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Christopher Meloni: Exiting Law & Order: SVU!

by at . Comments

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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Law and order SVU is the BEST!! Better than Law and Order and MUCH better that Law and Order CI. SVU deals with cases that KEEP you on your toes at every eposide. GREAT ACTING and GREAT SHOW!!!!!!

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NBC, yall have really done it this time. Chris is gone and with markisha leaveing what are yall gonna do. 90% of your viewers watched the show becouse Stabler and Benson. I watch it now and told my wife tonight that the show is just not the same without Stabler. Im gonna continue to watch just dont know for how long. Goodbye Law & Order SVU you will be missed.

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Christopher Meloni's "Elliot Stabler" was one of the great performances on television and kept me glued to the screen. LAW & ORDER is by far a superb series and Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni are responsible for making it so. Is there no possible way to renegotiate with Mr. Meloni for one more season before Hargitay's contract expires? They are to TV what Spencer Tracy and You=Know-Who were to films. LAW & ORDER can never be the same without the great team of Hargitay & Meloni.

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Just saying I can't staaand Law & Order LA!!! some of the most cheesiest acting ever especially by that Lead Detective I don't even know his name...... I know he played Dr Ock in one of the Spider man movies but I do like Terrance Howard he plays a good a**hole DA!!! Please NBC do something to keep Christopher Meloni!!!

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I Looooove Benson and Stabler as well as Tutuola and Munch hope I spelled Ice T's character right any who if Stabler leaves I don't know how loyal I will stay to the show I love his hot headedness and he is so sexy!!! maybe if Tutuola and Munch take the lead roles more often I will tune in then but only then if this is true!!!!

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Well this is the last Law and Order left on tv, and with chris leaving bid farewell to Law and Order.

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hell no, not again! Everytime I get all wrapped up in the characters in an L & O series...dun dun dun daaaaaaaaaa.GONE. I find it really annoying that the powers that be think viewers are going to hold onto the series instead of the character they developed. It is like a bad joke on the viewer. There is only one Hargitay and Meloni. I love the other characters as well but if they do this I AM THRU (even if they did bring back D'nofrio whom I adore!)

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I LOVE Chris.....will not be watching the show after he's gone....I feel he never did receive the praise for his excellect acting anyways.................Good Luck Chris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This will no longer be watched by millions!! NBC needs to take a look at the long term effect. CBS has some great shows on at the same time and without Benson and Stabler we will be changing the remote!!!

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I like Chris but if you see a good actor to replace him will watch. I do not see Mariska leaving SVU. She is the reason why I see the series.