Is Jeffrey Donovan leaving Law & Order: Season 23?

Law & Order will no longer have Jeffrey Donovan in season 23
Credits: NBC

Yet another major cast shakeup has affected the longest-running dramas on NBC after its spin-off, Law & Order: SVU, which will now venture forth on its 25th journey. TVLine recently reported that Jeffrey Donovan will no longer be reprising the role of Detective Frank Cosgrove in season 23 of Dick Wolf’s NBC procedural.

Post the show’s decade-plus hiatus, the rebooted Law & Order has observed multiple exits, according to ScreenRant. In season 21, Anthony Anderson portrayed Detective Kevin Bernard before deciding to never return as a regular for season 22. Mehcad Brooks joined the series in season 22 as Frank’s new partner, Jalen Shaw.

Despite the new faces, the upcoming seasons of Law & Order are expected to follow the conventional format for their episodes, which covers the police solving the case in the first half of the episode, followed by the second half, underscoring the courtroom drama. Be that as it may, the news of Jeffrey Donovan leaving Law & Order is no less than a shocker to the series’ fans.

However, TV Line has confirmed the arrival of a new detective to fill in the dent Donovan leaves. The actor who will be joining the ranks is none other than Veep alum Reid Scott, who is joining as an NYPD detective in Season 23 of Law and Order. Scott’s recent work features the fictional late-night talk show host Gordon Ford for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s final season. TV Line reports that the intricate details of what Scott’s character will constitute in the procedural drama have not been revealed yet.

NBC has declined to comment. However, according to TVLine, Donovan had to leave for creative reasons. He began his journey with Dick Wolf’s procedural drama in season 21 as a New York detective Cosgrove and continued to reprise the role in season 22.

Variety quotes NBC’s official character description, which reads: “Frank is a tough-as-nails detective that seeks justice by whatever means necessary. Every legal drama needs a bad cop, and Donovan shines.”

Donovan is also popular for his work as former CIA agent Michael Westen in Burn Notice, where he reprised the role for seven seasons. He is also known for working in FX’s Fargo and Hulu’s Shut Eye. He was featured in Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Villains, Honest Thief, Sicario, J. Edgar, Changeling, LBJ, and Shotcaller.

Law & Order season 23 other cast members

Is Law and Order Season 23 new tonight?
Credits: Peacock

Assuming there are no more cast shake-ups, the rest of the cast includes Sam Waterston as District Attorney Jack McCoy, who is also the longest-tenured original Law & Order cast member in history, according to Parade. In addition, Emmy award-winning actress Camryn Manheim is expected to reprise his role as Lieutenant Kate Dixon, Hugh Dancy as Assistant District Attorney Nolan Price, and Odelya Halevi as Assistant District Attorney Samantha Maroun.

Law & Order season 23 release date update

Law & Order Season 23: Renewal status, release date estimate, synopsis, expected cast members and everything we know so far
Credits: One Chicago Center

Renewed for the 23rd season by NBC on April 10, 2023, along with its spin-offs, Law & Order has been one of the most popular procedural dramas on the broadcast network. While renewing the shows, creator Dick Wolf said:
“I’m pleased to continue my four-decade relationship with Universal Television and NBC. All six shows being picked up again is the ultimate accolade to our incredible casts, producers and writers. I’d also like to thank our loyal fans who have kept our NBC shows on the air for what will be a cumulative 84 seasons.”

The production of the latest season was hampered by WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which significantly impacted Hollywood and caused massive delays. As a result, NBC had to tweak the Fall schedule of 2023-2024, which often included airing reruns of the already premiered seasons.

However, now that both the strikes are over, writers are back working on the scripts for season 23. At the time of writing this article, the network has not confirmed a release date. Be that as it may, on November 9, Deadline released a litany of shows and movies that will tentatively resume production in late November and early December in the wake of SAG-AFTRA’s strike.

In the list, Law & Order was reported to have a late-November production start “with a post-Thanksgiving 11/27 kickoff.” TVLine reports that the 23rd season of this procedural drama is set to return on NBC in 2024 since cameras would reportedly begin rolling in the first week of December.

Law & Order season 23 episode count

According to ScreenRant, Law & Order will have a reduced episode count, consisting of only 13 episodes. It is one of the post-strike effects.

Law & Order season 22 finale recap

Law and Order Season 23: Renewal status, release date estimate, synopsis, expected cast members and everything we know so far

Law & Order season 22 finale addressed the serious issue of rampant gun violence in America. When the U.S. Senator was shot and killed at his daughter’s wedding, Shaw and Cosgrove trace the suspect down to a waiter whose face was covered by an N95 mask.

The culprit was eventually found out to be Derek Quinn, who was so exhausted with his life that he was ready to end it, owing to the increasing gun violence in the States. It’s a reaction against the senator’s decision on a gun law.

Jack McCoy revealed during a press conference that this case would be prosecuted in state court. McCoy states:

“Gun violence is a national plague. The only way to affect real change is to move past all the political acrimony and pass strong and effective common sense gun control legislation. question for all of us is, ‘Had enough?’ We can’t become a place where people settle their political differences at the point of a gun, or where talented and passionate men and women avoid public service out of fear for their lives.”

The episode is complicated even further when McCoy’s daughter, Rebecca (played by Waterston’s real-life daughter, Elizabeth Waterston) represents the defendant. However, the District Attorney is found taking the case very professionally when he answers Price’s question of how they should proceed, “I love my daughter dearly, but this is just another case, and she is just another lawyer.”

During the trial, Derek pleaded not guilty owing to mental disease or defect. Furthermore, it was elaborated that he suffered from PTSD after he went through the most terrible school shootings in America.

Law & Order SVU Season 25 is not coming to NBC in September 2023

However, as McCoy pointed out, Derek shouldn’t get a free pass to exercise violence, especially on such a political doyen, just because he has gone through something traumatic. Price agreed from a legal perspective but debated that if looked at from a moral viewpoint, people might see it different. McCoy firmly contended that this is a first-degree murder charge.

To exacerbate the matters, Price even had a mild panic attack as he held the gun with which he killed the senator. Maroun reminded him that he also suffered from a similar experience and was going through PTSD himself. Moved by the psychiatrist’s testimony on the mental health problem, Price requested McCoy to offer a plea deal.

However, they ended up offering first-degree manslaughter with a 15-year sentence. It was rejected by the defendant, and Derek was found guilty of first-degree murder. This indubitably strained the relationship between the father and daughter, manifested when Rebecca, infuriated with his father’s paucity of empathy, rejected his offer to dinner.