Table of content    
  1. An Overview Of The Cast And Guest Stars
  2. How Does Law And Order Decide Its Guest Stars And Actors?
  3. Law And Order Season 23 Release Date And Where To Watch

How Does Law And Order Decide Its Guest Stars And Actors? An Explanation

"Law & Order," the original show in Dick Wolf's renowned franchise, made a triumphant return to NBC in February 2022, launching its 21st season after a significant hiatus. Fans didn't have to wait long for Season 22, which debuted in the fall of the same year. However, Season 23 experienced a delay, a common trend across broadcast TV at the time, due to strikes by actors and writers advocating for fair wages. With these strikes now resolved, anticipation for new episodes of this iconic series is building once again.
A frequent question among viewers is about the process behind the selection of guest stars and actors for "Law & Order." Lucky for us, we're here to cover!

An Overview Of The Cast And Guest Stars

An Overview Of The Cast And Guest Stars Source: NBC
As "Law & Order" gears up for its 23rd season, there's a notable shift in its cast lineup. Jeffrey Donovan, known for his role as Detective Frank Cosgrove, will not be returning, as reported by TV Line. This change, cited as a creative decision, paves the way for Reid Scott to join the show as a new detective.

The Main Cast Of Law & Order Season 23 

  • Mehcad Brooks as Detective Jalen Shaw
  • Camryn Manheim as Lieutenant Kate Dixon
  • Hugh Dancy as Executive ADA Nolan Price
  • Odelya Halevi as ADA Samantha Maroun
  • Sam Waterston as DA Jack McCoy
  • Reid Scott in a yet-to-be-disclosed role

Guest Stars To Appear After Departure

  • Tamara Tunie reprising her role as Chief Medical Examiner Melinda Warner in episode 6
  • Danny Pino as Former Detective Nick Amaro, also in episode 6
  • Dann Florek returning as Former Captain Donald Cragen in episode 6
  • Raúl Esparza as Defense Attorney (former Assistant District Attorney) Rafael Barba in episodes 9 and 22
  • Donal Logue as Captain Declan Murphy in episode 10

Furthermore, Law & Order: Organized Crime Will Contribute Crossover Stars

  • Christopher Meloni as Organized Crime Control Bureau Senior Detective Elliot Stabler
  • Danielle Moné Truitt as Sergeant Ayanna Bell
  • Ainsley Seiger as Junior Detective Jet Slootmaekers
  • Dylan McDermott as Richard Wheatley
  • Tamara Taylor as Professor Angela Wheatley
  • Nick Creegan as Richard "Richie" Wheatley, Jr.
  • Allison Siko as Kathleen Stabler
  • Nicky Torchia as Elliot "Eli" Stabler, Jr.
  • Jeffrey Scaperrotta as Richard "Dickie" Stabler

How Does Law And Order Decide Its Guest Stars And Actors?

How Does Law And Order Decide Its Guest Stars And Actors? Source: NBC
The casting process for guest stars and actors on "Law & Order" involves several factors:
  • Budget Considerations: High-profile stars like Chris Evans are unlikely for regular episodes due to cost constraints. However, during high-impact periods like sweeps week, bigger names might appear.
  • Unique Opportunities: Sometimes, major stars express interest in participating. For instance, Robin Williams approached the show, desiring to work on an episode and reunite with his friend Richard Belzer.
  • Personal Connections: In cases like Jerry Lewis's appearance, personal connections play a role. Lewis, recovering from a stroke and seeking a comfortable return to acting, chose to work on "SVU" due to his past support of Belzer’s career.
  • Local Talent Pool: The show often sources actors from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, leading to some actors playing different roles in various episodes. This approach is cost-effective and utilizes the rich local talent.
  • Collaborative Scheduling: When guest stars are involved in multiple projects, scheduling and cost-sharing arrangements are sometimes made. For example, Dean Winters was wanted by both "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "SVU." To manage costs, the shows coordinated their shooting schedules to share his travel expenses.
The casting process for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," as detailed on Backstage, is as follows:
  • Day One: The script arrives, and the casting director, Jonathan Strauss, reviews the characters, deciding on casting needs. Character descriptions are sent to agents.
  • Day Two: Pre-screening auditions are held for actors new to the team or those auditioning for different types of roles than before.
  • Day Three: The producer session includes the director, executive producer, casting director, and a writer. They audition the actors shortlisted from the pre-screen. If an actor doesn't hear back by this day, they are likely not cast for that episode.
  • Day Four: The selects from the producer session are reviewed by the higher creative team. Offers are made once the shooting schedule is confirmed.
  • Day Five: Final casting decisions are made. Some roles might be cast slightly later, around day six or seven, depending on the shooting schedule.
  • This approach to casting ensures a mix of talent and manages the practicalities of scheduling and budgeting, contributing to the show's dynamic and diverse character portrayals.

Law And Order Season 23 Release Date And Where To Watch

Law & Order Season 23 premieres Thursday, Jan. 18 at 8/7c on NBC.
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