Law & Order: SVU Finale Shocker: [Spoiler] Not Returning for Season 17

Danny Pino Leaving Law & Order: SVU

The following story contains spoilers about Wednesday’s Law & Order: SVU finale, so hit the nearest exit if the episode is still sitting on your DVR.

When Law & Order: SVU kicks off Season 17 this fall, it will be down an officer.

In Wednesday’s finale, a near-death experience prompted Det. Nick Amaro to make a major life change: he informed Olivia that he was leaving the NYPD and relocating to the West Coast to be near his family. And the decision will stick, as TVLine has confirmed that his portrayer, Danny Pino, will not be returning to the show next season.

“It seemed to be, in a strange way, right for Amaro to start fresh somewhere else,” showrunner Warren Leight told TVGuide.com. “It’s not to say any of us enjoys it, but it seems like that’s where the story was going and I think all of the actors felt like the exit was honored.”

Pino joined SVU in Season 13 following the departure of co-lead Chris Meloni.

Thoughts? Bummed to see Pino — and Amaro — go? Hit the comments!

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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149 Comments
  1. Unfortunate. One of the things I was really liking about this season was how the group had begun to expand again after contracting a few seasons ago. It used to be that the group shot was full of people, like maybe a dozen or so, then it went down to maybe half a dozen, and now was starting to expand again.

  2. prish says:

    The husband is bummed out, “Amaro? That’s a shame.” I felt he was a great asset to the show. Not a smart decision, suits.

  3. Sam says:

    Wait so it wasn’t his choice to leave then? That comment makes it sound like he was written out not so much by his own choice.

  4. Zoe says:

    Did Pino want out? Otherwise, Nick Amaro was a fan-favorite character so making him leave makes no sense. I’m glad they didn’t kill him though.

    • NBC didn’t think it made sense to pay him fairly, but they thought giving Debra Messing $200,000+ for another 13 episodes was a good idea? if there was ever a network that needed a complete housecleaning, it’s NBC! What a disgrace!

      • John Scott says:

        Why are you such a hater?

        • worthymagic says:

          Sorry, I have to use a different sign in. My Facebook account is screwed up. Here we go. What do you want me to say? Does the truth hurt? Danny Pino’s contract was up and he deserved a decent raise. I’m guessing that NBC tried to low ball him or made him a very insulting offer. He made between $120,000-100,000 per episode on his 4 year deal. He was not in 6-8 episodes this season(NBC’s decision) and I doubt that they paid him for the ones he wasn’t in. I’m also guessing that NBC wanted to keep him out of a bunch of episodes next season and not pay him for those either. Debra Messing made $200,000+ per episode for The Mysteries of Laura. If it hadn’t been renewed for 13 episodes, every new show that NBC came out with this fall for the 2014-15 season would have been cancelled. NBC couldn’t offer Danny close to what they were paying Debra after 4 seasons as a loyal employee? I LOVE THIS SHOW. NBC has cut the payroll and budget on this show 4 straight seasons, and it looks like they want to make it 5. This is their best drama. I’ve never seen a network go out of its way to ruin a successful show like this. Somebody has to say something, even if it might seem a little hateful.

          • Ana says:

            Finally the truth thank you!!!! I knew it was about money!!!! Freaking writers try to act like its what made sense for the story instead of being honest!!

  5. I am so disgusted by this. THEY (Warren Leight and his writers, hacks all) ruined Amaro’s character by turning him into a hothead, now they don’t know what to do with him, so they write him out? What a stupid, stupid decision. The squad had gelled even before the addition of Carisi, who I thought was a great finishing touch. Well, I had four good years with him, and will follow Danny Pino wherever he goes next (and am now done with SVU–hello again, Wednesday free time!).

  6. pete says:

    what about Olivia’s comments about her old partner??

  7. anne worriax says:

    Danny Pino will greatly be missed. I enjoyed watching his character. I watched him on cold case and was delighted when he came to law and order svu. Good luck Mr. Pino.

