Mariska Hargitay Passes the Torch on LAW & ORDER: SVU

LAW & ORDER SVU (NBC) - Bully

Mariska Hargitay has signed a new deal to return to NBC’s LAW & ORDER: SVU, Deadline.com reports. However she has chosen to reduce her role on the crime drama in season 13. Her character Olivia Benson will continue to solve crimes – hopefully with her partner Elliot Stabler, played by Christopher Meloni who does not have a deal yet – in the first 13 episodes of the new season. Then Benson will be promoted to a supervisor position, at which time another female detective will take her place.

It is rumored that Jennifer Love Hewitt has been approached about playing the new detective. Law & Order: SVU showrunners are familiar with Hewitt, who made a guest appearance as a stalking/rape victim in the episode “Behave” last season. She gave what was generally believed to be a strong performance.

How do you feel about Hargitay’s reduced presence on the show? Would you continue watching if Hewitt took her place? Who do you want as replacement?

Off the record: I would like to see what Hewitt (and the writers) can do with the new role. Despite being known more for her looks, bubbly personality, and less than stellar roles, I thought Hewitt did a good job with her guest role on Law & Order: SVU. But does she have the skills to bring the same level of acting in episode after episode?