‘Law & Order’: How Jeffrey Donovan’s Cosgrove Was Written Off The Show

We learned in November that Jeffrey Donovan would not be returning for Season 23 of Law & Order and now we know how his character was written off the show.

In Thursday night’s Season 23 premiere, we were introduced to previously announced new series regular Reid Scott as Det. Vincent Riley, who fills the void left by Donovan.

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The departure of Donovan’s Frank Cosgrove was explained in a short conversation between Riley and Det. Shaw (Mehcad Brooks). About a third of the way through the episode, titled “Freedom of Expression”, Riley asks Shaw what happened to Cosgrove, Shaw’s last partner, sharing that he knew him previously, calling him a great cop. Shaw replied, “Great cop, just got jammed up,” adding “Being too honest about things people aren’t too honest about these days.”

“Yeah, it is not a great time to have an opinion, is it?” Riley asks.

Donovan had been tapped in 2021 to lead the NBC revival, and left for creative reasons, according to TVLine. Scott was announced a short time later as a new series regular.

The Law & Order cast also includes Sam Waterston as DA Jack McCoy, Hugh Dancy as senior prosecutorial assistant Nolan Price, and Camryn Manheim as Lt. Kate Dixon.

Law & Order is produced by Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

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