Christopher Meloni Leaving ‘Law & Order: SVU’ This Fall

Published 4 years ago by , Updated May 26th, 2011 at 8:49 am,

christopher meloni stabler law order svu Christopher Meloni Leaving Law & Order: SVU This Fall

Half of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit‘s dynamic duo will not be returning when the thirteenth season starts this fall. Christopher Meloni, famous as NYPD detective Elliot Stabler, has not renewed his contract with NBC.

Meloni has been in extended contract talks with the network for some time. According to TV Line (who did not reveal their source) the talks have broken down, and Law & Order creator Dick Wolf is actively searching for a new male lead.

The actor has played Elliot Stabler for twelve seasons, and is one of only four actors who has been with the show for its entire run up until now. The other three remaining original cast members, Mariska Hargitay, Richard Belzer and Law and Order veteran Dann Florek, will all return in the fall, though Hargitay will only appear for half of the season.

This isn’t good news for NBC. The broadcast network has struggled in the ratings game in the last few years, and SVU is its top scripted drama. The original Law & Order series concluded last year, and the first spin off, Criminal Intent, has moved on to the greener pastures of cable on USA. A handful of other Law & Order projects have failed to find an audience, like the recently cancelled Law & Order: Los Angeles.

It’s hard to imagine how SVU will continue with the loss of one of its most visible players – and likely two, by the end of the season. As interesting as John Munch (Belzer) and “Fin” Tutuola (Ice-T) are, they’ve never driven the drama-heavy stories as well as Benson and Stabler. Instead of promoting the secondary characters to the spotlight, Dick Wolf will probably bring in some fresh blood – like the short-lived addition of Jeff Goldblum to Criminal Intent‘s 8th season.

law and order svu season 12 cast Christopher Meloni Leaving Law & Order: SVU This Fall

Meloni has consistently played the “bad cop,” as Stabler regularly assaults rapists and child molesters. He’s also the conservative voice in the show’s regular station house debates, playing against Benson’s liberal leanings and Munch’s libertarianism. Meloni’s replacement will likely need to mirror the Stabler character’s aggressive style and sociological affiliations to keep the current dynamic.

After thirteen years, SVU‘s character-driven drama and hot-button topics have had less and less impact, driving the producers to create big moments and guest arcs that distract from the cases and trials. In just the past few seasons there’ve been several extra-long gunpoint standoffs and an extended birth scene in a wrecked car. One wonders how long the most successful of Law & Order‘s franchises can keep it together with its leading man gone.


New episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will return to NBC this fall – minus one detective.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider

Source: TV Line

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. But meant to say that still some posts are going awol.

  2. But if you want to know what other shows I like, I like Criminal Minds too

  3. Hawaii Five O new one,

  4. But my favourit show of all is Supernatural

  5. Lol and I bet you got excited thinking 6 new people had joined our club. Never mind, you still have me lol.
    I used to watch the old Hawaii Five O too. I loved Jack Lord but I must admit that the new one is really good. I suppose we have to move with the times. You didnt tell me if you like Supernatural. I am obsessed with that show and am waiting for season 7 to come to the UK. You lucky people already have it.
    You are also lucky to live where you do. Hope you had fun last night. Were you working or winning lol xx

  6. I am upset Christopher Meloni left the show and watch every new show and rerun on tv. I also love Mariska and if she leaves the show will not watch the show. No one can replace either of them.

    • I hear Mariska is leaving half way through this new season. No it will not be the same with the two of them and I probably wont watch then either.

  7. What you think Tony ??? Im making you Moderator of this club lol


  9. Ah but I did check in this afternoon and there was no you, and then I checked in five hours later and there you were. Dont forget the time difference Toneeeeeeeeee. AND there are still posts walking like the walking dead. Now the Walking dead is a good show. HOW i wish I could fly to Philidelphia and get picked up. If only. I am Vice Presidant and you are President. But I want to know why your posts only appear on my email, and not on here. I am getting four or so posts on my email as to one or two on here. Its not good enuf. Put it right Mr President. And I mean NOW TONEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  10. TONYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY You are mad mad mad lol. Yes, I can see every single one of your posts now. So thats what was happening, you were replying to me so I didnt get it. From now on just post your madness. I was too busy watching the re runs of SVU to take up yr invite, sorry. It sounded good but I had a date with one Detective Elliot Stabler who then disapeard into the night with a gun. Then this tiny headed Detective called Nick Amollo, or Amoro or something beginning with A came along and invited me to lunch but I could only put up with him for 45 minutes. He bored me silly and even worse he brought this pop eyed blonde Detective with him called Raaawwwwwlllliiiiins. She couldnt even pronounce her own name poor thing. So anyway, thats why I didnt turn up. I missed the plane.
    Sorrrreee Tonyyyyyyyyyyyyy xx

  11. How was Goren the Boren ?


  13. No worries as i’m not well at the moment, will come back on here when i’m feeling better

  14. Hi I have gotton up out of my sick bed, almost half dead and crawling along the floor just to say hello to my friend Toneeeeeeee.
    Whats new on the States side ?
    What have you been watching ? Last nights Harrys Law was the Albino one and it was so funny. Sad too but funny.
    What else have you been watching ? And no new memers yet ? xx

