Tony Goldwyn Says He Has Some Very Large Shoes to Fill Replacing Sam Waterston on Law and Order

Tony Goldwyn, Sam Waterston.
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Law & Order is entering a new era with Tony Goldwyn at the helm, and he is aware of how big the role is after Sam Waterston’s departure.

“Some very large shoes to fill!” Goldwyn, 63, wrote via Instagram on Wednesday, February 21, sharing an article about his casting for the remainder of season 23.

The Scandal alum continued: “First episode finished as DA Nicholas Baxter. Thanks to the L&O fam for being so welcoming! #LawAndOrder @nbc @wolfentertainment.”

Goldwyn shared two photos from set, including a group shot with Reid Scott and Mehcad Brooks, who play detectives Vincent Riley and Jalen Shaw, respectively, on the procedural.

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Goldwyn, who joins the series as district attorney Nicholas Baxter on Thursday, March 16, also posted a snap of himself sitting in a Law & Order director’s chair. His back is turned the camera as he seemingly soaks in his upcoming role.

Goldwyn’s addition to the Law & Order family comes in the wake of Waterston’s exit on this week’s season 23 episode. Waterston initially joined the Dick Wolf series as Executive ADA Jack McCoy during season 5 in 1994. (The show premiered in 1990.)

Tony Goldwyn Says He Has Some Very Large Shoes to Fill Replacing Sam Waterston on Law and Order

Sam Waterston on ‘Law & Order’.
NBC

When the series went off the air in 2010 after 20 seasons, Waterston’s character had been upgraded to DA. Law & Order was revived in 2022 and Waterston, 83, returned to help launch it back to life.

NBC announced earlier this month month that Waterston is stepping down as his beloved character on Thursday, February 22. Goldwyn was named as his replacement. “It’s a pleasure to talk directly like this to the backbone of Law & Order’s absolutely amazing audience. The time has come for me to move on and take Jack McCoy with me,” Waterston said in a statement via Wolf Entertainment in January. “There’s sadness in leaving, but I’m just too curious about what’s next.”

He added: “An actor doesn’t want to let himself get too comfortable. I’m more grateful to you than I can say. L&O’s continuing and amazing long run, along with its astounding come-back, is all thanks to you and to Dick Wolf, but for whose vision, patience, perseverance, and unique combination of creative and business talents, none of this would have happened. I feel very blessed. I hope to see you all on the flip side.”

Brooks, who has worked with Waterston since season 21, gushed over the actor on Wednesday, as the team prepared to say goodbye on screen the following day.

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“To Sam Waterston, I would say, I hope I am half the man he is when I grow up. He’s an absolute legend,” Brooks, 43, said in an Instagram video shared via NBC Law & Order’s official account. “We’re going to really miss him. His energy is infectious, in the best way possible.”

Fans of the flagship legal drama have already seen one casting shakeup this season after Jeffrey Donovan confirmed in November 2023 that he would not be back for season 23. Donovan, 55, played Detective Frank Cosgrove beginning in season 21.

Veep alum Scott, 46, replaced Donovan in the season 23 premiere in January. “So excited to join the team at the 2-7!” Scott wrote via Instagram last month.

Law & Order airs on NBC Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.