NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 21: Actors Chritopher Meloni and his co-star Mariska Hargitay during the party for cast members of all three "Law & Order" shows, September 21, 2004 at One Little 12th Street restaurant in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chritopher Meloni;Mariska Hargitay
It looks to be the end of one era and the beginning of another for "Law & Order: SVU."
Mariska Hargitay, who has played Det. Olivia Benson on the show from the very beginning, recently commented to TVLine about the departure of Christopher Meloni, who portrayed her on-screen partner, Det. Elliot Stabler.
“For the past 12 years Chris 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.”
Meloni left the series after failed negotiations with NBC over his contract.
TVLine had previously reported that "Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf is currently searching for a big star to pair up with Hargitay on the show.