Christopher Meloni will not reprise his role as Elliot Stabler on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" season 13, but Det. Olivia Benson will get some backups with the arrival of new detectives. Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish have been added to the cast ensemble to portray Det. Nick Amaro and Det. Amanda Rollins, who appear briefly in a promo for the new season.
Offering details about the new faces, newly-hired executive producer Warren Leight said Rollins is "coming out of college with degrees in forensic psychology." He added, "She's self-made, and she's had a lot of book training. She has the kind of training you get now at Quantico. That was missing from the squad room: Somebody who approaches things with actual technical knowledge ... an almost intellectual, academic, very structured approach."
Amaro has his own skill that will complete the missing thing from the team as Leight said, "[Danny's character] reads people very well. He gets on their side and takes the onus of the crime they committed away from them. He appears to not be judging them."
Asked if Meloni will return to give a proper ending for Stabler, he said, "There's talk. I don't know that it's viable talk. He's not in the first six episodes, for sure."
"Law & Order: SVU" season 13 will premiere Wednesday, September 21 at 10/9c on NBC. While Meloni chose to sign out of the show, Stephanie March, Diane Neal and Linus Roache are back to reprise their roles as Alexandra Cabot, Casey Novak and Michael Cutter respectively.