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SVU Scoop: David Conrad, Kevin Alejandro Among Five Finalists to Replace Chris Meloni

Law & Order: SVU is going younger with its new male lead.

Sources confirm that Dick Wolf and NBC have narrowed the search for an actor to replace departing leading man Chris Meloni to five candidates: David Conrad (Ghost Whisperer), Kevin Alejandro (True Blood, Southland), Michael Raymond-James (Terriers), Danny Pino (Cold Case) and Rhys Coiro (Entourage).

SVU No Longer Looking to Collar Jennifer Love Hewitt

The five gents are being flown to New York where they will test tomorrow opposite returning SVU star Mariska Hargitay.

Mariska Hargitay Laments Chris Meloni’s SVU Exit: ‘I Love Him and Will Miss Him Terribly’

For more details on this story, visit TVLine’s sister site Deadline.com.

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145 Comments
  1. Bert says:

    Can I vote for Christopher Meloni?

  2. Dina says:

    Danny or Kevin please

  3. Cass says:

    Dany Pino¡

  4. Syvyn11 says:

    I say they should have gone after Michael Chichlis.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I would so be behind this! (Or Annie Wersching, but that’s neither here nor there.)

    • David says:

      He would be a great choice if this was a different Law and Order show. If this was the original I would think that he would be great but I don’t see him working on SVU. He’s a great actor and I can’t wait to see what he does next though.

  5. Casey says:

    I feel like he won’t get the part, but I would love it if they chose Michael Raymond-James. I still miss him on True Blood after all this time.

  6. Sandra says:

    Danny pino

  7. KFT says:

    None of the above! No one can replace Meloni. Why bother trying?

  8. Lena120 says:

    I see they’re going the victim/criminal route with Kevin Alejandro.He was on an episode last season as one of three men who raped a woman. But he’s a great actor and I could try to erase that role if they write this new guy well.

    • Jeff says:

      That was how they go Diane Neal as Casey Donovan. She was one of the four women who raped a male stripper at a party, then came back the next season (I believe) as Casey!

    • kimmie says:

      That would be typical of the Law & Order franchise – bring back someone who was on previously. For example Diane Neal played a female rapist and later came back as the D.A. Mrs. Stabler played a murderer on the mother ship & now she’s Elliot’s wife.

      I think the perfect choice, though, would be Jason Clark from the Chicago Code

      • CandaceTX says:

        I keep saying John Stamos for this exact reason. He would be perfect! I think that the replacement needs to be someone closer to Olivia’s age… and not some young gun. I also still vote for upping IceT’s profile and partnering him with Liv.

    • jennrae says:

      Michael Raymond-James was also on before, in the last season finale. I also noticed that the producers must have really liked Ghost Whisperer…first JLH and now David Conrad?

  9. Concerned SVU Fan ;) says:

    Never heard of any of them… would rather have no one replace him and have Fin and Munch alternate with Olivia. lol.. I don’t know when do they ever listen to us? *shrugs*

    • Deena says:

      I’m with you. Munch has been practically non-existent and since they just inked Ice-T to a new deal, how about giving him some work? Bring someone in new as a backup character if they want new blood.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Totally with you guys! I had hoped they would move up Fin, Munch AND B.D. Wong (he’s the best)! As you say, they ignored us – but what do WE know? Snark. (I think they know we smell blood and are trolling for new viewers with the young studs. We’ll see…)

  10. DL says:

    For me, Michael Raymond-James seems like he’s got the best shot of forging a truly original character, someone who probably won’t play it too straight-and-narrow. Someone who’s liable to be very entertaining to watch. The guy’s got personality to spare. I enjoyed Alejandro on Southland, but felt he was often overshadowed by Shawn Hatosy’s dynamic performances. Pino never stood out that much to me on Cold Case. Never watched Ghost Whisperer, so can’t comment on David Conrad.

    • Chatty says:

      This. I’m so glad somebody else feels this way. I loved this man on Terriers. He brought a depth to his character…and he was funny to boot! Oh, and he’s sexy in a way that’s unexpected. He’s got ‘it’, and his acting is amazing. More people need to discover this actor and I truly hope that he can get an opportunity like being on this show. I mean, nobody can ‘replace’ Meloni, but this guy is interesting and very talented. Here’s hoping!

  11. allykat says:

    how about just promote Fin or Munch?

  12. Inigo says:

    After a stellar performance on “Terriers,” I say Michael Raymond-James.

  13. Caroline says:

    No one can replace Chris Meloni. Game over.

  14. Timothy McNeil says:

    I am thoroughly unimpressed with the choices presented. I was hoping that there was a chance that there would be a big-name actor to fill to role, or that an actor with whom I am totally unfamiliar would be given a big break and a chance to prove himself. This looks like bland recycling of competent, but underwhelming, network-ready actors who know to not rock the boat. My vote is for none of the above.

