S. Epatha Merkerson on Sam Waterston's LAW & ORDER Farewell and Her Hopes for a CHICAGO MED-SVU Crossover - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

S. Epatha Merkerson on Sam Waterston’s LAW & ORDER Farewell and Her Hopes for a CHICAGO MED-SVU Crossover

February 19, 2024 by  

S. Epatha Merkerson Sam Waterston

LAW & ORDER — Season 13 — Pictured (l-r) S. Epatha Merkerson as Lt. Anita Van Buren, Sam Waterston as Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy, Jerry Orbach as Detective Lennie Briscoe, Elisabeth Rohm as A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn, Jesse L. Martin as Detective Ed Green, Fred Dalton Thompson as D.A. Arthur Branch — Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU PhotoBank

After more than 400 episodes, Sam Waterston is saying goodbye to LAW & ORDER—and his iconic character Jack McCoy—with the Thursday, February 22 episode, “Last Dance.”

And while the actor did a lot during his tenure with the show, one thing Waterston didn’t get to do was the once-teased LAW & ORDER and ONE CHICAGO franchise crossover. (L&O spinoff SVU previously crossed over with the CHICAGO shows, but it was before both franchises had full blocks on NBC.)

LAW & ORDER vet—and current CHICAGO MED star—S. Epatha Merkerson acknowledges a crossover, and on-screen reunion with Waterston, would have been tough, though, given she now plays a different character in the ONE CHICAGO world. “Not if I’m in the ED, you couldn’t do that,” she tells Give Me My Remote with a laugh. “You’d have people doing double takes!”

Merkerson, who portrayed Lieutenant Anita Van Buren in almost 400 episodes of LAW & ORDER and has starred as Sharon Goodwin on MED since the show’s first season in 2015, did offer praise for her former co-star on the eve of his big exit.

“I worked with Sam for 16 years and he is a consummate actor,” she says. “He is an incredible person to work with. That he’s leaving is pretty amazing, but his history on the show speaks for itself. A lot of things and storylines, Sam wanted to make sure were specific and viewed properly. He literally was very much a part of the essence of the show, and he always will be.”

“There are a few of us, I think, that stayed long enough [on LAW & ORDER] to have made our mark,” she continues. “And the two that come immediately to mind would be Jerry Orbach [who played Detective Lennie Briscoe] and Sam Waterston. He will be missed, but he certainly has left an imprint on the show.”

Chicago Med SVU crossover

NBCUNIVERSAL UPFRONT EVENTS — 2022 NBCUniversal Upfront in New York City on Monday, May 16, 2022 — Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Kinney, “Chicago Fire”; S. Epatha Merkerson, “Chicago Med”; Sam Waterston, “Law & Order”; Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, Jason Beghe, “Chicago P.D.”; Christopher Meloni, “Law & Order: Organized Crime” on NBC — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBCUniversal)

Merkerson does have a way the LAW & ORDER and ONE CHICAGO worlds could cross over in a slightly less universe-breaking way. “[LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT star] Mariska [Hargitay] and I have that joke: We would love it to happen,” Merkerson says. “She walks in the ED, I walk past her, and she does a double take. We say that all the time…but I don’t think [L&O and ONE CHICAGO executive producer] Dick [Wolf]’s gonna go for it.”

Watch a promo for Waterston’s final LAW & ORDER now…


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Filed under Chicago Med, Law & Order, SVU

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