Cast departures and changes within the 'Law & Order' franchise are are a dime a dozen these days. So much so that most fans tend not to notice when they occur. The exception is when a long-running cast member decides to step down. Fans take notice then because, frankly, there aren't too many more long-running cast members left in the franchise (except the amazingly stable group at 'Special Victims Unit.'
This time the honor goes to S. Epatha Merkerson, who plays Lieutenant Van Buren in the original 'Law & Order'. After 16 years, the actress has decided to leave the series at the end of this season.
TV Squad Hot Topics
Most Popular Articles
From Our Partners
- Best 'Glee' Quotes from 'The Hurt Locker, Part 2'
- 'NCIS' Episode 12.14 Photos: A Case Causes Tony to Flashback to His Days in Military School
- 'Grey's Anatomy': The 15 Most Bizarre Medical Cases
- 'Reign' Episode 2.13 Photos: Will Mary and Francis Reunite at the Winter's Ease Feast?
- 'Game of Thrones' Season 5 Photos
- More From BuddyTV
- Report: E! Docuseries Will Capture Bruce Jenner's Transition to Woman
- Performer of the Week: Kerry Washington
- TVLine Mixtape, Parenthood Edition: Your Fave Songs From All 6 Seasons
- Ratings: Shark Tank Slips, Dixie Drops, CBS and NBC Dramas Tick Down
- Pilots: CBS Adds David Shore/Bryan Cranston Drama, James Patterson Riff
- More From TVLine
- Updated: Whitney Houston's Daughter Found Unresponsive in Bathtub
- Justin Timberlake Is 'Getting the Greatest Gift Ever': A Baby
- Star Sightings
- Helen Mirren, Jerry Seinfeld & Tom Hanks Ride the Subway -- Just Like You
- These 15 Seconds of Neil Patrick Harris Will Make You Excited for His Variety Show
- More From ET