  8. carrie powers says:

    What we want to know is why? Did they make him leave? People keep coming and going on SVU…Starting to make me not want to watch anymore..I havnt connected w New guys as much as the old..captain, stable, munch…and I was already pissed when Olivia was kidnapped and a stabler didn’t come to rescue her…we all know his would have. Get your act together producer!

    • NBC has cut the payroll on SVU for the last 4 seasons. it looks like they will be cutting it again in year 5. How little is Kelli Giddish taking to stay? In the meantime, giving Debra Messing another 13 episodes at over $200,000 per episode is a smart idea? Yikes, the lunatics are running the asylum.

      • John Scott says:

        9.5 million viewers is the return on investment. And Michael, since your not a fan, why so many b.s. comments that don’t make any sense. You sound like an ex employee.

        • worthymagic says:

          Sorry, have to use a different sign in. I’m not a fan? I’M A BIGGER FAN OF THIS SHOW THAN YOU WILL EVER BE. I OWN EVERY SINGLE SEASON OF THIS SHOW ON DVD, AND MULTIPLE COPIES ON SOME SEASONS. I’M TRYING TO WAKE ALL OF THOSE WHO HAVE ZERO IDEA WHAT NBC IS DOING WITH THIS SHOW. BEING A FAN DOESN’T MEAN YOU JUST KISS REAR END AND CRY. YOU TRY AND PREVENT YOUR SHOW FROM BEING DESTROYED BY THOSE WHOSE ONLY INTEREST IN CORPORATE GREED! AM I A FAN OF THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA OR DEBRA MESSING? ABSOLUTELY NOT! THE SHOW SHOULD HAVE BEEN CANCELLED. Debra Messing shouldn’t have been paid more than $75,000 per episode for that show, and that may have been too high. Don’t ever accuse me of not being a fan. Just because you don’t like my tone doesn’t mean I’m not a fan? I care a lot more than you do if you’re just going to break it down to an investment number. There are a lot of other factors involved.

  9. Vivi says:

    Hm. I started watching, because Danny Pino joined. Liked him a lot on Cold Case so I’m a little sad that he isn’t coming back (although it’s not really a shock, it was rumored a lot the last couple of weeks). It was a beautiful send off. I’ll stick around for season 17 (and they still have Barba). Hope Danny Pino books a new tv gig soon.

  10. tr says:

    Whyyyyyyyyy did they take Danny off? I’m so disappointed. I really hate this. besides Mariska he’s my favorite. so protective I love that guy. bad move law and order. bad move.

  11. michelle says:

    Big, big, huge mistake for writing out Danny Pino from the cast. Just when the show is getting good again the writers have ruin it. Guys, you need to rethink that decision or you’ll find the ratings going down the tube.

  12. Andrew Borgen says:

    Will Elliott Stabler becoming back I miss him so much

  13. chris says:

    I wish they would stop letting go of great actors on this show, Christopher Meloni was the best now Danny Pino they keep doing this and I won’t be able watch anymore

  14. Lizzie says:

    I’m saddened to see Danny go. I’ve been watching SVU since it started but I specially enjoyed it when Danny came in, which was a surprise to me. We went to school together at FIU and he and his brother were always very sweet.

  15. LLR says:

    I’m very disappointed to see Danny Pino’s character written off the show. I’m not sure Law & Order will be the same. Amaro was the best character to follow the loss of Stabler after so many years. He slowly became my favorite. Without him on the show and the loss of both Cragen and Munch, I’m not sure I’ll be a loyal viewer. Unfortunately, I think that was a bad more for showrunner Warren Light.

    • Warren Leight will be leaving SVU as show runner after next season. He will be going to work for Sony to create shows and movies. I’m guessing that he and NBC are looking at next season as the end(unless we hear otherwise).

  16. Natasha says:

    I know that I’m probably in the minority here but I never really liked him.

