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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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    SVU won't be the same. I am going to have to find a new favorite show!!!

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    No need for name-calling. This is just for opionions. And having said that, SVU will probably due a slow embarrassing death once Hargitay and Meloni leave. They WERE the show.

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    i will not watch law and order with out benson and stabler they were the ones who made the show a hit this is just friggin wrong from a ticked off fan

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    I don't like this one bit. I think that this is awful. How many more good actors/actresses will they take off tv.

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    Maybe Ice T will become the main star he better anyways

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    I am not pleased. This is not good. Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay are to SVU as one's nose and mouth are to one's face. Bad. Bad. Bad. Most displeased.

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    This show will only one season without Benson and Stabler. It will be cancelled like the original Law and Order because you can't take away the main characters that ppl have developed an affinity for an replace them with unknowns; even if the new actors are good it won't be the same and the show will inevitably tank. Sorry SVU but that's reality.

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    The show has run long enough. They should do away with it all together, especially with Meloni and Hargitay leaving the cast. They are allowed to pursue new projects and we will eventually move on to new shows. It isn't the end of the world people!! :-)

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    Stabler and Olivia leave, you lose a long time fan, how said. These two have made this show and HIT and have made the producers lots of money!!! Guess I will be watching the marathon repeats on USA, NBC I won't be watching

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    Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay are NY SVU... Mr. Wolf pay them what they deserve or this show will suffer greatly!