Sam Waterston Leaving 'Law & Order' After More Than 400 Episodes -- Find Out His Famous Replacement

Sam Waterston
Virginia Sherwood/NBC via Getty Images

The actor's famous replacement has also been revealed.

Sam Waterston is saying goodbye to Law & Order. On Friday, ET confirmed that the actor will depart the long-running series after playing District Attorney Jack McCoy for more than 400 episodes. His last episode will air Feb. 22.

Waterston joined the show in season 5 in 1994, and returned for its revival in 2022. Throughout his tenure, Waterston won a SAG Award, was up for a Golden Globe Award, and was multi-nominated at the Emmys.

In a statement shared by Law & Order's production company, Wolf Entertainment, Waterston spoke out about his decision to leave the series.

"Greetings, you wonderful people. It's a pleasure to talk directly like this to the backbone of Law & Order's absolutely amazing audience," his statement read. "The time has come for me to move on and take Jack McCoy with me. There's sadness in leaving, but l'm just too curious about what's next. An actor doesn't want to let himself get too comfortable."

"I'm more grateful to you than I can say. L&O's continuing and amazing long run, along with its astounding come-back, is all thanks to you and to [series creator] Dick Wolf, but for whose vision, patience, perseverance, and unique combination of creative and business talents, none of this would have happened," Waterston's statement continued. "I feel very blessed. I hope to see you all on the flip side. Thank you, Sam."

In the wake of Waterston's exit, Scandal's Tony Goldwyn will be joining Law & Order as the new district attorney. Hugh Dancy, Camryn Manheim, Odelya Halevi, Mehcad Brooks and Reid Scott also star on the series.

Law & Order airs Thursdays on NBC and streams next day on Peacock.