    • Jeri says:

      I liked Danny & his character. Big improvement over Stabler. He was always so miserable. Depressing to watch him.

  17. When Stabler left I never thought they could replace him but Amaro became a great part of the show almost immediately. I don’t know how they can replace him but many of the great characters have left and the show stands strong. I think the show has come to revolve around the strength, honesty and heart of Olivia. As long as she is part of the show it to will stand strong.

  18. Hi my name is Ashley who leaving in law and order svu

  19. Tracy Hunt says:

    Sad, sad, sad. Law & Order SVU seems to be suffering a slow suicide. They have lost/written out so many amazing characters, & now Danny Pino as Nick Amaro too? Mariska Hargitay & Ice T are two of my favorites, but geez, writers – they can’t carry the show alone. Kelli Giddish as Amanda & Raul Esparza as Barba hold promise, but I’m beginning to think I need to jump ship on Law & Order SVU just like I did Grey’s Anatomy a few years ago before you break my heart any further watching your slow, painful death.

    • Iakovos says:

      Nothing lasts forever, but SVU’s glory days are past. I stopped watching regularly when Chris Meloni departed. Miss March and Neal as the ADAs. The collaborative ensemble feel was lost somewhere for me. Cannot get a better run than L&O (original) or SVU. SVU probably would not be on now if NBC had beeter program development and if it was not prolific Dick Wolf who created for the Peacock that CHCAGO (insert profession here) franchise.

  20. bg says:

    I wish they took Rollins off instead. Pino…love his character..cute too. I hope he shows up on another tv show in September.

    • I disagree. She is more important What we need to find out is how much NBC tried to low ball him that he decided he had to get out. His salary should have been raised to at least the $175,000 per episode range.

  21. Danielle says:

    Love Danny Pino on the show!! Great in his role and love the subtle multi-cultural/bilingual aspect he and Barba bring. Was a huge Stabler fan and was so happy a great character came in his place. I’m super bummed to see Amaro leave!!!

  22. Jenny says:

    Danny Pino exit was a bad decision. Who is coming up with these suggestion. Maybe they should be replaced. . getting rid of main character is never a good move. Mr, Pino is a fan favorite. I hope you reconsider .

  23. Henry Reyna says:

    Just wish Stabler could come back to the show.He and Liv made the series!

  24. Carla says:

    Amaro should not leave , he brings humanity, tenderness to the role.
    Poor decision.
    Danny Pino has much to offer as an actor.
    Hope he gets a new role,we will follow him.

  25. Bobby says:

    Danny was a great addition to the cast. I was happy when he came on as I was a Cold Case fan. I definitely feel like they dropped him for budget reasons, Bad decision SVU producers and NBC. Loved Amaro and don’t see how they couldn’t find any way to keep him.

    • SVU is now down to 5 main characters and the payroll in under $1 million per episode. This is absolute insanity. This isn’t how you run a network. There is no financial excuse in the world for not bringing him back. I’m sure he wasn’t looking to get $400,000 an episode, which is what Chris Meloni made in his last season.

  26. Josh says:

    ugh,Amaro has been my favorite character to watch since Stabler, Carisi has massive potential but other than that i feel they need to work on bringing in someone ppl will love to watch, this might not be a popular opinion but i haven’t liked Benson since stabler left, and i used to really like Fin in the early seasons but not much recently, hope they find a really good actor to replace Danny Pino.

    • RPL says:

      I agree, not a fan of Benson anymore neither, dont care for her calling the shots not sure what it is, i am done!! Had stopped recording it only watch ocassional shows!!

  27. Angelina says:

    Congrats Danny! You’re finally out of this awful show! NBC – end this! Put this show out of its misery! PLEASE. Make season 17 its last!

