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

Get More: News, TCA Press Tour

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.”

Comments (24)


    Comment by Michael – January 6, 2012 10:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Finally! I’m a fan of harry’s so I’m excited about this plus Olivia needs someone.

    Comment by Lorie – January 6, 2012 10:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • YES!! I am SUPER excited for this! I was hoping she would get a love-interest and it makes it better that it’s Harry Connick Jr.!!

    Comment by Shelby – January 6, 2012 10:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What about Andre Braugher’s character!? What’s going to happen with that?

    Comment by Heather – January 6, 2012 10:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He’s just a lawyer, he only has two more episodes to appear in which is a good thing. I don’t like Ellis.. The writers never were going to have him and Olivia together which is a good thing. There was zero chemistry and they were just friends and nothing more.

      Comment by icy – January 6, 2012 10:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m kind of weary of SVU, but might watch for HCJ. It’s gotten very tired the last few seasons.

    Comment by Toto – January 6, 2012 10:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That’s great. I love Harry Connick, Jr. and SUV. Will make losing Stabler okay for a few episodes.

    Comment by Theresa – January 6, 2012 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love that Olivia is finally getting the guy! And Harry Connick, Jr. no less…awesome news!

    Comment by Linderella – January 6, 2012 11:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Any mention from Greenblatt about the new drama Dick Wolf is developing?

    Comment by Veronica – January 6, 2012 01:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Harry Connick Jr. He is not Stabler, but he will do.

    Comment by Jean – January 6, 2012 01:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ryan Seacrest to replace Matt Lauer? NBC are you insane? You think you’ve made bad decisions before on replacing Today show anchors? THis would be a catastrophe.

    Seacrest can barely read a teleprompter. You expect him to handle himself like a real journalist in interviewing world leaders? PUH-LEASE.

    There is tons of talent out there NBC if you’re looking for Lauer replacements. Pick someone with a brain and real skills and experience interviewing. Unless, of course, you plan to turn the TODAY show into a full, four-hour promotion machine a la late night talk shows.

    Comment by Jea – January 6, 2012 01:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Am a Loyol svu watcher I was kinda sad when stabler left bt Olivia can carry it alone she’s super awsum!

    Comment by vane – January 6, 2012 01:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • After waiting all that time for Stabler, I’m just not interested anymore.

    Comment by Hojana – January 6, 2012 03:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • As much as I wanted her and stabler together, it wasn’t going to happen. He wouldn’t leave his wife and kids. This new love interest might be better than what she’s had.

      Either way, Olivia needs love.

      Comment by icy – January 6, 2012 04:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by TheDude – January 6, 2012 03:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yessss! Im cheering GET SOME!!!!!!!! repeatedly!!! I love HCJ!!!!

    Comment by KB – January 6, 2012 04:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NBC is really on the ropes and probably is Greenblatt’s job as well. SVU is showing its age. The Firm better get off to a good start as well. Whitney is just awful, a dad to laugh when the word ” strong,” was used. That’s the biggest laugh that show has ever got from me.

    Comment by RjrtistBrittickjrBrittickjr – January 6, 2012 04:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I disagree, SVU is not showing it’s age.

      Comment by Icy – January 6, 2012 04:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think SVU has never been so good. Their stories are wonderful and Mariska Hargitay is more beautiful than ever.

    Comment by Anon – January 6, 2012 05:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So, yeah, Olivia is getting a love interest, that’s cool. But I just don’t know… the whole watching her kiss this new ADA guy is just a little… ugh, it just makes me hide my face. The show was just so Elliot and Olivia to me; it’s weird to see her trying to get close to someone else. And no, not a die-hard El/Liv shipper here – sorta knew that TPTB would never let them get together – but I guess I didn’t realize how much I didn’t want her with anyone else.

    The new season is pretty good, tho – really liking the new detectives and they’ve had some good, interesting cases this year. I’m sure I’ll just have to watch and see how Mariska’s chemistry is with HCJ…right now it’s looking a little forced, like their trying too hard to sell it and like they are trying uber hard to make us forget the awesome chemistry Mariska and Chris had together. Hm. A move that needs to be made, I guess, in order for the show to go on after Chris Meloni, but I’m just not quite convinced yet.

    Comment by T – January 6, 2012 08:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You can’t tell how the chemistry will be from this video clip or what will transpire. He’s character hasn’t been shown yet, no one has any idea on what chemistry they will have together.

      You can’t judge this based on this clip.

      Comment by icy – January 7, 2012 01:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SVU has had some of its strongest storylines over the past few seasons. The only thing about SVU, from the first episode, was Stabler’s extremely annoying family, which wasted at least ten minutes of any episode that they appeared in. I miss Stabler, but not his family. The biggest problem with SVU is that the show is too stark — no activity in the backgound, too much empty space, and the very noticeable absence of Tuney and Wong. Connick was a great choice, but Braugher is a far more interesting character.

    Regarding Lauer, he is a lightweight news reader who should never have had the job in the first place. He is not, and never will be a journalist. An excellent choice to replace him would be Harry Smith, who is already employed by NBC.

    Can someone please tell me who Ryan Seacrest is?

    Comment by Theuresa Maven – January 8, 2012 04:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • And another thing about SVU, the celebrities (mainly actors who are appearing on Broadway, or just finishing a play), are a distraction from the storylines, when the show should be focusing on plot. Why is Wolf killing off some of the show’s best minor characters like Sister Peg, Sonya, and the forensics expert in the Zebras episode? Perhaps they should bring Alana de la Garza as the new (permanent) prosecutor.

    If NBC is in such dire straits, why are its best shows on cable, and the trash being shown on the network? The programming just does not make any sense. Some of the series are so horrendous that any viewer with a modicum of intelligence can accurately predict which shows will tank just by reading a synopsis of the plot, case in point: The Playboy Club and Whitney.

    Comment by Theuresa Maven – January 8, 2012 05:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
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    Comment by Raphael – June 19, 2013 04:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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