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Law & Order: SVU Scoop: Hargitay Inks New Deal, Jennifer Love Hewitt May Succeed Her

Just in time for NBC’s upfront presentation on Monday, Law & Order:SVU star Mariska Hargitay has closed a new deal to return for its upcoming 13th season — but there’s a catch.

Around midseason, Hargitay’s Olivia Benson will pass the baton on to a new female detective — possibly played by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Meanwhile, SVU‘s leading man Christopher Meloni still has no deal for next season.

Going into the contract negotiations, Hargitay had asked to scale back her workload on the show. The producers granted her request, reducing her hours but keeping her salary roughly the same at $385,000 an episode. For the first 13 episodes, Hargitay’s character will continue to solve sex crimes alongside Elliot Stabler, pending Meloni closing his deal. Then Benson will be promoted to a supervisor position, with a new female detective taking her place. That is the role that producers are eying for Hewitt, who, ironically, guest-starred on SVU last fall as a rape victim.

As for Meloni, whose current salary is the same as Hargitay’s, I hear the actor is seeking a raise. Talks with NBC, however, are moving slowly, so it doesn’t look like he will have a deal before NBC’s upfront. The last time Hargitay and Meloni’s contracts were up two years ago they didn’t sign new pacts until the end of June.

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233 Comments
  1. brittany says:

    when hargitay goes i go!

  2. Nicki says:

    IAM TOTALLY MAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I THINK JLH IS A WONDERFUL ACTRESS BUT THERE CAN BE NO REPLACEMENT FOR MARISKA!!!!!!!ISN’T POSSIBLE!!!!!!!ME AND MY FRIENDS OR HUGE FANS OF SVU BUT WE WILL NOT WATCH IT ANYMORE IF MARISKA LEAVES!!!!!!!THEN TO TOP IT ALL OF CHRIS WANTS TO LEAVE TOO!!!!!!!THEY MINUS WELL KILL THE SHOW NOW AND SAVE THERE MONEY BECUZ SEASON 13 WILL SUCK!!!!!!I MEAN THEY TRIED REPLACING BENSON WITH BLANE AND DANI AND WE SEE HOW WELL THAT WORKED OUT!!!!!DISASTER!!!!!(ALL THOUGH I HAVE TO SAY I LOVE THE WAY ELLIOT WENT CRAZY WITH OUT OLIVIA BUT I HATED AND STILL HATE THE HE KISSED DANI)COME NOW SVU!!!!WHAT’S GOING ON!!!!!????

  3. Magickster says:

    They need a new female detective who has balls and can get into the face of suspects if necessary. Hewitt loks to small and timid to be this. It’s a shame that Sharon Stone has such a prominent role as a lawyer. Though, her character was once a cop who partnered with Stabler…Wonder what Stone is doing for work now???

    How about Marcia Gay Harden?? She played a fed on the show with a similar attitude to Benson. I thought she was fantastic..

  4. Tammy Smith says:

    If Stabler and Benson arent on SVU, then it will go down the toilet like CI did. Look at the ratings since they got Goran and Eames back. When we like a show and it is successful, why would you mess with it ? We connect with the characters almost like they were family. Why do you want SVU to go off the air ? Thats what will happen if you change ANY of the characters. Please act like you have a brain in your head and leave it as is. You see what happened with CI. Do you want a deja vu moment ?

  5. Sean says:

    Keep in mind that MH is not cutting back on her time on the show because of money, it’s because she has kids and wants to spend more time with her family. Sure, JLH might not fit the profile of the detective that MH played, but she is a good actress and may surprise us. I am willing to not make assumptions give her a chance before I consider not watching the show. I did the same with Criminal Intent for the first few episodes after they got rid of Goren and Eames, I decided that I didn’t like the new actors and actresses and did not watch that season.

  6. ksjds0s09 says:

    that sucks its just not gonna be the same SVU anymore. no use watching either with jennifer in it. blegh

  7. Rikki says:

    Please NO Jennifer love Hewitt. Seriously will not watch the show if she is in it full time!!

  8. Kalleb says:

    So she’s leaving the show after this or will she return?

  9. Ernest Keller says:

    So let me get this straight first they promoted Munch to Sergeant and that I liked I felt he deserved it but he doesn’t do much and pretty much acts as an office temp and now they are gonna make benson a sergeant and we are gonna have 2 sgts in the squad and almost all the screen time will go to Benson with Munch getting 2 seconds each episode they could of at least promoted him to LT but hey these are just my opinions

  10. RN says:

    JLHewitt will kill this show for me

  11. J-T says:

    Plea to the producers of law and order SVU
    please try to keep Mariska & Chris in this show without them the body and the character of the show will be lost,and the whole team of actors who make up this brilliant show I say to them thank you for the best entertainment that I have seen in a long time.
    Keep up the good work and the excellent story lines.

    allways a fan

    J-T
    Scotland

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  13. Dani says:

    I’m Glad they didn’t put JLHewitt in the show. I could barely watch when she had a guest-star role. she is NOT a good actress which is why so many people said she’d ruin the show. She is a really annoying person and it comes across in her “Acting” thank you for not using her in the show as a full time character. I’m extremely sad to see Chris go though. Chris and munch were always two of the greatest actors in the show and Mariska and Chris’ “back and forth” Partner role was fantastic.I hope Chris will be returning to the show in the future(Near future) Mariska is back though. with two new characters cast (forgotten their names but they play the Newbie detectives.) I’m not sure how the female role will go, Haven’t really seen that character as a bonding one. I don’t see the producers keeping her, But the male Newbie is heartwarming and good to see co.partnering Benson. I think he will be kept on the show even if Chris comes back as Stabler.

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