Ever since NBC announced Mariska Hargitay would scale down her appearances for “Law & Order: SVU’s” 13th season, I’ve been obsessed with the cast changes Dick Wolf had in store for us. Then when I heard Jennifer Love Hewitt was a possible replacement for Hargitay, my attention only intensified. It hit a fever pitch when word came out that Christopher Meloni was exiting after salary negotiations broke down.
Last week, the five finalists in the running for the male lead of the show were flown to New York to test with Mariska Hargitay. After all was said and done, Danny Pino beat out David Conrad, Kevin Alejandro, Michale Raymond-James and Rhys Coiro for the coveted acting gig. Pino’s previous acting credits include a seven year run on CBS’ “Cold Case“. As much as I’ll miss Meloni’s hotness, I think Pino is a good choice as a successor. Now with one half of the team confirmed, who would play his female partner? Find out below.
Like Pino, Kelli Giddish’s previous regular gig is a crime drama. Giddish appeared in Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Chase” on NBC last season. The show sucked but Kelli was quite believable as a tough-as-nails Texas Ranger. I’m so glad Dick wolf picked her instead of Jennifer Love Hewitt. She’ll definitely fit in on SVU. Giddish will make her debut roughly midseason when Hargitay’s Detective Olivia Benson gets a promotion. Fun fact, she’s guest starred on both “Law & Order: SVU” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” before. Here’s what series creator Dick Wolf said about his two new leads:
“I’m very pleased that we have two amazing actors joining the cast. I know this combination will give us the opportunity to explore the world of ‘SVU’ with new eyes.”
What do you think of Benson & Stabler’s replacement? Will the new leads win or alienate SVU hardcore fans? Post your thoughts below.