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+.


If the reason Chris Meloni is leaving is because they won't pay him what he is worth..they are idiots! Chris is an excellent actor and the real 'star' of SVU. He deserves to be compensated for his contribution to making SVU a successful & lucrative show. I still watched when Mariska Hagarty was absent and didn't really miss her. Her acting is actually very ordinary and I'm sure it helps that she is the daughter of movie icon Jayne Mansfield. She could be replaced without much of a problem, but Chris...never. Pay the guy and let the viewers enjoy a quality program..not some
cheezy knock-off!


Hate to hear it. Probably won't continue to watch. I hated when Mariska was on maternity leave. It just won't be the same. Thank God for Netflix and USA Network!!


This is horse crud!!!! Why can't they make these actors negotiations satisfying??? I mean after 12 years, they can't make them happy??? I love this show and have been watching since the beginning. Will not be the same.


I guess I will need to find a new show to watch, L&O SVU will never be the same with out Stabler and Benson together. I hate watching the episodes where Benson was gone. This sucks, I have all the episodes on DVD. Guess I get to save my money now.


I have watched L&O:SVU from the beginning. Can't believe they would even try to let Meloni & Mariska out. Since NBC got rid of L&O:CI I have to watch that on USA. Then CI introduced two new detectives besides Goren & Eames I never watched. So happy that Goren & Eames are back. They make the show. Why do they feel the need to mess with our shows? Haven't they figured out that you don't fix what ain't broken and L&O:SVU ain't broke so leave it alone. If you do have to replace Meloni I would like to see Benjamin Pratt comeback.


so sorry to hear this news. Another show down the drain because of contracts. I do not think it will be as good as this great chemistry they have shared. I will miss you Stabler


If both Meloni and Hargitay leave the show, I will not watch it again. It seems like a slap in the face for Charlie Sheen to take up such a dramatic role when he was kicked off of Two and a half Men. And Jennifer Love Hewitt can never fill the void that Hargitay will leave. You might as well just cancel the show because this change is not a good one!!


I agree. I've seen every last show & it will not be the same without Olivia & Eliot. I will not watch it, nor will anyone I know! They should just end the show on a high note.


I think all the major non-cable networks are going through a major overhall and boy, we fans are reacting. ABC axed like 7 shows including a favorite, Brothers & Sisters. They'd rather have shows like the Bachelor and Bachelorette. What a waste. Take a look at a their new lineup. Bring back Charlies Angels?? The only stations I will be watching this summer and next fall will be USA, TNT, FX, Style, Bravo, OWN, etc... Good thing I love to read. T.V. is going to suck and they will lose sponsors.


I have followed this show from the beginning & love it,,,don't know if I'll even bother to check it out when he and then she leave,,Why do networks try to fix things that aren't broken?


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?


Did Mrs. Barnes say no? In fact, she cried. Do you know that what you just described is rape?