  28. Stephanie says:

    I’m sad to see Amaro go too! He was a great asset to the show. I love my law n order! I’m a mariska fan n all she stands for professionally and personally. Keep up the good work SVU!:)

  29. Rayne says:

    So happy, his character has been the worst part of SVU since Stabler, just a bad knockoff of that character. So excited for more of the others (Carisi!!!)

  30. RPL says:

    What a mistake to change the group by having Amaro leave, i won’t watch, had lost interest but was interested in the Amaro charcter, bad decision, but good send off

  31. Ella Renfro says:

    I love Danny Pino & thought he was the best replacement. Watched him on Cold Case. Hope to see him in another show really soon. Fan of Pino!!

  32. Ella Renfro says:

    Big fan of Pino. Hate to see him go. May not watch anymore. Everyone good is gone but Benson

  33. Anita says:

    Looks like I’m done with SVU. Amaro was my favourite character, the writers may have ruined him in the last two years, but I hoped they’d find another way to rectify that rather than writing him out altogether. Since I really did not like a lot of the storylines this season and really, really didn’t need that Benoah storyline at all, Amaro was very much what kept me watching. So, with him gone, nothing to keep me coming back for S17.

    I certainly wish Danny Pino all the best for the future and hope he’s got something new lined up soon.

    • gemini says:

      Agree wholeheartedly that Amaro’s character tanked in the last couple of seasons. The writers really did a number on him.

      If Pino made the choice to leave I can’t say I blame him. I hope it was his decision. I’d hate to find out it wasn’t.

      I wondered about the introduction of Carisi from the start particularly when he went from “guest” star to series regular and then the whole rotating detectives thing.

      I think the decision for Amaro to be written out whether it was Pino’s choice or the writers was made early in season 16.

  34. Stacey Mkz says:

    I’m done after 16 years. After Stabler left..it was hard for me at first…However Amaro was a great addition. As much as I love Olivia. .The others can not hold the show

    • Katie says:

      I’m hoping they booted Amario out because Stabler is coming back!!! I would be more then okay with that!

  35. mary smith says:

    I can’t believe first Stabler and now Nick…they are ruining the show..why would they take Nick off ?? I sure hope it was his choice…what a let down.

  36. If this was a financial move or decision, then NBC once again showed us that it has no idea how to run a network. Danny Pino made somewhere between $100,000-120,000 an episode(my guess closer to the $100,000) on his 4 year deal for the show. He wasn’t in 6-8 episodes this past season, and nobody knows if he was paid for the ones he didn’t appear in. Kelli Giddish made even less, and both should have been in line for major upgrades in pay. My guess is that NBC made such a low offer that Danny Pino was shocked. Dick Wolf has to get this show off NBC and onto a network that is willing to spend money on it. Giddish, Pino, Esparza, and Scanavino TOGETHER didn’t make the $400,000 per episode they were paying Chris Meloni in season 12. That is embarrassing and humiliating. This is the show that held NBC together in 2014-15 while all their new shows were absolute disasters(with just about every new show being cancelled). I guessing next season will be it for SVU. How many more times can they keep cutting what is practically the LOWEST PAYROLL FOR A DRAMA IN TELEVISION? I’m sorry Danny, they did you wrong. Thanks for everything.

    • John Scott says:

      Lowest payroll? It’s one of the most expensive tv shows to produce. Remember the celebs they have on there, it’s filmed in New York, all have outside scenes, which is expensive and six main characters, MH, Ice and the rest, not to mention the extras. And how do you know, Danny didn’t want to move on? Due for major upgrades in pay? because they carry the show? My guess is if you ran NBC or Dick Wolf INC, they would be underwater. The ratings are higher than ever, and certainly since Meloni left. Thank you Chris for moving on to greener pastures, even though you haven’t found them yet.

