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+.


I am so disappointed to hear that Mr. Meloni is leaving the show and Ms. Hargitay will follow later. I get that mentioning Charlie Sheen was a joke but Jennifer Love Hewitt to possibly replace Det. Benson isn't funny imo. I keep trying to keep in mind that Ice-T was a replacement for one of the previous detectives but I can't see anyone coming close to the chemistry Benson and Stabler had. I'm curious to see how they are going to write him out the show. I hope it's nothing stupid but then again letting him go is stupid. Hopefully the network execs will see how upset the fans are...only time will tell. Either way I wish Mr. Meloni and Ms. Hargitay the best of luck in their future careers.


The show has run it's course. Removing or cutting back on two of the series stars' isn't going to work out. But I wouldn't mind seeing Jensen Ackles from Supernatural on the show! Not too shabby.


If he goes maybe Benjamin Bratt could be the replacement.


If stable and Viv leaves I won't watch anymore just take it off the air if they leave.


this is a great show,i have to agree with Sharon,her suggestion is the best one, if they r gonna leave the show!robin is also right,they r taking off all the good shows!reality shows r ridiculus,how many can u watch! they r basicly all the same.oh another bites the dust! SAD SAD SAD.


Well then, I'm done with SVU. They just can't refrain from messing with perfection. So dumb.


I can't see SVU with out both Chris or Mariska. They would have to be two very amazing people. This should have been settled before the season finale so you could have gone off with an awesome send off. Huge fan and totally disappointed.


I agree with another statement made, shut it down , Without Meloni and Hargitay SVU just isn't....


Well gonna find a new show to watch with Both Stabler and Liv gone no way I like fin and Munch but Stabler and Olivia are the show.I don't see the show lasting much longer after those 2 leave not unless the pull some kick butt replacements for them.


I think Stable and Benson are the show. I have watched since the beginning. The replacements would have to be extremely good for me to watch. If not, I would just stop watching like I have most other shows that have changed their main characters. I find very little on tv that I live to watch now. This show was one of my favorites that I made sure to watch each week.


Law & Order: SVU Quotes

So you interrogated Louis Hoda for over six hours before turning on a camera. In all that time you didn't coerce him, you didn't threaten him?


Distasio: On the word of a maid.
Finn: My grandmother was a maid.