Yesterday we reported that House regular, Lisa Edelstein would not be returning for the show’s eighth and final season due to not agreeing to a pay-cut requested by producers that the other cast members (Sean Robert Leonard and Omar Epps) accepted in order to cut costs and close the deal to bring the show back this Fall on FOX.
Well, it looks like House isn’t the only show suffering from a budget crisis. Yesterday, NBC confirmed that that Chris Meloni, who has played Detective Eliott Stabler for 270 epsisodes on NBC’s only consistent show for the last decade, Law & Order: SVU, would not be returning this fall. NBC cites an inability to come terms with Meloni over a new contract as the reason for the departure from the series.
This makes the situation very tricky for the series as Meloni’s co-star for the last twelve seasons, Mariska Hargitay, just signed a contract extension for another season, albeit in a limited role appearing in about half the season’s episodes, with her character, Detetective Olivia Benson, promoted to a supervisory position. Obviously, it was expected that there would be a new female co-star for Meloni but his unexpected departure means a shakeup for the whole show with two all-new leads. So, expect big changes on SVU this Fall.