NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16:  Actor Dann Florek attends the 2013 NBC Fall Launch Party at The Standard Hotel on September 16, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
TV - Movies
The Real Reason
Dann Florek Was
Written Off
Law And Order
For "Law & Order: SVU" fans, Captain Donald Cragen, played by Dann Florek, was one of the series' stand-out characters which is why his exit from the long-running show was so shocking. However, his leaving wasn't due to anything controversial the actor did, but because NBC wanted to make some major changes.
He wasn't the only actor dismissed from the series at the time, as Richard Brooks, who played District Attorney Paul Robinette, was also fired from the show. According to actor S. Epatha Merkerson in an interview for NPR, their departures were due to the network wanting the show to feature more women characters.
Florek was replaced with S. Epatha Merkerson who told NPR, “Dick Wolf let two of the guys go [...] That's how Jill Hennessey and I ended up on the show — because NBC was going to cancel it if he didn't bring skirts in." Florek, however, fared well after the firing as he went on to become one of the most beloved characters in "SVU."