has lived on long past the original series’ final episode in May of 2010. This year, however, NBC revived the original series, bringing back Anderson’s Kevin Bernard as well.

NBC's "Law & Order" Press Junket
Anthony Anderson attends NBC’s “Law & Order” press junket at Studio 525 on Feb. 16, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

While Anderson helped ring in the show’s return, Deadline reports the actor only signed a one-year deal and will not continue on for the next season. Per sources close to the outlet, the actor had wanted to “support Dick Wolf” in the return of the iconic series but had always planned on only returning for one season.

In the new season, Anderson’s character worked closely with a brand new partner, Detective Frank Cosgrove, played by Jeffrey Donovan. Sam Waterson, also returned as John James McCoy, who he played for 16 seasons during the show’s original run. Per Deadline, it is also unclear whether or not Waterson will return for season 22, however, he recently appeared at the NBCUniversal Upfronts for the series.

39th Annual PaleyFest LA - "black-ish"
(L-R) Courtney Lilly, Jenifer Lewis, Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Marsai Martin attend the 39th Annual PaleyFest LA – “black-ish” at Dolby Theatre on April 3, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

This marks another big change in Anderson’s career, as the actor just celebrated another end of an era with the final season of his ABC series Black-ish. Ahead of April’s series finale, Anderson took to Instagram with a message dedicated to the show.

“Tonight marks the end of an era that has made such a monumental mark in not only my life… but also in my Co-stars, the Team at ABC, staff & crew and all of the guest stars that we have had on this show as well.” he wrote to his followers. Check out the emotional post below:

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