'SVU' exclusive: NBC to replace Chris and Mariska?!

Lawandorder_l They wouldn’t dare.

Multiple sources are confirming that NBC is threatening to replace Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni on Law & Order: SVU if the actors persist in their demands for more money.

Last week, NBC closed a deal with L&O boss Dick Wolf for an 11th season of SVU — which, at 10.5 million viewers, remains the Peacock’s No. 1 scripted show. That opened the door to a new round of negotiations with the stars, whose $350K-per-episode contracts will expire in May. Yet a source close to the matter said talks stalled when the duo — who, like in their previous negotiations, are banding together — attempted to go after back-end profits, a perk that’s almost never granted in the L&O universe (although exceptions were made for Vincent D’Onofrio and Chris Noth).

As a result, NBC cautioned that it may be forced to replace the MVPs — a risky move considering how integral Hargitay and Meloni are
to the show. Many feel the Peacock won’t make good on its
threat (reps for the network, studio and the actors would not comment for
this story). “I don’t think in this environment, there’s any chance
they could re-launch the show with both of them gone,” says a
high-ranking exec at a rival network. “It’s a horrible time to retool a
show. They already have to change the time-slot, because it’s not going
to be airing at 10 pm next season.” At the same time, a Peacock
insider says, “I can’t imagine either actor walking away from over $7 million a
year.”

For now, Wolf is putting a positive face on the talks. Through his
spokesman, he said, “It is my fondest hope that both Chris and Mariska
will be back next season.”

What do you think? Can SVU exist without Chris and Mariska?! Cast your votes in the comments section below!

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Comments (692 total) Add your comment
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  • L

    No way could L&O SVU make it without the two main cast members. Remember wen everyone was making such a big deal about Richard Belzer being cut down in the number of Eps he did?

    • THERESA

      There is no way the show would survive without Chris and Mariska! They make the show! I won’t watch it without them.

      • Misty

        I know I wouldn’t watch if they were both gone!

  • MD

    If they go I go.

  • mario

    i MH and CM leave, im gone.
    ausiello, this if this is a belated april fool’s joke, shame on you!!!

  • Weatheringheights

    They won’t be carrying on without them on my TV set!

  • Christine

    I have seen every episode of SVU (not the other Law and Orders). I even watch the repeats, something I rarely do with any TV series; and I buy every season on DVD. I would stop watching it the second those two were gone. They ARE Law and order SVU. You think people are tuning in to watch yet another rape case? Please. We can see that on any of the many crime shows on air.

  • JRose48

    They are the whole reason people watch SVU. It’s not like regular L and O. Plus, my understanding is that SVU is the most popular L and O, don’t mess with that.

  • Varris

    I hope that they come back, but I would give the show a shot if one of them left (if I had to choose, I’d rather lose Chris Meloni), but if both stars bolt, I think that could spell the end of the show…
    But even if they do come back, I’d like to see the rest of it’s extensive cast used more often because Benson and Stabler are a little overused/exposed.
    Maybe they could find a way to bring back Adam Beach’s character that didn’t quite work out last time.
    Since SVU does have that big cast, a possible move that might work would be promote Ice-T to a lead and focus on other members of the team.

  • PJ

    Not a chance. If Chris and Mariska leaves, I’m done. Rumor has it, Stephanie March hasn’t even been locked in to be a permanent member of the cast yet, either.
    I was so excited she came back.

  • Alan of Montreal

    Isn’t Mariska Hargitay the only regular cast member on any of these procedural shows to walk away with an Emmy? L&O is the only one of these shows whose characters are actually written in a three-dimensional way. They may have a case to solve each week, sure, but the emotional investment of the characters in those cases goes waaay deeper than I’ve seen on other shows. Don’t they remember the episode where Elliott deals with his mother’s bi-polar disorder? Or when Olivia received a phone call from the little girl who’d been abducted by a molester and spent the whole episode trying to find her? These are classics. Chris and Mariska are the heart and soul of the show–if they left, you might as well just cancel the whole series and launch a different L&O franchise altogether with a completely different cast.

  • AM

    It doesn’t seem lawful or orderly to demand that much money. The economy is in a bad way right now. They should take their 7 million+ and be happy they still have work and an 11th season. The viewers will be the real special vicitims if they don’t return (as will the network).

  • Harry

    I actually would like to see a shake-up soon. These characters have gone as far as they can and there isn’t much else to do. I hope atleast they replace 1 of the 2. Keep MH and let CM walk.
    I would like to see a storyline arc (over many episodes) that would shake the foundation of SVU. Something like Stabler tracking down a serial rapist and killer who at end of the arc ends up dying but who kills Stabler’s family. Then the season ends with the presumed suicide of Stabler in his home when a gunshot is heard and fade to black. Stabler has always been at the edge, so it wouldn’t be a big shock.
    Just an idea.

  • Tati

    If they go, I’ll go. Period.
    Come on NBC, be smart here! SVU is your most successful scripted show, and if you think you’ll get the same or similar results with two new leads you have another thing coming!

  • KB

    There is o way in hell that SVU could survive without Chris or Mariska. The two of them ARE the show. NBC is all talk, I imagine that both sides will ease up a little. Mariska and Chris will agree to work for less money, and the network will agree to pay them that sum.

  • Darryl

    The show would end if Chris and Mariska left. Pay them what they deserve and if necessary, send Ice-T home instead and use his salary to hike their salaries. Ice-T is by far the worst actor on television. He has two expressions – angry and confused. It’s amazing that he is still working on a show that routinely utilizes talented local talent. They all make his acting look amateurish by comparison.

  • Heather

    I love the show, but I’d still watch it if they weren’t on it. I don’t think they realize that they make more money on one episode than a lot of their viewers do in a year (many times over, in my case.) If they want to hold out for more money, let them go find another job. Right now is NOT the time to be waving your income on other people’s faces.

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