Law & Order: SVU Stars, Familiar and New, Preview the 'Different' Season Ahead

No two ways about it: Law & Order: SVU is going to look really different when it returns this fall. With the exit of series vet Christopher Meloni and the addition of both Danny Pino (Cold Case) and Kelli Giddish (The Good Wife), the 13th season of the NBC procedural had the potential of being nearly unrecognizable. But that’s not necessarily the case — nor is said change a bad thing.

Returning fan fave Diane Neal puts it best in SVU‘s new promo, saying, “Just stay tuned, because it’s going to be really, really good!” And after watching the preview (which you can check out below), we think you’ll feel the same.

Law & Order: SVU Snags Andre Braugher… as a Love Interest For Benson?

The lengthy clip features intros to the aforementioned “new kids” on the cop block, Detectives Nick Amaro and Amanda Rollin, as well as insights from series regulars about Meloni’s surprise exit.

“It’s been different this year,” Hargitay offers. Remarks Neal, “It’s strange without [Meloni], but Mariska is beyond capable of carrying the show.” SVU vet Stephanie March, Law & Order alum Linus Roache, Ice-T, and Richard Belzer also appear.

Exclusive First Look: Grey’s Anatomy Alum T.R. Knight on Law & Order: SVU

Check out the preview below, and catch the full season premiere Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 10/9c.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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48 Comments
  1. Ana says:

    Yeay! So excited about Linus. Great to see him again. The hotness factor has shot up this season.

  2. Reese says:

    Change can be a good thing. The original Law and Order had several different cast changes over the years and the show was still went on. This could turn out to be SVU’s best season yet.

  3. Danielle H. says:

    I can see this taking the show to a new place, a fresh place. BUT WHY DOES MUNCH ONLY GET ONE SENTENCE? FFS, hiding the gem of Munch is beyond sad. I just don’t think I’m going to like Kelli at all.

  4. kevin says:

    Jerry Bruckheimer isn’t happy about that. Great line from Ice-T “if the ship sunk, I’ll leave” LOL.

  5. Deena says:

    I actually might check it out, I vowed I’d would never watch if Benson or Stabler left, but I’ll give it a shot especially since they bring ADA’s Cabot and Novack back. Kick ass. Personally, I would have gone with a different male lead other than Pinto, although I did like him on Cold Case, he just looks out of place on SVU. Love Kelli Giddish, but I would have picked different character names for the two newbies.

  6. Todd says:

    I gave up on the show a few years back because the focus always seemed to be Stabler and Benson with everyone else just background noise. The writing got bad, too.

    This show has desperately needed an infusion of new blood and some kind of shakeup for years.

    The show may actually be watchable again.

  7. robinepowell says:

    Why advertise something I can’t watch? If you live outside the U.S., forget watching any promos for shows.

  8. George says:

    I am a lover of quality crime Drama like Justified, Southland, and The Closer but I truly detest crime procedural format for their standard formula that repackages and resells the same product. Crime procedurals are not really distinct any more. They have very similar character chunk development and new territory is rarely explored. Subject barely explore with any depth. I been following all the buzz around the new season of Law and Order: SVU. It seems to me that this whole thing is a facade. Sure it will probably be different show but I am sure the writers are going for cliche after cliche and taking the easy way out.

  9. Alejandra says:

    Ehh. I don’t think this season is going to be all that great, but I’m hoping for the best. Neal and March returning is great. But I need Belzer on the show more. I miss him!

  10. Alicia says:

    Ugh, sucks so bad that Stabler is gone (and with a crappy non-exit), but I love Alex and Casey, and the new actress was good on TGW + Chase, so I’ll have to give it a shot.

  11. KB says:

    Two quotes come to mind, “Make it Work!”- Tim Gunn, and “Dont *uck it up!”- RuPaul.

    This season better be kick ass! I cant handle anymore changes this year.

  12. Alex says:

    Diane looks smokin in that green dress!

  13. Dianne says:

    I think it sucks stabler is gone. I love ice t and mariska hargitay but the dynamic of the show has always been Benson and Stabler. Fans wont get what they wanted. Pino can never replace Meloni. Hes irreplacable. The show wont last.

  14. DL says:

    I’m sad that Chris Meloni is gone, but I’m interested in what Pino and Giddish will bring to the table. Far above and beyond that, though, I will be eagerly tuning in for the returns of Stephanie March, Diane Neal, and Linus Roache. All they need to do now is bring back Alana de la Garza’s character from LA!

  15. JohnDoe says:

    I just wish they would get writers that were as good as the ones on the original Law and Order. The first 10 years of the original were great, and it was about as realistic of a cop show you can get, besides maybe The Wire.

