The Impact of Jeffrey Donovan’s Exit from Law and Order

A source of reported creative differences behind the scenes on the revival series caused Jeffrey Donovan to leave ‘Law & Order’ before the completion of Season 23.

Even though Jeffrey’s departure from the show after just two seasons may come as a shock, cast changes of this nature are common in the Law & Order universe. 

Because of the show’s adaptable structure, practically any cast member can leave and it will still be able to follow New York City attorneys and detectives as they try to prosecute criminals.

Despite the current volatile political atmosphere, the show continues to enjoy remarkable popularity. For Season 23 of NBC’s Law & Order, some of the city’s most beloved detectives made a comeback. 

However, many viewers are perplexed as to why actor Jeffrey Donovan appeared to leave the program.

In addition to appearing in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Organized Crime, Donovan played Frank Cosgrove in Law & Order seasons 21 and 22.

Donovan played a big part, but he was not in the Season 23 premiere, and he probably will not be in anymore.

Although the precise reasons behind Jeffrey’s exit are unknown, he was reportedly leaving the show due to “creative differences.”

Jeffrey Donovan
Jeffrey Donovan

Although the nature of those creative differences is unknown, it appears that they were planning for this possibility. 

The underlying story

It appears that the show’s writers were trying to provide themselves with a fallback if they had to remove Frank from the plot, even though Jeffrey appeared to recommit to the work.

Since the show has returned, there have been other significant cast changes. Although he participated in Season 21, Anthony Anderson left after just one year. It appears that Jeffrey is trailing him out the door at this point.

Fans may have been surprised by Donovan’s departure from Law & Order, but it appears that the showrunners and writers had the actor’s departure from the show scheduled for Season 22 in mind.

Frank Cosgrove, played by Donovan, was shot in Season 22, Episode 21, and suffered serious injuries. 

Frank confronted Executive Assistant District Attorney Nolan Price after coming to the realization that he had nearly brought his wife to grief.

Despite Frank Cosgrove’s absence from the Season 23 premiere, Vincent Riley, his stand-in, questioned Detective Shaw about what had become of Frank. Shaw hinted at the decisive factor but did not tell Vincent exactly what happened. 

Given that Frank was so unhappy about that aspect of his job at the end of Season 22, it would seem from Shaw’s statement that his problems with police funding played a role in his formal departure from the department.

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