    • Nicole says:

      While you’re entitled to your opinion, and I even agree with it to some extent, there is no way you could have watched Terriers and still have the impression that Michael Raymond-James is ‘competent but underwhelming’. He is really a fantastic actor – my worry if he were to take this role (and I don’t watch this show, so take it with a grain of salt) is that L&O is such a formulaic show that he’d have no opportunity to really show what he can do.

  15. lj says:

    Danny Pino. Oh my, he is beautiful. And he can be a hardass like Stabler was. Perfect!

  16. Jeff says:

    All of the are as hot as Meloni. Except Kevin Alejandro. When he was on Ugly Betty as Santos, he was HOTTER than Meloni. There, I said it.

  17. KDW says:

    I think it’s funny how David Conrad looks a little like he could be related to Christopher Meloni. Not sure how he would be in the role if he is anything like in Ghost Whisperer. I think Kevin Alejandro has the best chance of filling the role.

  18. mykey716 says:

    I’d rather have Chris Meloni, but if I have to pick someon else, then I’d love Kevin Alejandro…one of the hardest working actors ever! He’s in everything! And the fact that he’s been on the show as a criminal….well that’s just the way Law & Order rolls!! So many actors have been cross-utilized on all 3 L&O shows as cops, lawyers and or victims/criminals!! It’s almost like a game!!

  19. Susan says:

    Putting Benson with a no name boy toy is just going to further cheapen the show. Just do what you need to to get Meloni back or end the show while people have positive memories.

  20. Nicole says:

    Danny Pino. I love that man. I think Meloni is ugly as hell so any of these men will be an improvement. And acting wise will probably be better as well since all they had Meloni doing as Stabler was screaming and punching things. I’m looking forward to a change.

    • MJ says:

      I have no tolerance for people who say nasty things to each other via internet, I find it very cowardly, so to prevent myself from being hypocritical, all I will say is I can’t believe you think the best way to ‘improve’ on Meloni’s character is to find someone who better fits your idea of attractive. And that we must be watching different shows, the Stabler I know has a lot of depth.

      • Deena says:

        I think most people are watching your version of SVU, MJ :) Stabler was on of my favorite characters on TV.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Huh? This is a joke. Right?

  21. V says:

    None of the above……there is no replacing Chris!

  22. Roddric says:

    As good of an actor as Michael Raymond-James is; why is he even considered for the lead role? He was in Stabler’s now-default final episode. My vote’s for Danny Pino. As a person of color, I’m always a fan of diversity on network TV.

  23. Kathy says:

    I vote for none of them ! Need to bring Corey Stoll from LOLA to the fold !! Love me some T.J. :)

  24. nick says:

    Wentworth miller should be in the running

  25. gina says:

    I vote for Kevin. I saw him in Parenthood last season and quickly wantes to see more of him. Hopefully they’ll decide against J Love Hewitt though.

  26. Susan says:

    Hands down I will vote for Danny Pino. He was one of the main reasons I watched Cold Case for as long as I did. He has a very good smoldering intensity that the others lack,IMO. I think frankly they’re all too young to be paired with Olivia Benson, but I think the writing is clearly on the wall:this will be her last season so going forward they can pick and choose to appeal to a younger audience if this show is to survive beyond the next year or two.MH and CM made SVU the success it was for 12 years.If MH intends to bow out gracefully- then they need to choose wisely.I appreciate that she is giving them another six months to a year of her character before she does leave permanently. I only wish Christopher Meloni had taken that path as well.I wish him well in his future endeavors.

  27. Kayleigh Butler says:

    Kevin Alejandro! He deserves to be on a show where he’s a main character and doesn’t get killed.

  28. Maria says:

    There is no point in trying to replace chris. He was the sole reason I watched the show. I won’t be watching anymore regardless of who they attempt to put in his place.

  29. D.smiih says:

    Dick wolf needs to get it thru his head That Chris Meloni Is Not Replaceable! Suck it up and get him back. Dont replace him w an outsider-make Fin Liv’s partner.

  30. steve says:

    None with Mariska and Chris gone SVU is dead to me

  31. Steve says:

    OMG Michael Raymond James! He was in the finale as a criminal so that might be weird but I think I mentioned him when you said vote for who you think should replace Meloni when it was speculation!

  32. Kevin says:

    It would’ve been Dominic West who I’m adore him from THE WIRE should have been one of the finalists to replace Meloni.

  33. Maria says:

    Sorry folks, but yes, Chris Melonhead, oh sorry, Meloni, is very replaceable. The past 4 or 5 years his acting looked like he could’ve cared less whether he was on screen or not. He’s terrible.