    • JaneDoe says:

      Warren Leight hired an entirely new writing team this season. You have no idea how great they are and what abilities they have. For all you know they could turn out to be even better than the mothership writers. Don’t judge before you’ve seen the new season.

  16. Anon says:

    I’m loving this new SVU. And as my Olivia is on the scene with this beautiful and talented Mariska Hargitay, I’m seeing. I love Mariska. In addition to beautiful she is a great actress and a person of great character and generous.

  17. Ace says:

    I’d love for Alana de la Garza to cameo, just so we could see what happened with Mike and Connie after the mothership ended.

  18. LDSK says:

    I stopped watching this show 3 years ago when the writing turned to s**t. I didn’t think I would ever watch again but this new season has got me excited. I know a lot of fans are upset that Chris is gone and some will even stop watching but I think NBC will be surprised by the number of former watchers that actually tune back in to the show. I know I will.

  19. Jeff says:

    WOW! So many sexy women on one show. Any one of them would be worth tuning in for but having all four…I know what I’ll be watching Wednesday nights at 10:00.

  20. Shaina says:

    It freakin sucks that meloni is leaving :( this could turn out to be a really good season or one of the worst ones. Guess we will see the 21st.

  21. Dee says:

    I hope it gets canceled this season or the new actors get replaced. Chris not being there is just so disappointing. These new people seem to have the personalities of dish rags.

    • Laura says:

      I understand your disappointment but Danni Pinto is a great actor, and his Work on Cold Case was incredible, and Kelly Giddish is a great addition to the crew, so I think you may miss out if you don’t tune in. I think this new season may just be a pleasant surprise for you. The network couldn’t reach a financial agreement with Chris and that’s unfortunate because I loved his work on the show. He made the best decision for himself to leave, and who could blame him. He was reliable fixture on the show for 12 seasons, but he wasn’t really recognized for that work when award season came around. I think had he’d been nominated for a Prime time Emmy or golden globe award he would have had room to negotiate more money. Awards equal pay raise it’s a bargaining chip actors use to increase their pay. That’s way Mariska is still on the show.

    • Dav says:

      It’s kind of hard to get a good read on actors based on three seconds of screen time in a preview. At least watch one actual episode before you start trashing them.

    • beckie b says:

      i agree with DEE. that is a funny comparison to a dish rag. so true but so sad about this great show.

  22. Gary says:

    Just cancel the show already. Stick a fork in it….it’s done!

    With Hargitay wanting to work less and no Meloni, this show is gonna SUCK!

    I’m no longer remotely interested in watching. It’ll be just one last crappy season to finish the series.

    Stupid NBC…just stupid stupid suits calling the shots. You’ve destroyed the ONLY Law & Order show I’ll ever watch.

    • Keith says:

      You don’t have to watch it so why does it matter to you if it is on or not? Kelli Giddish was really good in Chase.What is disappointing is that Meloni was making millions of dollars and that wasn’t enough for him.

    • icy says:

      You don’t know anything, keep an open mind this season could be really good. So what that Meloni left, doesn’t mean the show is done with. So negetive. At least give it a chance, the season hasn’t even begun..

  23. Gary says:

    Ughhh, I can already see they’re going to try to “create” some sort of romantic thing between Benson and Pino’s character. The guy looks like he’s 12 years old next to Mariska!

    • Bobbie says:

      Actually, TVLine has an article about the show bringing in Andre Braugher as a possible romantic interest for Benson. But hey, way to make crazy assumptions about something that you haven’t even seen yet. Good job.

    • Amiee says:

      Considering that Mariska has expressed interest in less screen time (and will probably be gone after this year) I think it’s doubtful. If they even try to “create some sort of romantic thing” between characters it is likely it will be between the two new leads (or possibly between Pino and Casey or Alex.)

  24. Laura says:

    I was a fan of Cold Case it was one of my all time favorite shows, and I really enjoyed Chase, and so while Maloni will be missed, I’m excited about the direction and future of the show. After 12 seasons Law & Order SVU is a institution. Very solid writing, directing, and acting, with a combination like that what’s to fear.

  25. jennrae says:

    What about Dann Florek? We saw very little of the captain last year.

  26. Vigs says:

    I don’t wish to disagree with Ice-T, but I’m pretty sure Kathryn Morris had *something* to do with COLD CASE. I don’t think Pino held the show together “by himself.”
    I’m a longtime fan of SVU, and have always felt Meloni was shorted in awards because of the overwhelming number of quality male actors on TV each year, versus the few good female drama roles. I’m disappointed that he is gone, and know it won’t be the same show. Now I just have to watch a few eps to find out if I was watching it for the ensemble or for the Stabler/Benson aspect. Bring it!

