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With Black-ish Ending Soon, Anthony Anderson Reveals How He Landed Law & Order Return

anthony anderson detective kevin bernard law and order
(Image credit: NBC)

Anthony Anderson has once again stepped into the shoes of Detective Kevin Bernard in the Law & Order revival after over ten years. The much-anticipated return of the courtroom drama has been fairly talked about by Anderson, as he recently wrapped black-ish’s eight-season run on ABC. While he’s discussed before why he wanted to return to Law & Order, Anderson is opening up about how it happened.

Following the Season 21 premiere of Law & Order, Anderson talked with PEOPLE (The TV Show!) about reprising Detective Bernard. The black-ish star admitted that he was the one who approached Dick Wolf after the Law & Order revival announcement, and at that moment, he became Wolf’s favorite person:

We were, you know, we were two weeks out from ending our show Black-ish. They made the announcement that Law & Order was coming back. So, I picked up the phone and called Dick Wolf up and said, ‘Hey Dick, is it true?’ He said, 'It is.' I was like, 'Well, you know, I'm a free agent as of Nov. 19th.’ And [Wolf] was like, 'Anthony, you have no idea how happy this phone call makes me.'

It’s not surprising to hear that Anthony Anderson rang Dick Wolf up first, considering he’s said before how he “jumped at the opportunity” to return to the series. Anderson was only on Law & Order for the last couple of seasons during its original run, so it makes sense that he would want to play Detective Bernard again.

Considering black-ish and Law & Order are such different shows, it seems like it could have been pretty challenging to make such a drastic transition from comedy to drama in a short amount of time. However, Anderson mentioned late last year that it’s because of the opportunity and getting able to reprise his character that he thought, “Why not?” And with doing a comedy for eight years, he needed to have “a little fun in the dramatic space” for a little bit.

Law & Order had its Season 21 premiere last week and despite being off the air for almost twelve years, the show did fairly well in the ratings. The revival had a preliminary rating of 0.7 and an audience rating of 5.5 million in Live+Same day totals, beating fellow L&O series SVU and Organized Crime. It’s safe to say that fans were pretty happy with the return, and it fulfills a dream for Dick Wolf

Meanwhile, as fans watch Anthony Anderson as Detective Bernard on Law & Order, they can still watch him as Dre on black-ish. The ABC comedy is still in the midst of airing the eighth and final season, with no finale date announced as of yet. Anderson recently revealed that if a black-ish star were to appear on Law & Order, it would be on-screen daughter Marsai Martin, just so he can lock her up for all the things her black-ish character put everyone through.

It will be hard to say goodbye to Anthony Anderson’s Dre and the rest of black-ish once the show finally comes to an end over the coming months, but at least fans still have Detective Kevin Bernard to look forward to with Law & Order! black-ish airs on Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. EST on ABC, while Law & Order airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC in the 2022 TV schedule.

Megan Behnke
Megan Behnke

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