Law & Order Vet Dann Florek to Exit SVU

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Law & Order: SVU Dann FlorekThe Law & Order: SVU ranks continue to thin.

Dann Florek, who plays Captain Donald Cragen, is leaving the veteran NBC drama this season.

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The actor announced via Twitter that last Friday was his final day of filming after 15 seasons on the L&O spin-off. He originated the role on the flagship series.

Showrunner Warren Leight also marked Florek’s final episode on Twitter with a series of photos.

Earlier this season, Richard Belzer’s Sgt. John Munch retired, with the actor being downgraded from series regular status to recurring player.

Comments (49)

  • While this sucks, I’m glad they’re trying to remain realistic.

    Comment by Esaul – December 10, 2013 03:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They are trimming salary costs to retain Benson, while keeping the show cost effective to stay on the air.

      Comment by Patrick – December 10, 2013 03:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That isn’t why. Please do some research before speculating. NYPD has a mandatory retirement age which other articles have brought up. Both Munch and Cragen have hit that age. Belzer is still part of the show but to a lesser extent. Florek’s character is actually leaving the show because of his age. Sure they could keep him on but it’d take away from what NYPD actually does.

        Comment by Esaul – December 10, 2013 03:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Dude. It’s a tv show, not a documentary.

          Comment by MM – December 10, 2013 03:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I’m relaying what Leight’s talked about in interviews. This is from his mouth, not my own. That is the reason why Cragen and Munch have left SVU. Cragen said it in the show too which foreshadowed this.

            Comment by Esaul – December 10, 2013 03:25 PM PDT  
        • I think you’re both right. I agree that it’s important for television to remain at least somewhat realistic yet I think there’s also something to what Patrick has said. You’ve got to cut costs from somewhere to compensate for her consistent salary increases which is just insane at this point. Plus they would never admit that so not at all surprised by what they’ve said in interviews.

          Comment by wrstlgirl – December 10, 2013 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I don’t think either alone is the full story nor do they try for realism. MH while talented is overpaid and she is not the main character, obviously a original member and veteran but the cast is ensemble.

            Comment by yes – December 10, 2013 04:23 PM PDT  
          • The day Hargitay leaves the show, it will probably be over. Many of us were reluctant to continue to watch after Meloni left, but our loyalty for MH and her great work kept us watching.

            Why is people surprised when actors get salary increases? Is not like they don’t deserve it! Fans watch a specific show because of them, and sure the good stories.

            Plus, I would like to point out 2 things:

            1 the one with an insane salary on TV is Sofia Vergara, way more than any other. Good for her.

            2. The networks don’t lose any money when the pay the actors more, they are constantly increasing the cost to place a commercial on the good shows, with better ratings, that is why people are so invested in Ratings … the more people watching, the more the network charges per second!

            So, it’s only far when they get paid more.

            An actor leaving is usually becuase of cheap network negotiators, or the writers or producers decided to cut them off, or the actor’s decision. Bottom line, we don’t really know why Dan Florek is leaving, but many of us will miss him.

            Comment by LizM – December 10, 2013 08:59 PM PDT  
        • Detectives don’t stay in SVU as long as benson has. Most of them leave within 4 yrs of being in that dept and that is based on a documentary done on the NYPD a few yrs ago so it’s not realistic for. Benson to still be there

          Comment by Sparky – December 11, 2013 05:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Well let’s look at the keyword you used here to distinguish what you said from the show: most. And it was early on in the show’s history that they addressed that. It was a shrink who talked to Stabler about how most people don’t stay in SVU that long. So SVU has already acknowledged this.

            Comment by Esaul – December 11, 2013 06:17 AM PDT  
          • I think Olivias stories are all played out. I like the newer squad members the best & their stories are far more interesting to me. Not the same ole same ole of Olivia in peril but always ok, just shook up, over & over.

            Sorry to you Olivia lovers. Not saying she should be harmed, just needs some new storylines.

