Interview with actors Anthony Anderson, Hugh Dancy, Jeffrey Donovan, Odelya Halevi, Camryn Manheim, Sam Waterston, and EP/Showrunner Rick Eid of “Law and Order” on NBC by Suzanne 2/11/22
I really enjoyed this TCA panel because it was a lot of fun. I love this show and have watched most of the episodes. I’m so glad that they’re bringing it back. Dick Wolf was originally scheduled to be on this panel, but unfortunately, he wasn’t able to make it.
WINTER 2022 TCA VIRTUAL PRESS TOUR
NBC -Law & Order
Anthony Anderson, Talent, “Det. Kevin Bernard”
Hugh Dancy, Talent, “Assistant District Attorney Nolan Price”
Jeffrey Donovan, Talent, “Det. Frank Cosgrove”
Odelya Halevi, Talent, “Assistant District Attorney Samantha Maroun”
Camryn Manheim, Talent, “Lt. Kate Dixon”
Sam Waterston, Talent, “District Attorney Jack McCoy”
Rick Eid, Executive Producer/Writer/Showrunner
Virtual via Zoom
February 11, 2022
© 2022 NBCUniversal, Inc. All rights reserved.
We were told this about the show before they ran a clip: “During its astonishing 20 year, 456 episode run, ‘Law & Order’ garnered 52 Emmy Award nominations and became one of the longest running primetime dramas in television history. Set and filmed in New York City, each episode follows the investigation of a crime by NYPD detectives and the prosecution of a defendant by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. ‘Law & Order’ returns to NBC on Thursday, February 24th, at 8 p.m.”
Executive Producer Rick Eid told us that Dick Wolf sent his apologies because he has laryngitis and was told to rest by his doctor.
For the first question, Camryn Manheim (Kate) talked about how one of the greatest things about being on the show is that “New York’s finest actors just come and play with you.” She thinks viewers will be as “surprised and excited” as she’s been to see them.
Sam Waterston (Jack) and Rick were asked about whether there were previous attempts to bring the show back. Sam asserted that there were. Rick wasn’t involved in the previous efforts, but Dick Wolf had been talking about it for a few years. Then this past summer, he was told that it was happening and asked if he would be interested in getting involved. He says that he “jumped at the opportunity.” Sam added that Dick was talking about it to him about around “five years ago too, and I don’t think he’s ever stopped talking about it.” He credits Dick’s “persistence and determination and his complete conviction that it was a terrible mistake to stop in the first place” with the show coming back. He also added that the audience kept watching all the “Law and Order” shows on TV, on streaming, on cable, etc. and so they’ve always had a “persistent appetite” for the show. He thinks they’re the reason the show is back.
A journalist mentioned that it’s great to have Sam and Anthony back, but he said that Sam had “teased” that some “fan favorite individuals” would be coming back and wanted to know if they could tell us anything about that.
Those of us who have watched the first episode in advance know that a certain actress will be returning for the first episode (we don’t know if it’s for future episodes as well or not).
Rick said that they can’t tell yet who the returning actors are, but “You’ll definitely see some familiar faces along the way.” He said that want to find ways to bring back former “Law & Order” actors.
Sam was asked if he had any idea how successful the show would be and that so many Broadway actors would love guest-starring on the show. Sam admitted that he had no idea how it would turn in to this massive juggernaut in multiple forms. Sam told us that he’s long wanted Dick Wolf to get a Tony award because of what the show has done for NYC actors, but so far they haven’t been interested in that. Anthony (Kevin) joked, “Hey, Sam. Can you talk to the Television Academy about giving me an Emmy? I’m 0 for 11. Could you make that phone call for me too, then?” and Sam joked back, “Oh, sure. I’ll take care of that.” Anthony replied, “Okay. All right. Thank you.” And Sam finished with, “If you can spare me, I’ll go do that now.” Everyone laughed. Maybe these two should get a comedy show on the side! They’re both very funny, as they showed throughout this panel.
Anthony and Sam were asked if it was difficult to get back into their character’s shoes are all this time. Anthony replied that it “felt like no time had passed at all.” He was glad to talk to Dick about coming back to the show. Coming back to NYC and putting on the same badge, in the same squad room and sound stages felt like “sitting in a well worn saddle.” Then he joked that “The hard part is working with someone like Jeffrey Donovan.” Jeffrey grinned, saying that he knew Anthony would say that. They joked around for a little bit, too. The three of them did a lot of joking around during the whole panel.
