Law & Order Season 24 Cast and Character Guide

Spoilers

Law & Order very nearly became the longest-running crime drama on television. If it hadn’t been for a 10-year hiatus, it would have reached its 24th season a long time ago.

Thanks to that break, sister show Law & Order: SVU has pulled ahead by two seasons.

Still, Law & Order is one of NBC’s most iconic shows, from its “dun dun” chime between scenes to its filming on location in New York City. It’s high time for a cast and character guide to help you keep track of who you can expect to see (and not see!) during Law & Order Season 24.

Two Characters Are Not Coming Back

Many viewers were shocked when Jack McCoy (Sam Waterson) left Law & Order after over 400 episodes.

Waterson had been with the series since Season 4 and was probably more closely identified with it than any other character.

Related: Sam Waterston Exits Law & Order With a Powerful Jack McCoy Story

Waterson’s exit was dramatic and surprising enough, but then Camryn Manheim announced she would not return for the 24th season.

Manheim has played Lieutenant Kate Dixon since the 2021 continuation of Law & Order began.

We don’t know who will replace her.

However, there are several characters we know are coming back. Please scroll down to check out the complete list!

Mehcad Brooks as Detective Jalen Shaw

Jalen Shaw has been part of the investigative team since Law & Order Season 22, replacing Anthony Anderson’s Kevin Bernard. 

Shaw is one of the most interesting cops the series has had in recent years.

He is a former defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the law, frowns upon using questionable tactics to get confessions, and is painfully aware of the way the legal system is stacked against Black suspects.

He is not one to suffer fools gladly and nearly lost his job in retaliation for making a complaint against some white patrol officers who mistook him for a suspect because of the color of his skin.

Unfortunately, he had to drop his complaint because the fact that he didn’t comply with their orders to get on the ground undermined his claim that they used excessive force in subduing him.

Despite experiences like that (and occasionally having to rein in his white partners), Shaw generally has a positive attitude toward work and life.

If he looks familiar, it’s probably because he has played several roles before this one, most notably James Olsen on Supergirl.

Brooks also played against another face familiar to Law & Order fanatics on Necessary Roughness, which co-starred Callie Thorne as a psychologist who worked with athletes whose mental blocks were interfering with their ability to play their best (or at all).

In that series, Brooks played football champion TK King, who had an elevated sense of his abilities and importance.

Necessary Roughness Exclusive: Mehcad Brooks on TK’s Antics, Season 2 Drama

Nowadays, he plays the guy on Law & Order who would be most likely to question King and not accept any BS from him! 

Vincent Riley (Reid Scott)

Riley is the newest addition to the Law & Order team. He came on board at the beginning of the 23rd season, replacing Frank Cosgrove (Jeffery Donovan).

Riley is somewhat of an enigma. We don’t know much, if anything, about his family life, but we do know that he got in trouble some years ago on the job thanks to his drinking and a misguided sense of loyalty.

Alcoholic cops who abuse their power when drunk are a tired TV trope, but Riley is a bit different. He punched another cop while trying to stand up for Dixon, who was being mistreated and was suspended for six months.

Riley still has some of those impulse control issues; Shaw has had to stop him from beating up suspects or pulling out his gun unnecessarily from time to time.

Reid Scott is a versatile actor; he plays an entirely different character on Amazon Prime’s The Idea of You. In that movie, he’s a sleazy ex-husband who dislikes his wife dating a celebrity now that she’s done with him.

Like Mehcad Brooks, Scott has starred with Law & Order alums before.

One of his first roles was in the series My Boys, which co-starred Jordan Spirano (most recently seen as Agent Shannah Sykes on Law & Order: SVU)

Related: Law & Order SVU Season 26: Cast & Character Guide

Outside of Law & Order, Scott is best known for his roles in Veep and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 

Hopefully, he’ll continue portraying Riley as a complex, multi-layered character for years!

