Anthony Anderson will not be returning for Season 22 of NBC’s Law & Order. The actor, who plays Detective Kevin Bernard, has made the decision to not return to the popular law show after reprising his character for Season 21, reports Deadline.
Last year, Anderson signed a one-year deal which made it clear that he was less likely to continue in the upcoming season. It’s been reported that Anderson signed on to support Dick Wolf in the relaunch of the original series with plans to move on thereafter.
The news seems sudden to fans of the show because there was no indication in the recent Season 21 finale that Anderson would be exiting. The last episode ended with Detective Bernard (Anderson) and his partner Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) investigating the murder of an off-duty police officer, which would most likely unfold in the forthcoming season.
Fellow original Law & Order star, Sam Waterston, also signed a one-year deal for Season 21, like Anderson. However, it is unclear whether he will be returning for Season 22 as the veteran actor appeared onstage for NBCUniversal’s upfront, which showcased programming and talent for the upcoming season.
The new installment of Law & Order, from Dick Wolf and writer-showrunner Rick Eid, will continue the classic bisected format that examines “the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.”
Anderson threw in the towel as star and executive producer of ABC’s black-ish after eight seasons. He’ll remain in business with NBCUniversal as its subsidiary network E! announced his greenlit reality and travel series, Anthony Anderson and Mom: European Vacation.