            Comment by Jeri – December 11, 2013 12:18 PM PDT  
    • Dann florek has been, in my opinion, the best and most realistic (and best actor) Police Captain on any show. I didn’t think I’d watch when Meloni left but Danny Pino is great and I don’t miss Stabler. Munch was thinning out so it was a gentle good-bye

      No Captain – bye bye SVU

      Comment by gracie – December 23, 2013 01:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I just wanted to say I absolutely love your comment.

        Comment by Esaul – December 23, 2013 02:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So i’m guessing Olivia will be leading the SVU squad?

    The only other people i would want are Alferd Molina from LOLA or Eames from LOCI, and Van Bueren from the Original

    Comment by Kenny – December 10, 2013 03:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I thought it was common knowledge that the plan when bringing in Amaro and Rollins in was to transition to them being the main detectives and Benson the captain. Now everybody acts shocked that it’s happening.

      Comment by Jason Castleman (@lethargicj) – December 10, 2013 03:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The original plan was actually to bring in Amaro and Rollins to help transition Hargitay out. Initially she was supposed to be in for half the season last year.

        Comment by Esaul – December 10, 2013 03:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I think that was just a rumor. Hargitay never had plans on leaving. Don’t go spreading rumors.

          Comment by Nancy – December 10, 2013 04:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Benson just was promoted to sergeant. She has a way to go before she makes the rank of captain — including two more civil service exams, then a promotion list.

        Comment by Kathy A – January 22, 2014 03:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She can’t. She is only a Sargeant like Munch. She can fill in now and then but she can’t take over completely. It will be several years before that happens. I am sure they will bring in someone to take over. Probably the guy who filled in the last time when Cragen was in jail in season 14.

      Comment by Nancy – December 10, 2013 04:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • If you watch the show you would have seem the most recent episode that she took the Captain’s exam and passes. She is being promoted.

        Comment by Catherine C – December 10, 2013 05:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • She just took the sergeant’s exam and passed. She was only a detective.

          Comment by Meg – December 10, 2013 06:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I vote for Eames!

      Comment by Annie – December 10, 2013 05:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Eames would be perfect!

      Comment by thestormwithin (@thestormwithin) – December 10, 2013 08:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They should have Munch come in as the new Captain!

    Comment by Moriarty's pocket protector – December 10, 2013 03:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Munch retired due to age restrictions. He’s working as in investigator in the DA’s office.

      Comment by Kathy A – January 22, 2014 03:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Everyone who watches the show knows this already. He said in an episode he would turn 65 in May and needs to retire.

    Which is BS to me. We don’t have a 65 retirement age for judges.

    Comment by David4 – December 10, 2013 03:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Judges aren’t actively running around NYC like cops do.

      Comment by Esaul – December 10, 2013 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Cool.

    Comment by Michael Sacal – December 10, 2013 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No big shocker with this exit as Cragen did say to Olivia at the start of the season he was up for mandatory retirement in 6 months.

    But that’s not to say I won’t miss Cragen or Dann Florek on the show because I will.

    Comment by Michelle – December 10, 2013 04:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope he comes back from time to time as Warren has said in interviews. Plus like it or not Mariska has been on the show 15 years. She deserves a higher paycheck. But MH has already said she does not stay for the money. She could probably quit tomorrow and be set for life. The show has done just fine without Elliot and while I miss Munch, he was not really in the show all that much the last few seasons. Cragen has also been missing some the last few years. Nothing stays the same. The original law and order had more cast changes then this show has had and they did just fine. People will adjust.

    Comment by Nancy – December 10, 2013 04:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Could this season’s SVU be its last? One word: RUMOR.

    Comment by Tran 2.0 – December 10, 2013 04:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You can’t blame NBC/Universal for trying to: 1) contain costs on this aging show; 2) bring in new blood (younger actors to draw in a new audience); 3) keep churning out product since it does exception well in syndication. (The ratings are OK on NBC, but the real value is syndication.)

    Comment by DenverDean – December 10, 2013 04:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Aw, I really like Dann Florek. I hope He either has something else lined up or plans to retire in style!

    Comment by Sheila – December 10, 2013 06:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I do like Dann Florek as an actor—but lets be honest—Cragen was quite possibly the most powerless boss in the history of police. I used to think it funny way back in the Stabler days how many times Cragen would yell at Elliott “DO NOT DO THIS OR I WILL HAVE YOUR BADGE!!!” only later to let him do exactly that with no repercussions.

