Christopher Meloni: Exiting Law & Order: SVU!

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Another hit series is losing a major star.

Just a few days after Lisa Edelstein confirmed her exit from House, an insider tells TV Line that contract negotiations have broken down between Law & Order: SVU and Christopher Meloni. The actor has portrayed Detective Stabler for 12 seasons.

Christopher Meloni Photo

Creator Dick Wolf is reportedly searching a known star (we hear Charlie Sheen is available) to come on board opposite Mariska Hargitay, who signed a new deal this month that calls for her to only appear in 13 episodes next season.

Jennifer Love Hewitt may actually be her replacement.

In other words: huge changes are in store for this franchise. Got any suggestions on who should take over for Meloni? The Comments section is waiting to hear them!

UPDATE: Meloni's rep confirms this news: "It is true - 12 great years and time for the next chapter."

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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