Sam Waterston Makes Shocking Exit from Law & Order After 20 Seasons – Fans Stunned!

New York, NY – After nearly three decades with the NBC drama “Law & Order,” actor Sam Waterston is bidding farewell to his iconic role as Manhattan District Attorney Jack McCoy. His final episode is set to air on February 22, marking the end of his 20-season run on the show.

Waterston, now 83 years old, joined “Law & Order” in 1994 and has since appeared in over 400 episodes. His character, McCoy, began as an assistant district attorney and later became the interim DA in season 17 before eventually winning the elected position of district attorney in the show’s original run from 1990-2010. He reprised the role when NBC revived the series in 2022, serving as a link to the original show.

In a heartfelt message to viewers, Waterston expressed gratitude for the show’s longstanding success and its dedicated audience. He also mentioned his excitement for what lies ahead in his career, emphasizing the importance of not becoming too comfortable as an actor. While his departure brings a sense of sadness, Waterston’s message reflected a tone of optimism and appreciation for the show’s enduring legacy.

Following Waterston’s departure, actor Tony Goldwyn, best known for his roles in “Scandal” and “Oppenheimer,” will be taking over as the new district attorney on “Law & Order.” This marks a significant transition for the series, as Goldwyn steps into a key role previously held by Waterston.

Peter Jankowski, the executive producer of “Law & Order,” highlighted the invaluable contributions of long-time cast members like Waterston, as well as Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni from “Law & Order: SVU” and “L&O: Organized Crime,” in setting the tone on set over the years. He emphasized the importance of having talented individuals who also serve as leaders on the show’s production.

As the show prepares for this major cast change, details about how Goldwyn’s character will be introduced remain under wraps. However, fans can anticipate a new dynamic as Goldwyn steps into his first series role since “The Hot Zone” in 2021. His diverse range of acting and directing projects in recent years indicates a promising addition to the “Law & Order” franchise.

Overall, the departure of a long-standing actor like Sam Waterston and the arrival of Tony Goldwyn bring a mix of nostalgia and anticipation for the next chapter of “Law & Order.” Their contributions and the evolution of the series serve as a testament to the enduring appeal of one of television’s most iconic crime dramas.