Law & Order: Tony Goldwyn’s ‘Politically Sensitive’ New DA Differs From McCoy, Puts Everyone on Edge

After portraying Robert Goran’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) half brother Frank in Law & Order: Criminal Intent and directing a 2006 Law & Order episode, Tony Goldwyn (Scandal, Oppenheimer) will take on a new role in the esteemed Dick Wolf franchise: District Attorney.

The actor/director will make his on-screen Law & Order debut this Thursday as incoming DA Nicholas Baxter, replacing Sam Waterston’s Jack McCoy, who resigned from his post following a high-profile case involving the mayor’s son.

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Baxter may be new to the job, but he is “not a neophyte,” Goldwyn tells TVLine. “He’s someone who’s very experienced. He started his career in the DA’s office many years ago and worked as a U.S. Attorney,” and also succeeded in private practice before being appointed DA by the NYC mayor.

The upcoming episode, titled “Balance of Power” and airing Thursday, March 14 at 8/7c on NBC, will see Baxter put pressure on Price and Maroun to ensure that his first case in office is a success. Viewers will find that he’s a bit unconventional compared to his predecessors.

“In my very first scene, I just walk into a murder scene, and Riley and Shaw are pretty startled by that because it’s very unusual for a DA to do that,” the actor shares.

As the new DA builds a team that makes sense to him, those around him will wonder if they’ll still have a job by the end of it, and that creates some tension. Adding to that, Baxter’s approach to the law differs from that of McCoy, and Goldwyn describes his character as “more modern” and “more politically sensitive.”

“Whereas McCoy was very much, ‘The law is everything and the law tells us exactly what the decision needs to be,’ Nicholas Baxter is a guy who really takes in broader political implications of every decision,” he explains. “Baxter has a different vibe than McCoy, and I think it puts everyone on edge.”

Are you looking forward to seeing Law & Order’s new DA in action?

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