Mariska Hargitay is not leaving Law & Order: SVU nor is she reducing her workload. Hitfix quotes NBC Entertainment President Robert Greenblatt at the recent Television Critics Association event in Los Angeles saying “Mariska is there in every episode.” Greenblatt went on to state that he hopes to sign Mariska Hargitay beyond this season.
With all of the casting news coming out of NBC’s venerable detective series, Hargitay’s first assignment may be investigating the disappearance and arrival of her many co-stars. In May, Deadline reported that Mariska Hargitay was leaving the series and being replaced by Jennifer Love Hewitt.
The deal for Jennifer Love Hewitt as Hargitay’s full time replacement fell through in June. When Hargitay signed on for the full season is unclear. Also unclear is who Olivia Benson’s new partner will be. Unlike Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, who played Detective Stabler since the show’s inception, is definitely not coming back next season.
In June, former Cold Case star Danny Pino and Chase star Kelli Giddish were officially added to the cast; and many assumed they were the replacements for Benson and Stabler. Pino and Giddish will definitely be playing detective this season but whether they are out front or supporting Mariska Hargitay and her new mystery partner is unknown.
The comings and goings on SVU don’t end there as Ice T inked a deal to stick around for two seasons while B.D. Wong, who played Psychiatrist Dr. George Huang, is joining Christopher Meloni as a former cast member. Wong is keeping his fictional PH.D however; he’s playing Dr. Lee on the new NBC drama Awake.
Just a few seasons ago Law & Order: SVU was a pillar of cast consistency among a Law & Order brand that was known for being a revolving door.
Stay tuned for more L&O casting news as rumors are still swirling about casting a partner for the no longer departing Mariska Hargitay. The decision will have to be made soon; Law & Order: SVU returns on September 21st.