Law & Order Shocker: Jeffrey Donovan Not Returning for Season 23 (Exclusive)

Another detective is handing in their Law & Order badge.

Jeffrey Donovan will not be returning for Season 23 of Dick Wolf’s venerable NBC procedural, TVLine has learned exclusively. The search is currently underway for a new series regular to fill the void left by Donovan’s Det. Frank Cosgrove.

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NBC declined comment, but sources close to the show tell us that Donovan was let go for creative reasons. TVLine has reached out to Donovan’s camp for comment.

Donovan portrayed the abrasive Cosgrove, a New York detective with an old-school way of thinking, for Seasons 21 and 22. The character was last seen in the Season 22 finale working alongside his partner Shaw (Mehcad Brooks) to arrest a waiter who assassinated a U.S. senator. (Read our full recap here.)

This is the latest cast exit for the flagship series, which was revived in 2022 after more than a decade off the air. Anthony Anderson, who reprised his role as Det. Kevin Bernard, left the show after Season 21. Supergirl alum Mehcad Brooks joined the cast in Season 22 as Frank’s new partner Jalen Shaw.

The current ensemble also includes OG star Sam Waterston as beloved DA Jack McCoy, Hugh Dancy (Hannibal, The Path) as senior prosecutorial assistant Nathan Price, Oldelya Halevi (Good Trouble) as ADA Samantha Maroun and Camryn Manheim (The Practice) as Lt. Kate Dixon.

Law & Order is set to return with a shortened 13-episode Season 23 in early 2024.

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