"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is losing one of its central characters. It has been revealed that Christopher Meloni will not reprise his role as Detective Elliot Stabler when the show returns for a thirteenth season.
A source says the talks between the actor, who joined the drama series since season 1, and studio NBC Universal broke down on Tuesday, May 24. He was reportedly offered a "generous" salary to stay for another year, but decided to leave the show anyway.
Creator and producer Dick Wolf has reportedly begun courting a big name to star opposite female lead Mariska Hargitay. The Detective Olivia Benson depicter has previously signed a new deal to stay with the show.
While Hargitay's existing deal will not be affected by Meloni's departure, there have been talks that Jennifer Love Hewitt might join the series midway through the coming season to replace Hargitay. "Jennifer Love is somebody we've been circling," NBC boss Robert Greenblatt once told TVLine, before adding "but I don't know that that is going to happen at all."
In the meantime, another show "Dexter" has just added an actor to its cast line-up. Former "Battlestar Galactica" star Edward James Olmos has been tapped to appear in season 6 of the Showtime drama thriller series to play a "brilliant, charismatic professor of religious studies."
Previously, Colin Hanks and Mos (previously known as Mos Def) have been announced to guest star in the new season. The production will start on May 25 while the sixth season will premiere this fall.