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First Look at Sam Waterston's Return to 'Law and Order: SVU'

The first photos of Sam Waterston on Law & Order: SVU were released Monday, showing D.A. Jack McCoy's triumphant return to the show.

NBC released the photos at TVLine. They come from the Wednesday, Feb. 7 episode of SVU, titled "The Undiscovered Country." According to the episode synopsis, the case centers on an infant going missing and the family's right-to-die court case. Meanwhile, Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba interferes with the case, which could put the entire DA's office in trouble.

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(Photo: NBC)

One of the photos shows Waterston and Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson, sharing a kiss. The two have not worked together since Waterston's last appearance on SVU. He guest starred in three episodes, with the most recent one being 2010's "Torch."

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(Photo: NBC)

The 77-year-old Waterston played Jack McCoy in 368 episodes of Law & Order and has not played the character since the mothership show ended in 2010. He also played Jack in Law & Order: Trial By Jury and Homicide: Life on the Streets.

Waterston earned three Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe nomination for playing the role. More recently, he appeared on The Newsroom, Godless and Grace and Frankie.

Waterston is not the only familiar face coming back to SVU this season. Dean Winters, who plays Brian Cassidy, is also returning later this season. Winters was one of the show's original detectives, and was last season in the first two episodes of season 19.

"We're going to keep on doing it," showrunner Michael Chernuchin told The Hollywood Reporter in January about familiar faces returning to the show. "Plus, we're going to bring a really old one. Sam Waterston [from Law & Order] is coming back. We're all excited about that one. He's been in the same job. He is the District Attorney. I don't want to give away the story, but it's the episode where [Chicago Justice star] Philip Winchester joins the cast."

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(Photo: NBC)

New episodes of SVU air on NBC at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT Wednesdays. The show is now in its 19th season, only one away from tying the original Law & Order.

Photo credit: NBC