Why Anthony Anderson Returned To Law And Order So Soon After Ending Black-ish

The highly anticipated Law & Order revival is almost here, and it’s bringing some OG characters with it. Among those returning is black-ish star Anthony Anderson, who portrayed NYPD Detective Kevin Bernard towards the end of the show’s original run. Now, the actor is speaking out about why he decided to return to the flagship legal drama so soon after the ABC comedy’s end.

At the NBC Scripted Press Day attended by CinemaBlend and other news outlets, Anthony Anderson spoke about coming back to Law & Order following the end of black-ish. The ABC comedy's final season was announced in May 2021 and, just about six months later, Anderson was announced to be returning for the legal drama. During the recent event, he was asked about whether or not he needed time in between the shows. Anderson then explained that there's a specific reason he “jumped at the opportunity” to return for L&O Season 21:

You know, ending eight seasons on our show ‘black-ish’ and coming back to an iconic show in ‘Law & Order’ was a no-brainer for me. You know, hopefully 20 years from now people will be clamoring to come back to the 'black-ish' reboot and hopefully I'm around for that. But leaving one great show to go back to another great show, I jumped at the opportunity to do it. And I thought it would have been a foolish move for me not to come back to a show that I'm such a fan of and that I had the opportunity of working on for almost two and a half years ten years ago. And, you know, to know that Sam [Waterston] was coming back and I would be back and we would be the two familiar faces on the show and to welcome all the new people that we have on the screen right now was definitely a plus for me in coming back as well.

It’s rare that a show that's been off the air for over a decade returns and drops viewers right back into similar surroundings. So it’s not surprising that Anthony Anderson wanted to return, especially since he wasn’t even on Law & Order as long as some other stars. It’s clear that he will definitely miss black-ish, but it's great that he was able to turn to a show that he’s very familiar with.

Late last year, the Emmy-nominated actor spoke about shifting from comedy back to drama after the black-ish cancellation. Though such a thing would seem like a challenge, he was having fun with the change. There's nothing like adding a little dramatic spice to your life, and Law & Order will definitely give that to you. Still, I'd like to see him bring a little bit of Andre Johnson Sr. to Detective Bernard, because it would still be nice to get a few lighthearted moments from the character amidst the drama.

Along with Anthony Anderson, Sam Waterston is also coming back and reprising his role as Jack McCoy. While there aren’t any other confirmed franchise veterans, Jesse L. Martin recently expressed interest in returning to the show, but his role on The Flash could hold him back from that. Nevertheless, I'm just happy to have the show back, with an excited Anderson in tow.

Make sure to watch the Season 21 premiere of Law & Order on Thursday, February 24 on NBC! And check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 winter and spring TV schedule for info on other shows to catch this year.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.