Anthony Anderson Says He Approached Dick Wolf About Reprising His 'Law & Order' Role

Law & Order was revived more than a decade after the original series went off the air

Anthony Anderson is not afraid to take fate into his own hands.

The Blackish star, 51, discussed his return to Law & Order during a recent appearance on PEOPLE (The TV show!), saying he actually approached creator Dick Wolf about reprising his original role of Detective Kevin Bernard in the upcoming rival.

"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 told correspondent Segun Oduolowu.

anthony anderson
Eric Liebowitz/NBC

"He said, 'It is.' I was like, 'Well, you know, I'm a free agent as of Nov. 19th,'" Anderson added. "And [Wolf] was like, 'Anthony, you have no idea how happy this phone call makes me.' "

The turnaround was fast, with Anderson arriving on the Law & Order set to begin filming less than a month later.

"I'm back in the shoes of Detective Kevin Bernard, doing what we do best: solving crimes, ripped from the headlines," Anderson said.

Anderson originally appeared in 50 episodes during the crime procedural's final seasons from 2008 to 2010 before went off the air at the end of its 20th season. He had also appeared on Law & Order: SVU season 7 as another detective — Elliot Stabler's temporary partner Lucius Blaine.

Camryn Manheim, Anthony Anderson, Jeffrey Donovan
Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Anderson expressed his joy at reprising his role 12 years later — and after finding major success on the ABC sitcom, Black-ish, which is currently airing its final season.

"Black-ish coming to an end is bittersweet," Anderson said. "We had eight wonderful seasons. I believe the show could have gone on for infinity, but all the things come to an end. And, and, and as, as they say, one door closes and another one opens. I'm happy to be invited back to Law & Order to reprise my role as Detective Kevin Bernard."

Along with working Law & Order and bidding farewell to Black-ish, Anderson is also gearing up to host Saturday night's NAACP Image Awards for the ninth time.

"I like to think of it as my award show, just because I get to orchestrate it and be your conductor for the evening," he says. "Just great to be in the conversation and in the presence of excellence and in everything that we do from television to literary, to film, to activism. And not only reward one another but to celebrate and encourage one another. And that's what the image awards are all about."

New episodes of Law & Order air at 8 p.m. ET Thursdays on NBC. The 53rd NAACP Image Awards airs live Saturday, February 26 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on BET.

Related Articles