Is Jeffrey Donovan leaving Law & Order: Season 23?

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The NBC crime procedural franchise “Law & Order” has faced significant changes in its cast lineup, with Jeffrey Donovan departing from his role as Detective Frank Cosgrove in the upcoming 23rd season of the show. This alteration follows previous exits in the series, including Anthony Anderson’s portrayal of Detective Kevin Bernard and Mehcad Brooks joining as Frank’s new partner, Jalen Shaw, in past seasons.

Despite these alterations, the upcoming seasons of “Law & Order” are anticipated to maintain the established format, focusing on police investigation in the first half of each episode followed by courtroom drama in the latter part. Donovan’s exit from the series has been confirmed by TV Line, but it was disclosed that Reid Scott, recognized for his role in “Veep,” will be joining the cast as an NYPD detective in the forthcoming season. However, specific details about Scott’s character in the procedural drama have not yet been revealed.

NBC has chosen not to provide comments on Donovan’s departure, but TV Line confirmed that it was due to creative reasons. Donovan initially appeared in the series in season 21, embodying the character of Frank Cosgrove, a relentless and tough detective seeking justice through unconventional means.

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Known for his previous work as a former CIA agent in “Burn Notice” and his appearances in various films and television shows, Donovan’s departure signals a significant shift in the show’s dynamics. The rest of the ensemble cast for the upcoming season includes Sam Waterston as District Attorney Jack McCoy, Camryn Manheim as Lieutenant Kate Dixon, Hugh Dancy as Assistant District Attorney Nolan Price, and Odelya Halevi as Assistant District Attorney Samantha Maroun.

The renewal of “Law & Order” for its 23rd season, alongside its spin-offs, was announced by NBC in April 2023. The production of the latest season was affected by strikes within the industry, delaying the filming schedule. However, with the resolution of these issues, the series is set to resume production in late November, aiming for a return to NBC in 2024. The upcoming season is reported to consist of a reduced episode count of 13, a consequence of the industry-wide strikes.

The previous season of “Law & Order” concluded with a compelling narrative about gun violence, tackling a case involving the shooting of a U.S. Senator. The episode delved into the complexities of the legal system, moral dilemmas, and the societal impact of gun violence, showcasing the series’ engagement with current social issues.

As “Law & Order” prepares for its 23rd season, fans eagerly await the return of this long-standing procedural drama, anticipating a blend of engaging storytelling and gripping legal drama that has characterized the franchise for years.