  15. That should have read, no new MEMBERS yet ? To our club. x

  16. Hey Tonyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
    No we dont celebrate thanksgiving. What would be saying thankyou for over here ?
    As for not answering questions, why will you not tell me how Goren is ? He is not well you know. He stammers and his speech is delayed. Why ?
    Im afraid I dont like Rizoloti and Ivers. (lol). But Royal Pains yes.
    I know what is happening with this forum. You get notified on your phone of my posts, but I dont get notified of yours. Be patient with me Toneeeeeeee. Sorry, Tonyyyyyyyyyy. Yes I speak like Divya from Royal Pains. Not really. Most stupid English accent apart from Bella from Supernatural I have heard. Toodle pip. xx

  17. By the way, it is three thirty almost here. In the afternoon that is. So you must be peeping your head off. Snooz snooz. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  18. Do you watch Criminal Minds ? Hawaii Five O ? Supernatural ? Blue Bloods ? Walking Dead ? Hate Ringer though. Hate Secret Circle. But I am hoping you like Supernatural. You have got to like Supernatural. That is my fave show. Sam and Dean forever Toneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  19. This great Law & Order program will lose all it’s appeal and drive when these fine actors start leaving the program. SVU will certainly take a great dive. There must be a resolution? Protect the greatest crime drama ever…

  20. Hey Toneeeeeeeeeee. Good luck with your date. How was it ? Fill me in with all the details. Where did you go ? Was she nice ? Am I being nosey ?
    We have alot in common cos I love watching those programms too. Watched one last night about a man who was on death row and his lawer was attempting to get him a stay of execution. But in the end he commited suicide in his cell. But most of the programms I watch on that channel are the 48 hours, and the forensic programms. I love CSI (las vegas) but the real life shows are best.
    I am not religious. I guess I have an open mind in that way. I believe in something but I dont know what. I always tell myself there is someone worse off than me, though at times it is hard to believe it.
    It is half past four tea time here. Are you out on a second date ?

  21. Hey Dan, welcome. I hate the new actors ie Kelli Giddish and Danny Pino. I hope they do kill the show off as it will serve whoever picked them as cast members right.

  22. Toneeee ?

  23. Your date must have been good as you have forgotton about me :(

  24. Why cant I access page 4 ?

  25. hello

  26. I am in a right mood now. I just wrote you a foot long ( exaggeration ) post and when I posted it, it saie your post could not be entered please try again. I cant do it all over again I will pass out. Lol.
    Ok, here is the shorter version. It will have to do tonight with this damn screen rant the way it is. You would have been soooo happy as well Toneeeeeeeeeee. I gave you an essay. Oh well, write to screen rant and give them hell.
    It got me thinking though, one day something could go wrong on here so in case it does you should take my email cos we would never be able to get in touch ever again if screen rant does that again.
    Anyway, I gather your date was just ok, it sounded really nice from what you said. Will you see her again ?
    No I cant access page 5. This forum has really gone whako now. I welcomed that Dan the other day but he hasnt been back. Maybe I scared him away :( Oh well
    Tonight is Harrys Law night, Royal Pains night AND SVU night. Cant get too excited cos of Giddish. I almost died when you said you were falling for her. You got me there. I would been gutted. She has poppy eyes and on expression. Gormeless.
    I watched this show on Murder channel last night about this man who encouraged people to take their own lives on line. It was fascinating. Have you seen it? He found these vulverablt youngr people hwo wanted to committ suiced and he said he would help them do it by doing the same thing along with them at the same time. It was scarey really to think that these things happen and that there are so many people who want to committ suicide anyway. Fascinating. I love those real life shows about real people.
    ANyway, seeing as this is my second attempt at an essay lol, thats all your going to get.
    Toodleoo Toneeeeee

  27. Hi Toneeee, where is your email ? No it has not come through :(. But if you have mine I guess I can reply to sender yes ?
    How come there is a page 4 when I cant get on it ? What is on that mysterious page 4 ? Do you know, have you been on it ? Is it a deadly dungeon of deadly people maybe ? So thats where they all go then. All the other members of this ‘club’, They all end up on this page 4 lol.
    Yes it is nice to have someone to spend the rest of your life with, but your day will come. You just have to be patient, she will turn up when you least expect it. You will see :)
    Did you watch Harrys Law last night ? We had the episode where the young boy needed a liver transplant and a gang member gave it to him. It was so sad at the end when they played Evis Presleys Ghetto in the background. I love that song and I did like Elvis Presley too so I had a double whammy there. You probably dont get the same episodes that we do here though.
    Tonight we have wait for it. A Giddish on TV. Tonight is Law and Order SVU. I am sooo looking forward to seeing pop eyed one expression Kelli Giddish. NOT. I am hoping that lots of people will share my hatred of her and she will get booted out but so far I think Im the only one :(
    It happened in Criminal Minds though. A new cast member was hated by lots of people including me, and she got booted out. I was so happy to see that happen. She replaced JJ for a while. Cant remember if you watch Criminal Minds or not ? If not, why not lol. Its a great show. Bit gruesome sometimes but I just shut my eyes.

    Toodle pip xxx

  28. Yes I eventually got your email, but only today. I dont like Yahoo Messenger. Glad you understand.
    Whats it like over there where you are right now with xmas coming up ? I know you Yankies celebrate xmas in style LOL. Over here we just do a lesser style. One day I hope to come over there at xmas time. It looks great in all the TV shows anyway lol.
    It is freezing cold here right now. We live up North of the UK and get the coldest weather there is. Well, not the coldest. That is in the far North like Scotland.
    You didnt tell me wether all the club members were being captured on page 4 ? Thats is. Im off. Byeee Toneee xx :)