Meloni Leaving “SVU,” Hargitay Wants Less Screen Time

While the detectives at Law & Order: Los Angeles won’t be returning due to that show’s cancellation, one Law & Order: Special Victims Unit actor is leaving his post by choice. On Tuesday, Entertainment Weekly reported that Christopher Meloni, who plays Detective Elliot Stabler on SVU, won’t be back for the drama’s 13th season next fall.

As one industry source notes, despite being offered a “generous” salary to stay for one more year, Meloni is leaving behind the show he’s been with since it began in 1999. The actor’s absence won’t be the only change SVU’s 8 million viewers will notice come next September, as co-star Mariska Hargitay reportedly wants less screen time after adopting a child last month.

It’s not yet known who will replace Meloni on the show, but one name being thrown around as a potential Hargitay stand-in is Jennifer Love Hewitt. The former Ghost Whisperer star “is someone we’ve been circling,” according to NBC President Robert Greenblatt. “I don’t know whether that’s coming to pass or not.”

Via Entertainment Weekly


  1. jordan albanese

    June 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I can understand why Hargitay would want less air time for the next season, but between her requesting less air time, and stabler off for good (or so it seems so far), there is going to be a serious drop off in viewers. I watch new and old episodes (except the episodes before Ice-T). I will not watch any of the new episodes if they don’t have their 2 main stars and for that matter all the main characters that have great chemistry with eachother, a little more air time together. For example what happened to munch this season? he seemed to be non-existenet??!! Hope the studio works everthing out before this upcoming season!

  2. Lance Carter

    June 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I’ve watched about 6 episodes this season and yeah, what did happen to Munch? Thanks for reminding me of that.:)

    Yeah, one thing I love about the show are Hargitay and Meloni and I can honestly say to NBC, good luck in finding 2 people I’d want to watch on a regular basis.

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