How ‘Law & Order’ Breaks Format for a ‘More Compelling’ Season 22

Jeffrey Donovan as Detective Frank Cosgrove, Mehcad Brooks as Detective Shaw in Law & Order Season 22 premiere
Fall Preview
Will Hart/NBC

Law & Order is trying new things in Season 22. Premiering September 22 in a franchise crossover event, the new season will still pull straight from the headlines, but it will explore new formats as well.

“We learned from watching the first 10 episodes, and we’re trying to make [the show] more compelling,” executive producer Rick Eid notes for Law & Order Season 22. “We’ll probably be less faithful to the [traditional] format and try a little more character and maybe a little more action.”

The Law & Order revival welcomes Mehcad Brooks’ Shaw. He’s an intellectual lawyer turned narcotics detective whom Detective Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) requested to replace the transferred Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson). Plus, we’ll see newly minted detective Violet Yee (Connie Shi, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), an ambitious former patrol officer.

Ripped-from-the-headlines tales include a dive into the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade about an abortion-seeking woman who comes to the city from a state that’s banned the procedure. Also, a racist subway shooter is on trial for a hate crime, which, despite New York’s abolition of the death penalty, could bring the ultimate punishment to the table.

Law & Order, Season 22 Premiere, September 22, 10/9c, NBC; starting September 29, 8/7c

This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2022 Returning Favorites issue. For more first looks at fall’s returning shows, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.