    None of his underlings ever heeded his threats or his orders, LOL.

    Comment by Pat D. – December 10, 2013 09:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Exactly! And there are times HE would take the blame. He would take a 2 week vacation to make up for what his detectives had done. He did it with Rollins when IAB found out about her gambling he took a 2 week vacation as penance for her screw up! He has let them get away with so much .That is why when the replacement came in after Cragen was put in jail they all revolted because they were just used to being able to get away with whatever. That is why they are all going to have a real hard time with whomever his replacement will be. Liv is only a Sargeant so she can only take over for a short time.

      Comment by Nancy – January 2, 2014 04:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • JK Simmons for Cragen’s replacement! Too soon?

    Comment by Whitney – December 10, 2013 11:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • When I first saw the very first show of SVU just to get a feel for it to see if I would watch it seeing that I was a Law & Order fan, I was not sure about Dan Florek as one of the main cast members. Any previous shows that I had seen him in seemed to cast him as a character actor and not a main one. Over the years of watching SVU, I have come to love him as Captain Cragen and I am glad that he stayed for 15 seasons. So with that, thank you Dan for a job well done. You will be missed by this avid fan of SVU!

    Comment by Pat – December 11, 2013 02:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I too will miss Cragen. While I like MH as a actress and person I think the character of Olivia is getting on my nerves. She has become very bitter and very judgemental. I think the show has a great ensemble of actors. The addition of Amauro and Rollings has been great but I really wish Ice Ts Finn would have a larger role. I think he is great and deserves more credit for the shows popularity.

    Comment by timetogo – December 11, 2013 02:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No, Olivia is not bitter or critical. It is what it always was: a great detective. I just think she has just appeared. I like Rollins but she will never be an Olivia Benson. Olivia is unique and matchless. The day I see more Mariska leaving SVU.

      Comment by Alex – December 11, 2013 04:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes. I agree. He does need more screen time.

      Comment by Ron Gutt – January 16, 2014 06:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Fin and Munch were criminally under-used in the past few seasons. They had fantastic on-screen chemistry as partners, which the writers broke up, leaving Munch behind in the office, sending him to the Cold Case squad, or even writing him completely out of episodes.

      Comment by Kathy A – January 22, 2014 03:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh this would be perfect timing… he could either translate his character to NCIS:NO as an assistant director (I know, can’t happen ’cause of different network… jus sayin’) or just come into another new role as office director, a la Hetty!

    Comment by Marty – December 11, 2013 04:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I know they’re trying to be realistic with the mandatory retirement thing and all, but this is one case where’d I say “screw realism, we’re keeping Cragen around.” I’m very, very sad to lose him.

    Comment by Zoe – January 2, 2014 10:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Maybe the actor wants to leave? We don’t know. But Warren said that Cragen like Munch will be around from time to time He is friends with Olivia and a mentor to Rollins. So he won’t disappear.

      Comment by Nancy – January 2, 2014 04:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dan florek was great i will miss him greatly on the show Mh is a great chsractet. Brst detective characer on tv. She dtesses like a real detective unlike other shows where its about sexiness. Great role model for women. Luv this show but really miss law and order.

    Comment by erlinda martinrz – January 16, 2014 06:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Was Dann Florek in the farmers insurance commercial

    Comment by Rose – March 19, 2014 06:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You mean the ‘instructor’ at the insurance college? That’s not Florek, but it -is- an actor who was in the first season of SVU, playing a psychiatrist.

      Comment by Kathy A – March 20, 2014 03:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Will DEFINATELY miss damn Florek. Just NOW getting over no Elliot and no munch but do agree than fin needs more of a role. The interaction between fin and munch was awesome as munch is a great “dry”comedian anyway and fin picked it right up ! Great tv. Job well done captain we will miss you. Surveys say more peep watch reruns than new SVU can this be true?

    Comment by Joyce – April 15, 2014 03:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So so sorry. Meant Dann Florek. No disrespect intended

    Comment by Joyce – April 15, 2014 03:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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