Who Should Replace Christopher Meloni on Law & Order: SVU?

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Law & Orer SVU fans are still dealing with the news that Christopher Meloni is exiting after 12 seasons.

But you know what they say: when NBC closes a detective door, it opens a window. In other words: let's stop worrying about the past and take stock of the future.

With Meloni gone and Mariska Hargitay cutting back her episode order next season, the long-running show has a chance to re-invent itself. Who should take over the lead male role?

Chris Meloni on SVU

Only one name comes to my mind: Michael Chiklis.

He starred in arguably the greatest cop show in history (The Shield), No Ordinary Family was canceled after just one season, and his CBS pilot was not picked up. The actor is certainly available. And he can clearly bring it in every conceivable sense: action, drama, comedy (he once guest-starred on Seinfeld, people!)

That's my pick. Who is yours? Below is a list of names - some serious, others not; some young, others old - from which to choose:

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


without Meloni there is no show!

@ mhamer

The best part about your comment is the time-stamp of several years ago - with the show still running (and with exceptional ratings).


David James Elliot and Jimmy Smits are good suggestions, but how about Adam Beach? He appeared in several episodes a couple of years ago, and he is well known now based on his movie career.


Although this is my favorite show, it's dead without the two leading characters. Like Scrubs when they tried to continue with a new cast. Sometimes shows have just run their course like Two And A Half Men and they need to be put down.


My comment too long??????????? thus not printed. OK Short & sweet no Meloni Part-time Hargitay = a dead show. Use your "Grey Cells" as Poirot would say cut your loses and pull the plug.


Meloni & Hargitay are the show not Ice-T & Belzer who I really like (is past retirement age) can carry the show. I had the same feeling regards Law & Order Criminal Intent, I have not seen a full show since Goren & Eames left. Goldblum has not cut it and his red-headed off-sider are just not up to it. I did not even like Noth in the show and avoided episodes where he & Goren alternated. Age catches up with all of us. Let's face it Gunsmoke lasted as long as it did as there was no opposition to it, but there is a time when a show reaches its use by date and changing actors instead of changing the name of the show is plain cheating people, and is like trying to keep cashing in on a Myth. The show dies when lead actors leave. Time for these shows to die gracefully and get on with something new. Not rich enough yet Mr Wolfe? Use your talents and create something new or a you too old too.


Adam Corrola
has humor and a good since of working class irony,like Orbach.


No one can replace Meloni. !!


I too think that no one can replace Meloni similar to how there was only one Perry Mason. However, I disagree with the "NBC should hire him back" comment. Sometimes when celebrities achieve their fame, their egos become too inflated and even when offered more money than many of us will ever see in our entire life time, they decide to play the bluffing game, holding out for more money and the station will not fall into their demands. I agree that "NBC is not the enemy". Celebrities get greedy and if every television show gave into their greed, there would be no money left to broadcast television. I know this through second hand experience because I worked for Clear Channel Radio and radio personalities Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw turned down a 6 million dollar contract a few years ago so they were dropped. They should cut the greed and enjoy their profession. I wont be watching the reinvented SVU but knowing that he has turned into a greedy actor, I probably wouldnt watch it even if they hired him back.


Gonna miss Meloni, Hargitay and Meloni had the sizzling, perfect chemistry. If Olivia gets a new partner, she won't have that chemistry with the newbie.....oh Meloni please don't leave >< (and I secretly want Elliot and Olivia to become a couple)


Meloni and Hargitay make an awesome team, but so do all the actors on the show. The show has survived this season without Meloni and/or Hargitay in some episodes (I kinda wondered if L@O was testing the waters during these episodes). The show will still be good because the show is about the crimes and them being solved than on the characters themselves. That is the Law and Order Franchise. To expect anything different, is being blind to the law and order concept. I do think Chiklis would be awesome. Or wentworth miller. Chiklis would be my first choice, wentworth my second and wentworth's brother on Prison Break my third.

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