Sam and Anthony were also asked if it was difficult to do other acting jobs when they were “so tied” to the show. This was not a great question because of course, they’ve both been very successful since they left the show. Anthony was also asked how it felt to end the comedy “black-ish” and then jump back into a heavy drama.
Sam gave this answer that sounded like he’s probably used it many times in interviews: “ever since I saw this on a crosstown bus on 57th Street, a quotation from Satchel Paige that said ‘Keep on running and don’t look back because somebody may be gaining on you,’ and that’s kind of been my motto about show business ever since.” He added that he’s always done more than one acting job at once, whenever he can. When he was doing “Law & Order” before, he would do stage or other projects.
Anthony let us know that after ending 8 seasons of “black-ish,” joining this show again “was a no-brainer.” He hopes that in 20 years, they’ll be asking him for a “black-ish” reboot. He’s always been a “Law & Order” fan, so he thought it would be foolish not to return. He also said that having Sam back, and the two of them being familiar to viewers, and to join with the other new cast members, was an added bonus.
Rick Eid was asked about the trailer we saw, which hinted at the fact that there might be changes in the way they do policing and with criminal justice. He pointed out that “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” has also addressed this a little bit. He wondered how this show will approach that.
Rick replied that they’ll try to “reflect the world we live in now.” He believes that “2022 is a unique moment in time and our stories and our characters reflect what’s happening in society.” Police business is different than it was when they left the air in 2010, and so is the way the D.A.’s do their business. There’s more awareness of certain things than there was before. He hopes they reflect this in their stories.
Sam admires the way Rick has been telling exciting stories, addressing all of the current conflicts rather than ignoring them. He says, “he’s just walked up, straight up to one after another. Every show is a shock.” Sam pointed out that the press were ignoring the other actors.
The next press person asked Odelya (Samantha) and Jeffrey (Frank) what it was like to step into a show with such great history and a large fan base. Hugh (Nolan) took the question and joked that it was the opposite of that “well worn saddle” Anthony described. There was much joking and laughing after that. He said, seriously then, that figuring out how the show works has been wonderful. Odelya answered the question as well, saying that being here “still feels like a dream, like, you know, someone pinch me.” She grew up in another country and has been watching the show with her mom since the 90’s. She wanted to be a lawyer on the show ever since. Her mom told her that she just wanted to play a lawyer on TV, and now here she is. She gushed that she’s learning a lot from the others and enjoying it all.
Jeffrey said, completely deadpan, “They don’t let me have a saddle. I’m not sure why. I think it has something to do with Anthony saying that I can’t have things.” Everyone in the panel was laughing. It was really hysterical. He went on to say that he’s a huge fan of the show and the cast. He watched back in college at NYU in the 90s, and he always dreamed to be a guest-star on the show.
Camryn answered that her first job when she graduated from NYU in 91 was, in fact, at “Law & Order.” She noted that it’s hard to believe that it was 30 years ago. She’s played three different characters on the show. She explained that they’ve updated the show in many ways, and the stories are very current, but they have “that same old precinct. Nothing is updated. I mean, the phones are still from, you know, Edison’s time.” She praised the cast, saying she loves them, and they keep her laughing. She feels very lucky to be there and can’t wait for the people at home to see it. She’s proud to be part of it.
Sam and Anthony asked if there was anything they could tell us about where their characters are since we last saw them. He or she also asked if the others can tell us anything about their characters. Great question!
Sam told us that, “Dick always says that action is character, and the actions of McCoy are being defined by Rick, and it’s different and interesting, and it’s great to find out.” He said you found out about your character from “the next script.”
Anthony loves that they don’t share too much about the characters’ personal lives, so you can watch the show at any time and not feel lost. It’s about solving the crime, the story moving along and then “bringing law and order to the world.” He thinks this is part of the special “magic” of the show.
Sam chimed in to say that one of the great things about the show is that the characters are just working and doing their jobs, so everyone can relate to that.”
The next person asked about that very topic because the other “Law & Order” series focus on the personal lives of the characters. He asked if they’ll do this with this new season.
Rick agreed with Sam that the action is the character. “People’s characters are sort of defined by the decisions they make and the choices they make.” He allowed that there may be some other relatives or backstories of the characters, but the crime stories are put first. We may see how some of the histories of the characters influence how they make certain decision. He hinted that in the first episode, this happens with Samantha (played by Odelya).
Rick was also asked if there will be crossovers with the other “Wolf Franchises” and other “Law & Order” spinoffs. Rick didn’t want to say much, he just said that it could happen.
