Fans of the series Law & Order were overjoyed when one of their favorite characters, Detective Kevin Bernard, returned for season 21 earlier this year. But eyebrows were raised when Anthony Anderson failed to return as the beloved character for season 22. Read on to find out the reason behind Anthony Anderson’s departure from the TV show.
Law & Order, created by Dick Wolf and produced by Wolf Entertainment, first premiered on September 13, 1990, on the channel NBC. This also marked the official launch of Law & Order as a media franchise that has gone on to receive widespread critical acclaim. The franchise includes multiple spin-offs, a television film, several video games, and international adaptations of the series.
Law & Order has managed to become a staple on TV screens, and the popularity of the show didn’t die down despite its cancellation of the show back in 2010. The show managed to grow a fanbase steadily over the years, which ultimately led to its revival in 2022. Season 22 officially premiered on February 24, 2022, following an announcement from NBC about the show’s revival in September 2021.
Law & Order is an American law-enforcement series set and filmed in New York City and follows a two-part approach. The first half of the episode follows the detectives as they investigate a crime, while the second half follows the prosecution of the defendant by the prosecutors. The plots of episodes are often based on real cases that happened recently, although crucial parts of the crime may be altered.
Season 21 of Law & Order, which came almost a decade after season 20, was met with explosive reaction from fans and critics alike. Numerous new characters were introduced this season, along with some old favorites like Sam Waterson and Anthony Anderson. Law & Order was renewed for season 22 after its successful return with season 21. Season 22 started airing on September 22, 2022, but fans were perplexed to find the actor Anthony Anderson who plays Detective Kevin Bernard missing from the cast.
Anthony Anderson first joined the original series as Detective Bernard in 2008 and was a staple character throughout seasons 18, 19, and 20 before the cancellation of the series. He also appeared in all the 10 episodes of season 21 that premiered in 2022.
The Real Reason Why Anthony Anderson Left Law & Order
Anthony Anderson inevitably departed from the show after season 21 ended as he only signed a one-year contract with NBC. The actor originally joined the show intending to only reprise his role for one season. The agreement between NBC and Anderson came to an end at the end of season 21, which means Detective Bernard won’t be back for any more episodes.
The actor expressed his wish to focus on being a producer and create more shows like Black-ish. Anderson played the lead role in the American sitcom Black-ish and served as the executive producer of the show from 2014 to 2022. He hopes to continue down the producer path and try something different as a creator.
How Will Detective Kevin Bernard Be Written Out Of Law & Order?
The showrunners have no choice but to write Detective Bernard off the show since it’s unlikely Anderson would return to reprise his role in the future. Showrunner, Rick Eid, revealed the actor’s exit would be handled in a typical way with the brief acknowledgment of the character’s absence.
Mehcad Brooks has joined the show as a new detective named Jalen Shaw. He will join the new precinct as the newest addition to the team and as a replacement for Anderson. Writers hope that the new detective’s arrival will gloss over Detective Bernard’s absence from the precinct. Ric Eid also revealed that the explanation for Detective Bernard’s absence would be revealed in the second episode of season 22, which is scheduled to be released on September 29. The episode is called “Battle Lines”.
Anthony Anderson’s Future Plans
As mentioned earlier, Anthony Anderson plans to continue his career as a producer. Black-ish helped Anderson explore his creative freedom as a producer to the fullest, and it’s no surprise he desires to retain that creative freedom in his future projects. The actor and producer also revealed that he, along with his producing team, are currently pitching for another drama called “Miraculous” which he’s looking forward to. We wish the actor all the very best in his future career endeavors.