Christopher Meloni Leaves ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Woah! Big big changes are coming to Law & Order: SVU. On top of the news that Mariska Hargitay is scaling back her work on the forthcoming season of the NBC crime drama, TV Line is reporting that her co-star Christopher Meloni will NOT be back for the 13th season.

Following negotiations that didn’t result in a deal, Meloni will be leaving the veteran crime drama after 12 seasons.

PHOTOS: New Mom Mariska Hargitay All Smiles For Family Play Date With Hugh Jackman

Producers are hoping to replace Meloni with a “big name,” which is probably a good thing, as he’ll have some very big shoes to fill. Meloni, along with co-star Mariska Hargitay, has been a central figure of the series since it began in 1999.

Hargitay’s character Benson is expected to be promoted at a midway point in the season, leaving room for a new detective – possibly played by Jennifer Love Hewitt - in the lead.

Will you still be watching Law & Order: SVU next season? Share your thoughts by tweeting us at @socialitelife or posting to our Facebook page.