Nicholas Baxter (Tony Goldwyn)

Tony Goldwyn’s Nicholas Baxter has big shoes to fill. He is replacing Sam Waterson’s Jack McCoy as the Manhattan District Attorney.

So far, Baxter seems to resent comparisons with McCoy and is determined to be his own person.

He often butts heads with Executive Assistant District Attorney Nolan Price, not only on case strategy but on whether Price is unfairly comparing him to McCoy.

His insistence that Price has already written him off as “not as good as McCoy” may be projection. It’s got to be hard to follow in the footsteps of a legend!

Related: Law & Order Season 24: Everything We Know So Far About the Latest Season of NBC’s Iconic Crime Drama

Law & Order Season 23 ended with a cliffhanger: Baxter does not know yet whether he won the election for District Attorney and is apparently behind in the vote tally.

However, as far as we know, Tony Goldwyn is returning for Season 24, so Baxter will likely win in the end.

If we had to say goodbye to Sam Waterson, Tony Goldwyn was probably the best actor Law & Order could get to replace him.

He is an accomplished actor best known for playing President Fitzgerald Grant III in ABC’s Scandal.

Many viewers wonder whether his character on Law & Order will soon display a more ruthless side.

Goldwyn also played Harold Nixon in the 1995 biopic Nixon, so he has a penchant for political characters.

Baxter has also shown himself to have far more taste for politics than Jack McCoy ever did, seemingly sacrificing his family for his run for the DA’s office.

It’ll be fascinating to find out what his character is up to during season 24.

Executive Assistant District Attorney Nolan Price (Hugh Dancy)

As Executive Assistant District Attorney, Price sits first chair in most investigations and decides trial strategy.

He constantly disagrees with his boss about how to proceed.

McCoy and Baxter were concerned about whether Price could win during previous seasons, though McCoy trusted his judgment far more than Baxter did.

Related: Is The Formula That Made The Original Law & Order a Success Outdated Now?

Price tends to pull off miracle wins — half the time, it seems like the case is a lost cause, only for him to be able to get another conviction at the last second.

Hopefully, that will change in Season 24, as it gives Law & Order a Perry Mason-like quality that doesn’t fit the seriousness of its brand.

Hugh Dancy is a well-known British actor. He’s from across the pond despite his convincing American accent on Law & Order.

He starred in several British series before getting gigs in America (sadly, Law & Order: UK was not among them).

He also played an autistic character in the movie Adam, about a romance between an autistic man and a neurotypical woman.

Law & Order is his third series; you might also recognize him as Will Graham from Hannibal or Cal Roberts in Hulu’s The Path.

Assistant District Attorney Samantha Maroun (Odeyla Halevi)

Samantha Maroun is the newest and youngest member of the prosecution team. 

She provides a unique perspective as a Lebanese woman, often clashing with Nolan because she champions feminist causes.

She also often identifies with immigrants, especially from the Middle East or other marginalized people.

She had a sister who was killed (which seems to be a theme in Dick Wolf shows lately!), and that fuels her passion for justice. 

Although Maroun is Lebanese, the actress who plays her is originally from Israel. Her family emigrated there to escape persecution in Yemen.

Halevi came to Los Angeles when she was nineteen to pursue her acting dream. She has appeared in several other television series besides Law & Order.

Related: Law & Order’s Odelya Halevi Chats About Working on Her Dream Show

Outside Law & Order, Halevi is best known as the original actress who played Angelica on Good Trouble.

What Guest Stars Will Appear On Law & Order?

Law & Order is known for having a steady stream of guest stars, both well-known and new to the industry, playing victims, judges, and defense attorneys.

This show is so closely tied to New York that many New York-based actors dream of snagging a guest role, and often, people who are well-known for other things pop up on this show.

Do you have an actor you fervently hope makes a guest appearance? Who is your favorite of the currently airing cast?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!

Law & Order Season 24 will air on NBC on Thursdays at 8/7c in the fall of 2024. New episodes will stream on Peacock the next day.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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