Goodbye Stabler

Christopher Meloni is leaving Law & Order: SVU after 12 years on the job.

Christopher Meloni

If you were hoping for more surprise shots of Christopher Meloni in his underwear next season, you'll have to turn your sights elsewhere. The actor is leaving Law & Order: SVU after 12 years.

Meloni was in the midst of protracted negotiations for a new contract, which new NBC head Bob Greenblatt said at upfronts was "nearly done." Not nearly enough, apparently, because the actor will not be playing Detective Elliot Stabler during the show's 13th season.

"It is true -- 12 great years and time for the next chapter," Meloni's rep told E! News.

Meloni's departure is not the only big change for the hit show. Mariska Hargitay, who had played Stabler's partner Olivia Benson for the entire run of the show, negotiated a scaled-back role so she can spend more time with her family, and Jennifer Love Hewitt is rumored to be in the running for a lead role.

You tell us: Will you still watch Law & Order: SVU without Benson and Stabler?

Image courtesy WENN

Tags: law and order

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Comments on "Christopher Meloni leaving Law & Order: SVU"

ann taylor March 12, 2013 | 4:31 PM

I am really really disappointed about the two not being on the show anymore. I like Ice T but not as much as the two. Oh well life goes on

Judy in Vegas June 12, 2011 | 12:09 PM

So sad! I wish they would have given Meloni what he asked for and although I understand the need of Mariska to be with her family, it will definitely not be the same without the two of them. They are SVU, was my favorite show. Will watch the first new one, then decide. It's just too sad. They became like family. I do like Fin and Munch, but l&o needs Benson and Stabler. Good luck to all of them in their futures. "And then there is not going to be more Criminal Intent which busts my bubble too." Second favorite show. So sad!

G. HENN June 06, 2011 | 2:25 PM

Really to sad to Talk about!

April June 06, 2011 | 6:31 AM

What would be the point. Love Munch and Fin ... But they are not what makes SVU.

HellToTheNo June 02, 2011 | 11:32 AM

No way in hell will I be watching this now-crappy show without Mariska AND Chris. They are the heart and soul of SVU! I love Fin and Munch and they're good for spicing things up but Benson and Stabler are the stars. I became a fan because of them and their awesome chemistry. TBH, I won't even be watching with just Mariska next season because I hated the episodes where it was just one or the other. And Jennifer Love Hewitt to replace her? Oh puhleeze. Just cancel the show already. All I can say is that Benson and Stabler better have some hot good-bye in the crib before he leaves the 1-6 for good.

Beth May 31, 2011 | 8:15 PM

Benson and Stabler Are SVU; Without them, it is like a pizza with no cheese or an ice cream sundae with no ice cream! I will not watch anymore and I am really sad about it. I really looked forward to that show as it was one of my faves. Good luck to both actors;Good bye to SVU.

Mary in Illinois May 24, 2011 | 8:01 PM

There is no way I will watch Law and Order SVU without either of these great actors. I wish them luck in their future endeavors and urge the powers that be to give the fans a decent ending to the characters we've seen evolve over the years.

Lisa May 24, 2011 | 7:08 PM

Will I still watch SVU without Benson and Stabler? Does the sun rise in the West? SVU is Benson and Stabler ... without both of them there, it would never, ever be the same again. This is goodbye to SVU for me.

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