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.



Comments (145)

  • Can I vote for Christopher Meloni?

    Comment by Bert – June 20, 2011 05:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Word!

      Comment by Tiva4Life – June 20, 2011 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s not like these polls have any sway with what will actually happen.

      Comment by T – June 20, 2011 06:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Well of course not. This isn’t for the network…this is TVLine wondering who the readers would prefer.

        Comment by CJ – June 21, 2011 01:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Kevin Alejandro for sure is the BEST actor!!!!

          Comment by Susanne Kahle – June 21, 2011 04:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Amen to that, my friend.

      If they want to hire one of these pretty boys so women can get all googly eyed, then go for it, but it doesn’t matter, the show is on its final legs.

      Comment by JohnDoe – June 20, 2011 06:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You obviously have no clue who these guys are.2 through 5 are damn good actors.No pretty boys there.

        Comment by NickC – June 20, 2011 07:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Being pretty should not be an accusation. Attractiveness doesn’t cancel out talent. There are many people who fit the typical idea of beauty who are AMAZING actors, and many ‘nontraditional’ beauties with no acting chops to speak of. Besides, there are a LOT of people who think Christopher Meloni is the HOTTEST thing since sliced bread, and no one ever accused him of being hired purely for eye candy.

        Comment by MJ – June 20, 2011 11:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree. Nobody can replace him.

      Comment by Mel – June 21, 2011 08:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • to replace mariska hargitay i would say Tracy Pollan.

      Comment by daniel – June 21, 2011 03:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Danny or Kevin please

    Comment by Dina – June 20, 2011 05:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dany Pino¡

    Comment by Cass – June 20, 2011 05:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I say they should have gone after Michael Chichlis.

    Comment by Syvyn11 – June 20, 2011 05:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I would so be behind this! (Or Annie Wersching, but that’s neither here nor there.)

      Comment by Elizabeth – June 20, 2011 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by David – June 20, 2011 09:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Casey – June 20, 2011 05:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreeeeeeed!!!

      Comment by Heather – June 20, 2011 08:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I liked Micheal Raymond-James on TrueBlood too, but he was a standout on Terriers! I miss that show something fierce and him landing on SVU would soften the blow.

      Comment by Nicotine – June 20, 2011 08:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Terriers was a great show. I vote for MRJ.

        Comment by me – June 21, 2011 08:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Danny pino

    Comment by Sandra – June 20, 2011 05:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • None of the above! No one can replace Meloni. Why bother trying?

    Comment by KFT – June 20, 2011 06:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Lena120 – June 20, 2011 06:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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!

      Comment by Jeff – June 20, 2011 06:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I know, that’s why I mentioned it. They’ve done this type of casting on all of their Law & Orders from what I’ve seen.

        Comment by Lena120 – June 20, 2011 08:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It’s Casey NOVAK not Donovan.

        Comment by Sam – June 21, 2011 12:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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

      Comment by kimmie – June 20, 2011 08:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • 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.

        Comment by CandaceTX – June 21, 2011 08:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I agree! He’s earned it and I find him oddly charming…

          Comment by MamaLarson3 – June 21, 2011 12:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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?

      Comment by jennrae – June 21, 2011 09:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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*

    Comment by Concerned SVU Fan ;) – June 20, 2011 06:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Deena – June 21, 2011 09:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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…)

      Comment by Suncatcher – June 21, 2011 02:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by DL – June 20, 2011 06:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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!

      Comment by Chatty – June 20, 2011 06:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • how about just promote Fin or Munch?

    Comment by allykat – June 20, 2011 06:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Amen.

      Comment by DJ Rogue – June 20, 2011 06:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Because Ice T isn’t a good enough to carry the show. And Belzer is getting a little too old to do the physical part of detective work. They are both better suited to a supporting role.

      Comment by HGFM – June 21, 2011 08:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • After a stellar performance on “Terriers,” I say Michael Raymond-James.

    Comment by Inigo – June 20, 2011 06:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No one can replace Chris Meloni. Game over.

    Comment by Caroline – June 20, 2011 06:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Completely agree!!

      Comment by Janna – June 20, 2011 06:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Timothy McNeil – June 20, 2011 06:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Nicole – June 21, 2011 08:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Danny Pino. Oh my, he is beautiful. And he can be a hardass like Stabler was. Perfect!