    • Sam says:

      It helps when Neal Baer isn’t permanently stuck up Mariska Hargitay’s twat. SVU will fall without him. He is the backbone of this show. Ratings went up dramatically when Hargitay was on maternity leave. The episode where Stabler kissed Dani Beck was the highest rated of the entire show. When Hargitay came back, she had two episodes where she was alone. Both tanked in the ratings. Both loat almost three million in ratings than the episode with the Stabler/Beck kiss.

      And the reason Meloni left is that he was sick and tired of being considered expendable. Ratings for the new season will be the test. If they fail, Wolf will be busting down Meloni’s door to get him back.

  34. Laura Anne says:

    Wentworth Miller. he was great when he guest starred.

  35. Abby says:

    David Conrad or Kevin Alejandro. I’ve never seen Kevin in a role I didn’t enjoy. Love him on True Blood and the season finale of Bones! I have to admit that I was/am smitten by Jim Clancey on Ghost Whisperer. This past weekend I saw a rerun of CSI:Miami where he guest starred, and he was almost scary as the “good guy gone bad” type if character. I can see him being gritty enough to be an SVU cop. But I have to say… I do agree that Christopher Melioni and Elliot Stabler are impossible to replace. I keep hoping there will be a surprise renewal of his contract!

    • Ido think that david conrad would be good to replace meloni david is a good actor both in Movie TV and stage. I saw him in Men of honor return to paradise and CVSI Miami where he played a good guy gone bad there are a few others movies that I have seen and also let not forget Jim Clancey on tho ghost whisperer

    • luvprue1 says:

      Kevin Alejandro would be a great addition to the cast of L&O SUV. However if he is up for the part that might mean his time on True Blood is up.

  36. Gretchen says:

    Charlie Sheen is available.

  37. Hannah says:

    <3 David Conrad! No one could EVER replace Chris Meloni, but I am in love with David Conrad.

  38. Sivat says:

    What the HELL?! Kevin Alejandro?! I guess Jesus isn’t long for this world in True Blood then! DAMMIT!!!!!! I love him with Lafayette!!!

    • CJ says:

      If Kevin Alejandro were to be selected, it might not impact his working on True Blood. I think he did double duty when he was also on Southland.

  39. Brynna says:

    The only thing I miss about Ghost Whisperer is David Conrad. I’d watch SVU just have him back.

  40. OneandonlyMELONI says:

    I hope whoever they get has another job in the wings cause SVU is going to tank without Meloni. NO one can replace him and once Mariska lightens her load after the 13th episode, SVU is dead. RIP old friend.

  41. Ella says:

    Got to tell you, I would enjoy seeing Danny Pino…he was great in Cold Case! Plus, he is believeable as a detective in SVU.

    As much as I would like to see Meloni stay, Pino would make it palatable

  42. Laura says:

    Chris Meloni is irreplaceable. So don’t try to replace him because you will fail. I also wanted Fin to take his place but Ice doesn’t want to be promoted to lead role due to the hours apparently. So give us back Casey Novak and Alex Cabot and save the show before the entire Law and Order franchise collapses around your ankles, Mr. Wolf.

  43. Penny says:

    I’m so happy Meloni won’t be back. Any of these men will be a step up. And yes, Meloni is very replaceable.

  44. Amy says:

    The show’s spark will be gone without Meloni — for my money, L&O:SVU is the single worst offender in terms of stinging ‘shippers along but never giving them anything, and the fans won’t forgive. That said, Kevin Alejandro’s a terrific, charismatic actor overdue for breaking through. I’d like to see him get the part. (I’d have liked to see Olivia get a female partner even more, though.)

  45. solo1861 says:

    I can’t say I’m thrilled by any of them. But I guess I would choose Michael Raymond-James or Kevin Alejandro.

  46. Karen says:

    If Chris really isn’t coming back, then they at least need a man as mature as him. All of these men are good, but not mature enough for this role.
    I say Jimmy Smits, or a woman, Holly Hunter.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I have only seen two of the actors: Alejandro and Raymond-James. I would have liked to seen someone a bit older: like Lee Tergeson (who played Meloni’s lover Tobias on Oz years ago).

  47. Ilana. says:

    Danny Pino. Loved him on Cold Case. Only thing is, is if he gets cast im gonna be calling him Scotty.

  48. Sarah F says:

    Kevin Alejandro is a damn fine actor and makes me literally giddy to watch

  49. Carol says:

    Either Kevin Alejandro or David Conrad would work. But I’ll still miss Christopher Meloni.

  50. Melissa says:

    OMG! Kevin Alejandro would be awesome! He was FREAKING AMAZING in Southland and I was devastated to see him leave that show. I love him on True Blood as Jesus too, so that would be my only reason why I wouldn’t want him to be cast in SVU. But, I do think he would be an excellent addition to the cast. David Conrad and Danny Pino would also be good. Still as much as I like these three, I’m not sure if anyone can ever replace Chris Meloni.

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