Law And Order Is Losing Camryn Manheim Ahead Of Season 24, And I Have One Hope Despite The Sad News

 Camryn Manheim as Dixon in Law & Order Season 23.
Camryn Manheim as Dixon in Law & Order Season 23.

Law & Order reached a major milestone ahead of the Season 23 finale with the 500th episode, which delivered a confrontation that was a long time coming between Price and Jack McCoy's replacement. Less than 24 hours after that milestone aired, however, there's some less celebratory news: Camryn Manheim, who has played Lt. Kate Dixon ever since the show's 2022 revival, is leaving. Personally, I'm bummed about the news, but it does leave me with one very specific hope for how the show handles the exit in the 2024 TV schedule.

Camryn Manheim Leaving Law & Order

The actress' exit from Law & Order was first reported by Variety, which stated that Manheim won't return for Season 24, which presumably makes the upcoming Season 23 finale her last episode as Kate Dixon. While she hasn't publicly commented at the time of writing, creator Dick Wolf (who is behind the nine-show Wolf Entertainment TV universe) told the outlet this in a statement:

I thank Camryn for her three wonderful seasons helping us relaunch ‘Law & Order.' She is a class act, and I wish her nothing but the best for her next chapter.

Her role as Kate Dixon technically wasn't Camryn Manheim's first chapter of Law & Order, as the actress previously shared that her first TV job was Law & Order back in the '90s. She actually played three different characters on the show before joining the revival as Lt. Dixon. She is the latest of the Law & Order actors to leave, as the news of her exit comes not too long after Sam Waterston departed the drama as Jack McCoy, which in turn was not too long after reaching his own 400-episode milestone.

My Hope For Camryn Manheim's Exit

The confirmation that L&O is losing Camryn Manheim unfortunately comes shortly after an episode that delved into Dixon's personal life and was so solid that I found myself wishing for a Part 2 to it. The news immediately made me reflect on how the show lost previous series regulars since the revival: Anthony Anderson as Det. Kevin Bernard, Jeffrey Donovan as Det. Frank Cosgrove, and of course Sam Waterston as DA Jack McCoy.

And reflecting on those exits immediately made me realize what I want from Manheim's departure. Instead of a cursory acknowledgment like what Bernard got in early Season 22 or the brief conversation about Cosgrove in the Season 23 premiere that left me with more questions, I would love to see Dixon get an exit more like what Law & Order gave McCoy earlier in Season 23.

While I'm not expecting a full episode dedicated to sending off Dixon, it would be a shame for her to not get an on-screen farewell of some sort. After all, she has been leading the cops from the beginning of the revival, and replacing the lieutenant shouldn't be as straightforward as replacing a detective. Even just a brief epilogue of her walking away from the squad room would be welcome.

I'm not terribly optimistic about getting that, however. The news comes just days before the Season 23 finale, and NBC's description for the episode – called "In Harm's Way" – doesn't even mention Dixon. It reads:

When a sports star is killed, Shaw and Riley suspect the shooter missed their intended target. Baxter’s daughter comes forward as a witness, but her public testimony could impact his re-election campaign with the confession of a family secret

The promo for the finale also suggests that the majority of the episode will be centered on Baxter, not Dixon or any of the other characters. The odds of getting a goodbye may depend entirely on when it was decided that Camryn Manheim was leaving the show. Anthony Anderson and Jeffrey Donovan's exits were both announced over hiatuses, when the show had already finished the previous season. Manheim's was announced before the end of the current season, so perhaps there will be some kind of sendoff for Dixon.

Given that Variety reported she won't be returning for Season 24, it doesn't sound like we should pin our hopes on her making a guest shot for her goodbye come fall. For now, we can only wait and see. Whether or not my dream comes true for Dixon to get more of a goodbye than a brief update next season, you can catch the Season 23 finale on Thursday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, and revisit earlier episodes streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.