As we heard last week, Christopher Meloni is closing down his private gun show on Law & Order: SVU. Meloni has had a long rumored desire to leave the successful show, and I guess he was just asking for too much money during his contract renegotiations, because Meloni and the producers have now established that Meloni isn’t coming back next season. Many of us wondered if they should just discontinue the series instead of forcing them to limp on, Meloni-less. Mariska Hargitay is good, but is she good enough to go it alone? Well, if I was in charge of the show, I would simply put Mariska in more episodes with Belzer and Ice-T, because she has chemistry with both men and that could totally be a watchable show. Unfortunately, it looks like Mariska already has one foot out the door, and they’re probably going to cast Jennifer Love Hewitt and the Lollipop Guild.
Anyway, Hargitay has now released a statement about Meloni’s departure:
One of TV’s longest-running – and hottest-looking – couples are to be no more.
This week brought the official announcement from NBC that Christopher Meloni, who has played Detective Stabler on Law & Order: SVU since the series began in 1999, will not be back for a 13th season this fall. Contract talks reportedly broke down.
That leaves his costar, Mariska Hargitay, partner-less. But the week also brought the unsettling news that the actress will be not be appearing in all of next season’s episodes.
Regarding the departure of her costar, Hargitay – who plays Detective Olivia Benson – said in a statement released late Friday:
“For the past 12 years Chris Meloni has been my partner and friend, both on screen and off. He inspired me every day with his integrity, his extraordinary talent and his commitment to the truth. I love him deeply and will miss him terribly – I’m so excited to see what he’ll do next.”
Aw. Has anyone else seen Mariska’s E! True Hollywood Story? She and Meloni have always been tight, ever since the first time they auditioned together. They simply have great chemistry, and they make for a great on and off-screen partnership. I do think she’s going to miss him quite a bit, to the point where it might not even be fun for her to work on the show anymore.
I really feel like this next season of L&O: SVU will be the last. Or SHOULD be the last. Fingers crossed.
Photos courtesy of WENN.