A reporter asked Anthony if he had a hard time adjusting to just being an actor rather than executive producer, like he was on “black-ish.” Anthony had no trouble with it at all. He knows that they all have different jobs at different places. He confided that he learned a lot about the way show business works the last time he was on “Law & Order,” which he used when he worked on “black-ish.” He credits this show for making him “more well-rounded entertainer.”
Hugh joked, “Although he did say to me on my first day, ‘I’m the star, and never forget that.’ So take it how you will.” Then Anthony joked, “Well, when Sam is not around, I am. When Sam is not around, I am.” There was more joking around and laughing.
The next journalist asked if the show will address hate crimes against Asians because it was recently in the news that the real-life New York City D.A. prosecuted the highest number of them. Rick admitted that they don’t specifically have that story planned, but they have stories about hate crimes. They could address the Asian angle of it in the future.
After that, the cast teased Rick for a bit.
Another person in the press asked a rather obvious question that had already been addressed by asking how much the show was going to “draw directly from the headlines.” Sam answered that it would be a “huge” amount. He said that it must be difficult for the writers to figure out which ones to choose first because “There’s so much.”
Hugh addressed the question, and quoted what was said earlier, about how they hope the “engine of the show” can spark debate in any moment and reflect what’s happening in the real world. There was more joking around after that.
Sam concluded with, “I think the interview part ended. I think all of the journalists have gone home,” and everyone laughed. It was, indeed, the end.
MORE INFO: Trailer
NBC is bringing back one of its most treasured and honored dramas with the 21st season of “Law & Order.” The series, which will continue the classic bifurcated format that was created for its original run, will once again examine “the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.”
Sam Waterston, Anthony Anderson, Jeffrey Donovan, Camryn Manheim, Hugh Dancy and Odelya Halevi star.
Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer. Rick Eid, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski are executive producers.
“Law & Order” is produced by Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.
breaking news | September 28, 2021
• NBC is bringing back one of its most treasured and honored dramas with the 21st season of “Law & Order.” The series, which will continue the classic bifurcated format that was created for its original run, will once again examine “the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.”
• “There are very few things in life that are literally dreams come true,” said creator and executive producer Dick Wolf. “This is mine.”
• “‘Law & Order’ is quite simply one of the most iconic shows in television history, and the idea of continuing its legacy and partnering with Dick on an all-new season is nothing short of exhilarating” said Susan Rovner, Chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, “This is great news for NBC as well as TV fans everywhere.”
• “The return of the flagship ‘Law & Order’ series for a pivotal 21st season is a proud moment for Dick and a proud moment for us, his studio partners,” said Pearlena Igbokwe, Chairman, Universal Studio Group.
• The series was nominated for more than 50 Emmy Awards and won in 1997 for Outstanding Drama Series.
• A premiere date and cast will be announced at a later date.
• “Law & Order” will be executive produced by Dick Wolf, Rick Eid (writer/showrunner), Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski.
• The series will be produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment.
Det. Kevin Bernard, “Law & Order”
An Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor, Anderson is the star and executive producer of ABC’s multi-award nominated sitcom “black-ish.” He also currently hosts the ABC game show “To Tell the Truth” and “House Haunters.” Anderson is also executive producer of both “black-ish” spinoffs “grown-ish” and “mixed-ish” as well as “Road Trippin,’” which airs on Snapchat.
Anderson has numerous other TV and film credits, including “Transformers,” “The Departed” and “Hustle & Flow.” A winner of seven Image Awards, Anderson has also hosted the NAACP Image Awards for the past eight years and in 2020 was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Det. Frank Cosgrove, “Law & Order”
Jeffrey Donovan plays Det. Frank Cosgrove in the 21st season of the NBC drama “Law & Order.”
Donovan is perhaps best known for his leading work as former CIA operative Michael Westen on the Emmy Award-nominated USA series “Burn Notice” for seven seasons. Donovan received strong notice playing North Dakota off-kilter mobster Dodd Gerhardt in FX’s critically acclaimed second season of Noah Hawley’s “Fargo” and was cast as series lead Charlie Haverford, a tarot reading con-artist, on Hulu’s “Shut Eye.”
On the film side, Donovan recently filmed a sequence of back-to-back films – “National Champions” for director Ric Roman Waugh and starring opposite J.K Simmons; the Western ”Surrounded,” opposite Letitia Wright and Jamie Bell; the hostage drama “892,” opposite John Boyega and Michael Kenneth Williams; and the family drama “First Love,” opposite Diane Kruger. Past features include “Wrath of Man” for director Guy Ritchie, “Let Him Go,” alongside Kevin Costner and Diane Lane; and Noah Hawley’s “Lucy in the Sky,” alongside Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm.
