Anthony Anderson left the cast of the Law & Order revival after just one season, but not because he didn't enjoy it. On Thursday, reporters from Entertainment Tonight caught up with Anderson to ask him about the series departure. He said that he simply wanted to prioritize his own creative projects over big franchise acting jobs.
Anderson reprised his role as Detective Kevin Bernard in Law & Order Season 21, a revival of the original series that ended in 2010. He only signed a one-season contract, and he said that he did so on purpose. He said: "I wanted to go off and create more shows like Black-ish, create things that I have ownership in, and do something a little bit different." Even now, Anderson said he has new projects in the works that are exciting for him both on camera and off.
"We're going out and pitching another drama called Miraculous, which I'm excited about, so looking forward to what that's going to do," he said. Anderson gave all these comments at South Lake Tahoe during the American Century Championship golf tournament.
Anderson also said that he is excited for the upcoming award season, knowing that the final season of Black-ish aired this year and is eligible for Emmys. He said: "I'm always excited for that time of year. I'm gonna be honest, I'm excited... Everybody's saying maybe we might be the sentimental favorites since this is our last season on air. I don't go for that, though, but no I'm excited for it."
Anderson played Detective Kevin Bernard from 2008 to 2010 in Season 19 and Season 20 of Law & Order. He essentially replaced Detective Ed Green, who had been played by Jesse L. Martin from Season 10 to Season 18. Anderson's character was introduced as a detective for the Internal Affairs Bureau investigating a shooting involving Detective Green. He helped clear Green's name, and when Green retired he took Green's position in the homicide department, having longed for a way out of IAB.
Bernard is a more straight-laced, conservative character than Anderson typically plays in other productions. In the revival season, Bernard is still a homicide detective and is now partnered with Detective Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan). Law & Order has been renewed for a 22nd season on NBC. Donovan's new partner will be a brand new character played by actor Mehcad Brooks.