NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is the last surviving show from creator Dick Wolf's once-sprawling Law & Order franchise, which will bring back a character fans from the original series will surely remember. Sam Waterston has been confirmed to return as Jack McCoy, the character he played for 16 years on NBC's flagship series Law & Order, in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. This move reunites the actor with SVU showrunner Michael Chernuchin, who worked on the original Law & Order during Sam Waterston's first two seasons, and help craft his Jack McCoy character.
The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news today, although it wasn't specified what episode of SVU that Jack McCoy will be appearing in. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 19 will kick off on Wednesday, September 27 at 9 PM ET, sandwiched between The Voice at 8 PM ET and another Dick Wolf-created series, Chicago P.D. at 10 PM ET. Sam Waterston's return to the franchise also reunites him with another SVU producer, Julie Martin, who worked as a producer on the final season of the original Law & Order.
Sam Waterston played District Attorney Jack McCoy from Season 4 of the original Law & Order in 1994 to the 20th and final season in 2010. Many fans were surprised when NBC abruptly canceled Law & Order after its 20th season, since it needed just one more season to break the record for longest-running primetime drama series, set by the iconic Gunsmoke, which ran for 20 seasons. There was talk that TNT could revive Law & Order, since the cable network airs episodes in syndication, but that never happened. Instead, NBC gave the green light to a new spin-off, Law & Order: Los Angeles, starring Corey Stoll, Rachel Ticotin, Alfred Molina and Terrence Howard, but it only lasted for one season. The writers weren't given any time to wrap up the story lines for Jack McCoy and several of the other characters.
This will actually be Sam Waterston's fourth appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, following three crossover episodes with the original Law & Order series in 2000, 2007 and 2010. He also appeared as Jack McCoy in the short-lived Law & Order: Trial By Jury in its only season in 2005, the Law & Order movie Exiled in 1998 and even another NBC series, Homicide: Life on the Street. SVU has been no stranger to original Law & Order cast members in the past, bringing back characters like Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) and Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) in the past.
Sam Waterston won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Jack McCoy, and he also earned three Emmy Awards nominations for the role as well. After Law & Order went off the air, Sam Waterston went off to star on HBO's The Newsroom and movies such as Please Be Normal, And It Was Good and last year's Miss Sloane. He currently stars on the Netflix series Grace and Frankie and he is currently filming the pilot episode for a new Netflix series called Godless.