At the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Monday, Peacock boss Robert Greenblatt told TVLine that Meloni’s alter ego, Det. Stabler, would not be killed off when the show returns this fall.
So how will the actor’s departure be addressed on screen? “I think you should just watch and see,” he hedged, before adding, “It’s not a big shocking mystery.”
Greenblatt also addressed questions concerning Meloni’s leading lady Mariska Hargitay, whose Benson character is rumored to be taking on more of a supervisory role this season. “That remains to be seen,” he said. “That’s something we talked about, and I don’t know if that’s actually where it’s going to go in the latter half of the season yet. But that could happen.”
Regardless, Hargitay will in fact appear in every episode of SVU‘s 13th season, which will introduce new detectives played by Danny Pino (Cold Case) and Kelli Giddish (The Good Wife). “There maybe a day every couple of weeks that she’s not working,” he added, “but I don’t think you’ll notice [on screen].”