Scoop: NBC Taps New Law & Order: SVU Boss

In the strongest indication yet that Law & Order: SVU will see a 13th year, I’m hearing NBC is finalizing a deal with Lights Out exec producer Warren Leight to succeed longtime boss Neal Baer as showrunner next season.

Although NBC has yet to formally renew the veteran procedural, Leight’s hiring suggests the Peacock is feeling very optimistic about the outcome of contract talks with series leads Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay. In fact, insiders tell me that a deal could be inked by week’s end.

Leight is hardly new to the L&O franchise. Prior FX’s Lights Out, he served five years as an exec producer on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He also spent a season at the helm of HBO’s In Treatment.

In November, Baer — who has been calling the shots at SVU for more than a decade — inked a three-year overall deal with CBS.