Harry Connick Jr. Joins SVU as Love Interest for Mariska Hargitay, and Other Updates From NBC

Law & Order: SVU is heating up Olivia Benson’s love life.

At the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena early Friday, NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt announced that actor-singer Harry Connick Jr. is joining the cast for a four-episode arc as an assistant DA and love interest for Mariska Hargitay’s lovelorn detective.

And we do mean love interest. Greenblatt introduced a sexually-charged clip (embedded below!) that showed Connick and Hargitay locking lips in a scene from an upcoming episode, after she invited him for a, ahem, night cap.

Additionally, in a pre-taped piece Hargitay insisted that if SVU gets renewed for another season she will be back. “I can’t leave,” she said. “I’m having too much fun!”

Other highlights from Friday’s NBC exec session:

* Greenblatt acknowledged that the Peacock had “a really bad fall — worse than I hoped for.”

* Talk of Ryan Seacrest replacing Matt Lauer at the Today show is “premature,” insisted Greenblatt. “It is our hope and belief that Matt will stay at the end of his contract.”

* “Smash is going to be very important to us,” Greenblatt said of the much-hyped, Broadway-themed musical drama. “I don’t believe it’s a ‘make or break’ kind of a show for us. We really are excited for what it could do. Hopefully the synergy of the night [with Smash leading out of The Voice] will invigorate both shows. We do think it’s special, that it will break through the clutter.”

* Community has not been canceled. That’s the good news. The bad news is that no decision has been made about a return date or a Season 4 renewal. For more on that, click here.

* Greenblatt said next week’s episode of Whitney is “really strong.” (We’ll be the judge of that.)

* Greenblatt believes Howard Stern is “going to be a great job” on America’s Got Talent. “He takes it very seriously. I don’t think he has any plans to big ‘shock jock judge.’ [But] he’s a big personality.”