'Law & Order: SVU' Gets 14th Season Renewal
Don't pretend it was a given. "House" fans won't stop telling you otherwise.
Despite a major cast departure leading off the season, The Huffington Post reports that NBC has officially renewed "Law & Order: SVU" for a 14th season.
Leading man Christopher Meloni's departure started the 2011-2012 season with an immediate transitional phase, with showrunner Neal Baer also bidding the Dick Wolf crime procedural farewell. With Meloni's departure, word also came down that Mariska Hargitay's Det. Olivia Benson - partner and confidant since 1999's premiere episode to Meloni's Det. Elliot Stabler - would be assuming a part-time role, as writers transitioned in newcomers Kelli Giddish and Danny Pino.
"I'll be back. I can't leave this show," Hargitay told reporters in a January video statement announcing her new contract. "I'm having too much fun."
Hargitay's resigning put a big puzzle piece into place. It didn't change the fact that the 13th season also marked series-low ratings.
"When I first got this job, I was so excited because I've been on two first-year shows in the last three years and it's just such a blessing to be on a show that is stable and has been around and has got a definite fan base," Hargitay said. "But also, it's not afraid of changing it up and they did change it up this year."
Though there have been cast change-ups throughout the run of the show, there's been a core that's remained more intact than that of almost any other "Law & Order" series, especially the original. Discounting a revolving door of assistant district attorneys and a few brief absences for personal reasons, the same detectives have patrolled the Manhattan Special Victims Unit squad room since Dean Winters' departure partway into the first season (he was contractually obligated to HBO's "Oz") and Michelle Hurd departing an episode into season two.
Winters was never exactly "replaced" and Hurd's Det. Monique Jefferies was replaced with Ice-T's Det. Odafin "Fin" Tutuola.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit