|Dick Wolf says he needed to change the cast of Law & Order: L.A.|
Announced earlier this week: Skeet Ulrich, who plays Detective Rex Winters, will leave the series, along with Regina Hall and Megan Boon. Alfred Molina, who had played deputy district attorney Ricardo Morales, will become a detective in a plot line where viewers learn he worked for the LAPD for 15 years before switching over to the law.
Terrence Howard, who currently switches off episodes with Molina as deputy district attorney Jonah Dekker, will now appear every week.
"We have the fortune of two world-class actors…and it was frustrating to have one on the bench each week,” Wolf said in a statement. "It would be like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as your quarterbacks, playing alternate games."
Wanda de Jesus exited in September ahead of the series premiere.
Wolf is known for stirring his cast. He initially faced resistance from NBC when he planned to write out Michael Moriarty as executive assistant attorney Benjamin Stone on the original Law & Order franchise -- but the show went on for 16 more seasons after his departure.
The show averages about 9 million viewers, faring better than all other new NBC dramas. But it still faces competition from a new night, and midseason premieres.