      • worthymagic says:

        Ever heard of a loss leader? Ever heard of tax breaks and credits? I guess not. All outside scenes? There are TONS of more inside scenes, maybe more than ever. Shows like the NCIS’s, Criminal Minds, Castle, CSI: CYBER, Blue Bloods, The Walking Dead have tons of outside scenes. if the show is too expensive to make in NY, GET IT OUT OF HERE. If the ratings are higher, then reward the people that helped make it possible. if I worked with Dick Wolf, there would be a hell of a lot more accountability, which is something NBC DOESN’T WANT ANY PART OF. SCARY! The payroll for the first 12 years of SVU was A HELL OF A LOT MORE THAN IT IS NOW? WHY? Things aren’t that much more expensive. Maybe some REALLY BAD INVESTMENTS BY NBC? NOT MY PROBLEM! Do you really think the SVU payroll is high? You want to bet it’s one of the lowest in network television, that NBC and ABC have payrolls on many shows that make the SVU payroll like a third world country(maybe not that bad)? What do you think of communism? Are you a big fan?

    • You are responsible for the finances of Kelly Gidish? Because you only talk on money she should receive. Please write your drivel quota is already exhausted.

      • worthymagic says:

        Sorry, my Facebook sign in is messed up. I am a very big fan of Kelli Giddish, who is definitely one of the most underpaid women on TV. She is an outstanding actress who hasn’t had the right place/right time luck a lot of other actresses have been fortunate to have. If NBC wants this show to have any kind of future, she is it. My drivel quota is finished when STUPIDITY IS DRIVEN FROM THE INTERNET! I don’t see that happening any time soon. Get used to seeing me. Night.

  37. This show is still on?

  38. Stephen Morris says:

    I never really liked him,always seemed like he didnt want to be there. He called in his work like bum

  39. Miranda says:

    Nooooo! I love Amaro – but yeah that is one of the hardest jobs out there and he’s got little kids to consider. Bless his heart, he was a fantastic asset to the team considering the huge hole left by Stabler.
    Will miss your cute little face, Danny Pino!

  40. Ethel says:

    Dang, he was one of the reasons I watched SVU. Hope he is back on another show soon but during the season you could almost tell his character was not happy and not returning is not a huge surprise.

  41. Jolene Collins says:

    I love the show! Wish Nick would stay.

  42. This season finale was ridicolous. All the story was ridicolous, poorly written, expecially the gunshot at the courtroom. Amaro was the only interesting character. Honestly, who cares about Noah’s adoption? I definitively quit with SVU after 15 years

  43. Adrian says:

    That was not smart at all. He is an amazing actor. They’ll realize later.

  44. jim Yaccarino says:

    seems most successful programs revolve around 5-8 main characters. NBC makes a habit of casting off the popular ones. Pino just the latest mistake. Tired of the nonsense😡. Thank goodness for Mariska

  45. Steve Sauls says:

    So sorry to see Danny Pino leave. Hopefully, he will find a break-out role that will allow his true personality to reveal itself, ie. less serious. Best of luck to Senior Pino!!!!

  46. tara pontelandolfo says:

    It is so sad to hear of danny pink leaving svu. I’ve gotten used to him working so close to mariska. He has become one of my favorite actors and loved his character. I plan to follow him to his next show

  47. Tracy says:

    Throw out the life raft……Bring back Elliott

  48. john semino says:

    I love all the cast from LAw Order SVU I be watching that for 16 years I hope one day Danny Pino comeback To the show besides the point law and order SVU is my number one show on television keep making the good work thank you for the cast I’m the biggest fan…..

  49. Joanne says:

    Not a good idea. Liked when they brought Nick & Amanda into the show after Elliott left. At least they were characters w/ flaws. Brought some much needed life back into the show. Especially Nick. Now w/ him gone who knows…

  50. Caleb says:

    I was never much of a fan of his character so I’m happy that someone else will (hopefully) be brought in to fill his spot. Since everyone on the show is older (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) I’d like to see someone younger, maybe someone who graduated from the academy five years prior and became a rising star. And I hope they don’t have a gambling addiction or a drug/alcohol problem because I am done with that trope.