    Comment by lj – June 20, 2011 06:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Jeff – June 20, 2011 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by KDW – June 20, 2011 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!!

    Comment by mykey716 – June 20, 2011 06:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Susan – June 20, 2011 06:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Nicole – June 20, 2011 06:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by MJ – June 20, 2011 11:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I think most people are watching your version of SVU, MJ :) Stabler was on of my favorite characters on TV.

        Comment by Deena – June 21, 2011 09:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Huh? This is a joke. Right?

      Comment by Suncatcher – June 21, 2011 03:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • None of the above……there is no replacing Chris!

    Comment by V – June 20, 2011 06:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Roddric – June 20, 2011 06:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I vote for none of them ! Need to bring Corey Stoll from LOLA to the fold !! Love me some T.J. :)

    Comment by Kathy – June 20, 2011 06:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Good call, Kathy! He really was the standout on that show.

      Comment by Chatty – June 20, 2011 06:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Ok, I change my mind. THIS is what they should do. That guy has masculinity to spare (like Meloni) and I think he’d be a good foil for Olivia.

        Comment by mamaLarson3 – June 21, 2011 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wentworth miller should be in the running

    Comment by nick – June 20, 2011 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by gina – June 20, 2011 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Susan – June 20, 2011 06:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kevin Alejandro! He deserves to be on a show where he’s a main character and doesn’t get killed.

    Comment by Kayleigh Butler – June 20, 2011 06:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Maria – June 20, 2011 06:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by D.smiih – June 20, 2011 06:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • None with Mariska and Chris gone SVU is dead to me

    Comment by steve – June 20, 2011 06:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Steve – June 20, 2011 06:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It would’ve been Dominic West who I’m adore him from THE WIRE should have been one of the finalists to replace Meloni.

    Comment by Kevin – June 20, 2011 06:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Maria – June 20, 2011 07:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Sam – June 21, 2011 12:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wentworth Miller. he was great when he guest starred.

    Comment by Laura Anne – June 20, 2011 07:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed!!

      Comment by Abby – June 20, 2011 07:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Totally agree! I just re-watched that ep and he did awesome!!!!

      Comment by Beth – June 21, 2011 08:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The detective Miller played as a guest star would not work will at SVU. He was too much of a jerk. And he had zero chemistry with the rest of the cast.

      Comment by HGFM – June 21, 2011 08:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Abby – June 20, 2011 07:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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

      Comment by waltraud warwick – June 23, 2011 04:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by luvprue1 – August 31, 2011 11:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Charlie Sheen is available.

    Comment by Gretchen – June 20, 2011 07:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • <3 David Conrad! No one could EVER replace Chris Meloni, but I am in love with David Conrad.

    Comment by Hannah – June 20, 2011 07:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What the HELL?! Kevin Alejandro?! I guess Jesus isn’t long for this world in True Blood then! DAMMIT!!!!!! I love him with Lafayette!!!

    Comment by Sivat – June 20, 2011 07:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by CJ – June 21, 2011 01:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The only thing I miss about Ghost Whisperer is David Conrad. I’d watch SVU just have him back.

    Comment by Brynna – June 20, 2011 07:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by OneandonlyMELONI – June 20, 2011 07:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by Ella – June 20, 2011 07:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Laura – June 20, 2011 07:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so happy Meloni won’t be back. Any of these men will be a step up. And yes, Meloni is very replaceable.

    Comment by Penny – June 20, 2011 07:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.)

    Comment by Amy – June 20, 2011 08:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t say I’m thrilled by any of them. But I guess I would choose Michael Raymond-James or Kevin Alejandro.

    Comment by solo1861 – June 20, 2011 08:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Karen – June 20, 2011 08:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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).

      Comment by Snsetblaze – June 20, 2011 10:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Danny Pino. Loved him on Cold Case. Only thing is, is if he gets cast im gonna be calling him Scotty.

    Comment by Ilana. – June 20, 2011 09:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kevin Alejandro is a damn fine actor and makes me literally giddy to watch

    Comment by Sarah F – June 20, 2011 09:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Either Kevin Alejandro or David Conrad would work. But I’ll still miss Christopher Meloni.

    Comment by Carol – June 20, 2011 09:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Melissa – June 20, 2011 09:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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