    • Mel says:

      LOL! I was thinking the same thing Vigs. Nothing against Pino but I’m fairly certain that Kathryn Morris was the star of Cold Case. Pino was good though. He wouldn’t have been my first choice for SVU but with the different dynamic I think he can make it work. I will be interested to see how they all work together.

  27. Ethel says:

    Meloni might be gone but the hotness factor just increased 10fold with Linus and Danny. Love me some Linus Roache. Thought he was great on the mothership. We can still have our Stabler in reruns for the next 100 years!!

  28. Alex says:

    Wish they would give an explanation for George leaving like they’re going to do for Stabler.

  29. November says:

    I’m so excited to see Casey and Alex again! Can’t wait for the new season to air!

  30. Alex S. says:

    This looks great and it looks as if they haven’t lost a step. In fact, it actually looks really GREAT. Hey Alicia, couldn’t agree with you more regarding Kelli. She’s phenomenally talented and in spite of having the terrible misfortune of being on Past Life and Chase, she showed how talented she was. Hopefully the writers of SVU will really write for her thus allowing her even better opportunities to show her full range of talents. Looking forward to the premiere on September 21st.

  31. Mihan says:

    Just watched it and its awful! The newbies are horrible and stablers is missed! And that crappy hd-ish filming style is really bad. I could see every pore on their faces and the tons of concealer under Olivia’s eyes. Please pay Meloni what ever it takes to get him back and get rid of those damn hd camera! SVU use to be my fav. Oh! And was is just me or did the new chic start the show with a southern accent and then switched to a jersey accent half way through! WTH

  32. lynette says:

    i saw the new svu i didn’t like it one bit it was miss Christopher Meloni the show was not the same how can u take someone thats been on the show from the begain and take him fall he made the show the only good thing about the show yesturday was that they brought back ADA’s Cabot and Novack

  33. Legal Eagle says:

    Having watched this season’s premier, I think Dick Wolf is thinking that if he just throws enough actors on the screen at any given time, that perhaps us long-time SVU fans will forget about Meloni’s exit. Not going to happen. Wolf & his idiocy in allowing Christopher Meloni to exit the show aside, I have very mixed emotions about this latest season.

    While I was happy to see Linus Roache reprise his Michael Cutter role and gratified by the return of March’s ADA Alex Cabot, I cannot help but be appalled by other changes. My first extremely large issue is with Kelli Giddish. Notwithstanding the fact that this individual (I cannot utilize the word ‘actress’ to describe her) could not act her way out of a paper bag on ANY show, is the fact that she seems to still be deciding exactly what character she is attempting to portray. Is she an over-eager recent Brooklyn recruit & graduate set to follow in her mentor, Olivia Benson’s, footsteps or is she a belle and debutante completely out of her depth with a granny complex? If uncertain where I am coming from, I urge fellow fans to re-visit her parts in the 1st episode and listen to her Southern drawl that comes and goes willy nilly. Not only is it out of place and annoying, but it downright smacks of Kyra Sedgwick’s character on her show, “The Closer”. Considering that “L&O: SVU” is part of NBCUniversal (Universal) and “The Closer” was created by Warner Brothers (Time Warner/Turner Entertainment), I’m thinking that this would not be a happy comparison and something that Wolf would want to have nipped in the bud promptly. If that means killing off Giddish’s character so early in the season, I am completely satisfied with that outcome!

    I’m also taking issue with the recent rumor regarding Andre Braugher playing a possible Benson love interest on the show. WTF?! Not only do I find this man unattractive, but I believe Olivia Benson would also be unimpressed. I mean, this man looks like he could pass for 70. I know, I know. Before you start with me, I realize that in real life, there is only a 2 year difference between him and Mariska Hargitay, but seriously, the man looks old as a**. Would it hurt if just once Benson’s love interest was played by someone youthful but dignified, who may not be hot as hell, but could still turn a few heads?! Beyond that is the whole Braugher-Frank Pembleton mess. I cannot believe that Braugher reprising his role of Frank Pembleton would ever fly. Not only did he resign on Homicide, but Mary was his one and only true love and he had a daughter named Olivia. A little creepy to now have him play a love interest for Olivia Benson. Add in him playing opposite Belzer’s Munch on another show and I’m wondering if SVU has not only jumped the shark, but is now in dueling parallel realities.

  34. anonymous says:

    As long as Mariska Hargitay is on; I’ll always be a loya fan!!

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