His other film credits include “Soldado,” opposite Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro; “Villains,” opposite Bill Skarsgård and Kyra Sedgwick; and “Honest Thief,” opposite Liam Neeson,” Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario,” Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” (playing Robert F. Kennedy) and “The Changeling,” Rob Reiner’s “LBJ” (as John F. Kennedy) and Ric Waugh’s “Shotcaller.”
Lt. Kate Dixon, “Law & Order”
Camryn Manheim plays Lt. Kate Dixon on the 21st season of the NBC drama “Law & Order.”
Manheim is best-known for her Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe Award-winning role on “The Practice” as well as roles on “Stumptown,” “Waco,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Person of Interest,” “Utopia,” “Criminal Minds,” “Code Black,” “Masters of Sex,” “Two and a Half Men,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Extant,” “Chicago Hope,” “Harry’s Law,” “Younger,” “Hand of God,” “The L Word,” “Will & Grace,” “Ally McBeal,” “Family Guy” and “The 10th Kingdom,” among others.
Manheim was also nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Gladys Presley in the CBS mini- series “Elvis.”
Her feature film credits include “Cop Car,” “Return to Sender,” “Slipstream,” “An Unfinished Life,” “Without Men,” “Twisted,” “Scary Movie Three,” “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” “Happiness,” “The Laramire Project,” “Dark Water,” “The Road to Wellville” and “Eraser.”
Manheim made her Broadway debut in Deaf West’s Tony Award-nominated production of “Spring Awakening.” She also won an Obie Award for Craig Lucas’ “Missing Persons” at the Atlantic Theater Co.
She received her M.F.A from New York University.
Assistant District Attorney Nolan Price, “Law & Order”
Hugh Dancy plays Assistant District Attorney Nolan Price on the 21st season of the NBC drama “Law & Order.”
Dancy received critical acclaim for starring as Will Graham in NBC’s “Hannibal,” receiving two Critics’ Choice Award nominations for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He also starred in Hulu’s “The Path” opposite Aaron Paul and Michelle Michelle Monaghan and most recently wrapped production on the Apple TV+ anthology series “Roar” with Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo and Issa Rae.
Dancy will next star in the upcoming film “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” which Focus Features will release in theaters in March.
Assistant District Attorney Samantha Maroun, “Law & Order”
Odelya Halevi plays Assistant District Attorney Samantha Maroun in the 21st season of the NBC drama “Law & Order.”
Halevi most recently landed a major role in the DC Entertainment film “Black Adam,” opposite Dwayne Johnson, set for release in 2022. Additionally, Halevi just wrapped a major recurring role on Freeform’s “Good Trouble” as well as a pivitol role in the Amazon series “Good Girls Revolt.”
Notable guest-star credits include “New Girl,” “Mike and Molly,” Midnight, Texas,” “NCIS,” MacGyver” and “Why Women Kill.”
Halevi’s grandparents immigrated to Israel from Yemen where she was born and raised.
District Attorney Jack McCoy, “Law & Order
Sam Waterston plays District Attorney Jack McCoy in the 21st season of the NBC drama “Law & Order.”
Waterston was born in 1940 in Cambridge, Mass., where his father was a language teacher and his mother a landscape painter. He attended Brooks and Groton prep schools before earning a scholarship to Yale University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1962. Later that year, Waterston made his New York debut at the Phoenix Theater in “Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad.”
Over the next five decades, Waterston’s career has included a plethora of film and television credits as well as repeated returns to the stage. His trophy case includes an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award as well as an OBIE and Drama Desk for theater. Other accolades include an Academy Award nomination for his role as journalist Sydney Schanberg in 1984’s “The Killing Fields” and six Emmy nominations for his roles in “I’ll Fly Away” and “Law & Order.”
Waterston co-starred on Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” for HBO and soon can be seen in the final season of Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie,” opposite Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Martin Sheen. In 2022 Waterson will be featured in the Hulu limited series “The Dropout,” opposite Amanda Seyfried and William H Macy.
A passionate activist for decades, Waterston is currently Chairman of the Board of Oceana, the world’s preeminent ocean conservation NGO, and also serves on the Board of Refugees International.
Executive Producer, “Chicago P.D.”; Executive Producer, “Law & Order”; Executive Producer, “FBI”
Rick Eid is executive producer and showrunner of the hit NBC dramas “Chicago P.D.” and “Law & Order,” as well as the CBS drama “FBI.”
His prior credits include “Law & Order: SVU,” “CSI,” “Hostages,” “The Guardian” and “Dark Blue.”
Eid has also written essays for a variety of blogs and magazines. Prior to his writing career, he was a corporate attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda