Christopher Meloni out of 'SVU'


Image Credit: Will Hart/NBC

So long, Det. Stabler: An insider confirms that Christopher Meloni will leave Law & Order: Special Victims Unit after 12 seasons. Apparently, the actor was offered a “generous” salary to stay with the NBC show for another year, but he made the decision to bolt, instead — which paves the way for a fresh face to join the aging franchise. (Hey, Dick Wolf: These actors didn’t get their pilots picked up. Maybe consider one of them?)

Meloni has been on the show since the beginning, when it launched in 1999. His co-star, Mariska Hargitay, recently signed a new deal to stay on the cop drama.

NBC announced last week in New York that SVU will return next fall but its sister show, Law & Order: Los Angeles, was yanked after only one season.

Meanwhile, Peacock topper Robert Greenblatt told reporters that he’s looked at Jennifer Love Hewitt as a possible fill-in next season for Hargitay, who is reportedly looking to lighten her work load (she recently adopted a baby). Love Hewitt guest-starred on the show earlier this year as a rape victim and “is someone we’ve been circling,” Greenblatt told reporters. “I don’t know whether that’s coming to pass or not.”

Comments (368 total) Add your comment
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  • Emily

    Wow. I knew he hadn’t signed yet, but I thought he would! I can’t imagine SVU without Stabler!

    • Gabi

      You won’t need to, you’re about to see this September.

      WTH is wrong with these TV actors these days? First Lisa Edelstein quit House and now Chris Meloni, SVU. I wonder what show is next.. who’s next.

      • Dan

        I don’t blame Lisa Edelstein for quitting House after the crap they pulled in the last episode…

        As for SVU, let ADA Alex come back and have some sweet ladylove with Olivia already ;P

        Whatever they do DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT hire Jennifer Love Hewtitt!

      • Abz

        most tv shows don’t even LAST 12 yrs. Maybe, just maybe, after that many years as the same character, on the same set, maybe Meloni just wanted to stretch his acting opportunities, grow some, maybe, God forbid, try something new. Yes, this sucks, and yes, I will miss him, but 12 yrs in ONE ROLE? I can’t exactly fault him.

      • Jason D

        Its going to be difficult for merloni to find a long standing show to compete with SVU..he might get some nice big paycheck but it might only be for one or two years…maybe he wants the star position and not the co star alongside three or four others.

        It would be nice to have a hybrid of SVU and LAO as so many LAO actors were great in the part and sadly missed

      • Adam B

        I agree with Abz: 12 years is an eternity for an actor.
        For those of you that say “Oh, he’s never going to find that stability again,” you’re almost definitely right. But who cares?

        Actors, and artists in general, need to be challenged and given space to flex their creativity, or else we tend to feel trapped. It’s not like “normal people,” who want to have safety & stability in their life…it’s about craving that unknown world.

      • Suncatcher

        I heard that Ice T is also done with SVU and has his own show now.

      • Steve

        Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen is being replaced with Ashton Kutcher

    • melanie

      No!!! Don’t go Det. STABLER

      • Buzz

        yeah , of all people. JLH? surely they could do MUCH better ….considering all the awards guest stars have won…they must just be floating this rumor…. then again cast changes are par for thecourse , so even if she’s in for a year ….

      • redfire


    • Rhonda

      SVU will be cancelled next year. The mediocre scripts were hidden by the talent of the show’s two stars. Not anymore.

      • I agree

        yep, SVU will be joining the Mothership, and L&O LA and be cancelled!

      • PN

        I think that the Law and Order franchise needs to close up! The shows don’t pull in the ratings like they once did.

      • Nettarie

        I totally agree..I have no desire to watch SVU now. It’ll b just like Criminal Intent when D’Onofrio & Erbe left..they had to come back to finish the series.

    • Melissa Mermaid

      Looks like the shark is being jumped… esp with Hargitay looking for a “lighter load” to tend to her adopted child…Maybe Jason Clarke can take his place now that Chicago Code isn’t being picked up for another season!

      • Carrie

        Ooh, I would love Jason Clarke on there. I rarely watch SVU anymore – too dark and depressing – but I might give it another try for Jason Clarke. Not that Meloni isn’t a fine specimen himself.

    • Jason

      I hope he goes back to showin the goods on HBO….good times…

      • Mike

        Totally agree – guy has an amazing package.

      • Theresa

        I totally agree with you on that one. Love…love…loved him in Oz.

    • Jethro

      How and why would JLH be a detective when she guested as a rape victim?

      Oh yeah, after the many years she was raped, she enrolled in the police academy, got hired by the NYPD, by-passed road and foot patrol and became a detective in the special victim’s unit. This doesn’t make any sense even for the L&O franchise of revolving door actors.

      Utilize Munch or Fin even more, heck, even bring back actor, Adam Beach who left 2 seasons ago. Maybe they will transfer the 2 detectives from LA and make it a threesome, now that could work!

      • Brenda

        L&O (all franchises) has never really shied away from using actors as multiple characters. ADA Novak, for instance, was first on SVU as a defendent in a case that liked autoerotic asphyxiation and ended up killing someone. Then she’s the ADA a couple years later.

      • A fan of SVU

        Naturally, JLH wouldn’t come back as the same character! She is a good actress. Check her work out along with that ep on SVU, you’d be surprised how talented she is. I’m sure the producers are hoping for an actress who can jump into the “squad” and be instantly likeable along with capable.

      • Carrie

        @Brenda – Right. But when you have used half of Hollywood, you kind of don’t have a choice. We play the “which episode/franchise of L&O did we see this actor on” game at home all the time.

    • Jon Weaver

      Hire Charlie Sheen; he is looking for work…

    • Aisha

      I can’t believe this day has finally come…Mr. Meloni will be missed. I have been a fan of this show and the original Law & Order for years, they’re the only 2 worth watching in my opinion. The chemistry between the lead characters is SO important, followed by the storytelling. I don’t know that he can be replaced. This may be the end of a great show. Best of luck to him as he moves on. I will never stop watching the marathons…..that is as long as Love-Hewitt is not in them.

    • melony

      they should bring him back. he like one of the best. also he cute . lol

  • HGFM

    A really smart move on his part and not totally unexpected. He has another project in the works on his own. Unlike Mariska, he doesn’t need to be on SVU to be working as an actor.

    • Brett

      Mariska could get acting work outside of SVU. There’s always a Lifetime movie or a TNT series.

      • HGFM

        Neil Baer would hire her. But I doubt anyone else would want her unless she was asked to play a Benson clone.

    • mags

      she is very talented people were hating on meloni cuz he’s leaving but maybe she likes playing the Benson character and that’s why she is still there. If it aint broke, don’t fix it. Don’t say she doesn’t have talent because she plays her character well.

    • MJONES


  • bmo

    2011-12 will be a pivotal year for TV. A lot of landmark shows will go off the air…Very shocked about Stabler leaving. Can’t wait to see what show he’ll be on next.

    • Penny

      He had to leave. His eyes were growing too close together

      • octogia

        haha! and his unibrow was threatening to overtake everyone

      • LOOP


      • @ LOOP

        …wasn’t that funny.

      • i love svu

        he is hott and shouldnt leave the show! this is my favorite ever and its all i ever watch. i cryed when 24 ended and now im crying because he wont be there anymore. please stay chris!:(

  • Tom Hunter

    Sorry to see Meloni leave.

    But can I suggest that a new supporting character be added and that Finn be Liv’s new partner?? Finn is the favorite detective at our house with far to little to do each season.

    Failing that, what about either of the two actors reprising their L&O detectives from the final few seasons??

    But I think a Finn / Liv dynamic would be great on a weekly basis.

    • anaisninja

      Good idea.

    • Buzz

      Not. Ice ain’t no actor ( not of MH’s caliber at least).

      • CandaceTX

        oh, Ice would be great!! It would add a whole ‘nuther dynamic. Finn has been on the outside looking in on the duo, and it would be great to see as the realizations come once he is now part of the magic twosome. Things that he might have thought about Olivia and Stabler that might be confirmed or smashed all to heck.

        Also, add the jealousy of Munch and Olivia’s resentment/mourning and taking her feelings out on her friend Finn — it could be awesome.

        plus, we wouldnt be asked to get to know a new person that we would always compare to Stabler.

      • Spike

        Be careful what you say about Ice’s acting….Aimee Mann is still in hiding after she said the same thing! LOL

      • Cate

        “Not of MH’s caliber.” Hmm. Buzz, I’m not sure that bar’s set very high. I applaud her character’s strengths but I’m not at all sure she’s a great actress. They should give her some more humor to work with, which I think she’d be quite good at.

      • phil

        Fin is totally under rated. In the few episodes he’s been featured he’s been excellent. Having him as a lead is an excellent idea.

      • B

        He has no business playing a cop.

      • ajay C

        I agree w/ Buzz. While Ice-T is much loved on the show, he is not star. His supporting position is and always has been a perfect fit.

      • Dbm

        I strongly disagree and will say that Ice-T CAN act. Check out New Jack City sometime…

      • ajay C

        Are you freakn’ kidding me man!!! His acting in New Jack City was horrible.

    • Abby

      ugh Finn’s horrible, he reads his lines like a B-movie wannabe, his 2 minutes of screentime is too much already. Munch is awesome but too old. I guess if Stabler leaves, the logical choice is JLH hahahah WTF??

    • jk

      Liv’s character is being changed. She renewed but at reduced hours. They are promoting Liv and were bringing in someone like Jennifer Love Hewitt to be Stabler’s partner. I guess it will be 2 new cops.

      • SSW

        They should bring the guys from L&O LA over. I was really starting to enjoy that cast after the first few episodes.

      • AB

        That would be jumping the shark. L&O LOS ANGELES, SVU NEW YORK. Doesn’t play.

      • MJONES


    • kake79

      What’s made me grow tired of SVU is that it became the Stabler & Benson show. It started out really well balance with Munch & Finn but they got relegated to the background. I really miss Munch.

      • Heather

        Agreed. Here’s hoping that they give him a lot more airtime next year.

      • Dicazi

        Love Munch.

    • sharon

      That would be perfect!! I love Finn, too and in real life that would probably happen

    • sharon

      Perfect, what a good idea!

    • Andy

      Who could they pair with Munch?

  • he should be

    in the movies, I know he’s done bit parts but he could carry a movie, he is a very charismatic guy and a good solid actor

    • LA

      If you have not seen Wet Hot American Summer – you will see how funny he can be.

      • alan of montreal

        He started in comedy, too, in the Fanelli Boys

      • wakeforce

        You haven’t lived til you see him in Harold and Kumar…

      • AltDave

        How about his gay hotel clerk in FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS?

    • Maggie

      he’s also in Runaway Bride as one of Julia Roberts’s jilted exes. “Be the Bell, Be the Bell” he’s the one who gives her the engagement ring in the shape of #1 in diamonds, really funny!!

  • The Dude

    12 years is a LOOOOONG time to be playing the same character. He will be missed, but I’m glad that he’s moving on to other things. Hopefully Hargitay will do the same soon…I’ve been dying to see what she’s capable of outside of the L&O universe.

  • Michael

    WOW about time love the actor hate his character

  • Ahmed

    This is terrible, sad news! I LOVE Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay — these two actors make SVU the show that it is, and I can’t imagine it without Meloni! Jennifer Love replacing Margitay is awful — Hargitay is a strong, independent character and needs a stronger actor… goodness, just get Meloni back!

    • Dav

      First, Hargitay isn’t a strong character…Olivia Benson is the Character. Second, Hewlett will be playing a new character on the show not taking over as Olivia.

      • Abby

        WOW, remember the next time you’re snottily correcting someone, to spell HEWITT correctly yourself

      • Frank

        Abby, you’re an idiot.

      • ajay C

        Dav you’re an ass.
        It’s understood by all that when the actor’s name is used, the obvious reference is toward the character the actor portrays. Only a dimwit like your self could not figure it out. On this forum, obviously when one talks Chris Meloni, they’re referring to his character Elliot Stabler. The same with Benson/Hargitay. You must have been the underachiever in school huh,,,,it’s okay…

  • Amit

    Love Christopher Meloni, he has such range (anyone who saw him on SVU & OZ will vouch for that) and I am sorry he’s leaving the show. And hopefully Jennifer Love Hewitt will NOT be on SVU as a regular. Her one episode was enough for me.

  • Richard

    Bring back Jeremy Sisto!

    This could lessen the blow a little bit.

    • Lorie


    • SueN


    • Cate

      And yes!

    • Sarah D

      OMG Yes Please! mmmmmm

    • Joeshmoe

      Yeah, yummy yummy! Oh wait a minute, you’re talking about a guy, not JLH.
      Never mind.

    • Sil

      Jeremy Sisto would be great! NO JLH!!!!! I have avoided that goofy ghost show she’s on for years. Please don’t make me have to stop watching SVU.

    • kake79

      Ugh. No. I am not a huge fan of Sisto. At least not as a cop. Fortunately for me, he is starring in the new show Suburgatory on ABC so I don’t have to worry about him replacing Meloni.

    • carolae

      I agree!!!!! I hope he still has his skull cap that he wears!

    • Brett

      Sisto? His acting makes watching paint dry seem more interesting.

    • Ms. Dipesto

      That’s a BRILLIANT idea!! But he is going to be on a new show so I guess that’s a no-go.
      And for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, NO JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT!! That would be a disaster!

    • Aimee

      Jeremy Sisto wasn’t on SVU. He was on the original Law & Order. He has limited range though and I don’t think he would be a good fit. His best role was as Julius Caesar. He does better playing historical figures than modern.

    • marlee

      sisto will always and forever be elton in my eyes

    • Lissa

      That’s a great idea! I loved Chris Meloni but I also LOVE Jeremey Sisto. What two hunks!

  • Jeff from Jersey; yes New Jersey

    A good actor in a complex role. Best of luck to him.

  • max

    Crap that sucks.

  • Rho

    Jeremy Sisto or Anthony Anderson. I also agree w/other posters that bumping up Munch or Fin would work as well.

  • PomMom

    The interaction between Meloni and Hargitay is so great, can’t imagine the show without him (or her).Happy for him but not for us viewers!

  • Lora

    New York special victims NEED Elliot! Say it ain’t so!!!!!

    • mrbpg

      To bad for Stabler..have more of a role for Finn and Munch. Their bantering reminds me of Jerry Orbach on Law and Order. They add the humor just in the right places.

      • elaine brown

        How can you say mariska H can’t act.She has been nominated how many times and has won awards for her acting . Bad enough we lost stabler, but if we lose benson, the show is over. And wolf knows it.Whata grseat show ZSVU is I truely hope it survives and I wish maloni the best.And I hope the writers write some good episodes for Benson and her unit. Hope the Capt is still there. All we can do is watch and hope the show survives .

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