LAW & Order: Special Victims Unit is still going strong in its eye-popping 22nd season.
The longest-running drama in television history debuted in 1999 – and will feature a special returning star later this year.
Who’s in the cast of Law & Order: SVU?
The talented cast is led by Mariska Hargitay, who has starred as Olivia Benson for the entire series run.
Ice-T, who plays Odafin Tutuola, joined the series one year later.
Kelli Giddish plays Amanda Rollins, and Peter Scanavino is detective-turned-prosecutor Dominick Carisi.
Long-time cast members who have left the show include Chris Meloni (Elliot Stabler), Dann Florek (Donald Cragen), Richard Belzer (John Munch), BD Wong (Dr George Huang), Diane Neal (Casey Novak), and Stephanie March (Alexandra Cabot).
When is Elliot Stabler returning?
Chris Meloni’s Stabler returns to the show on April 1 in a special SVU episode.
The episode will be followed by the debut of Law & Order: Organized Crime, which also features Meloni as Stabler.
Meloni’s character left the show following SVU’s 12th season after he was unable to reach an agreement on a contract.
Meloni will reunite with longtime on-screen partner Hargitay when he makes his return – but he may feature a new look.
Hargitay opened up recently about Meloni’s departure from the show.
“I was just so sad, because we started this thing and built this thing together,” she told People.
“And we went through so many milestones and spent so much time together and understood so many things that nobody else could understand because we did this first together.”
She added: “I had to do so many mental gymnastics and sort of do a reinvention in my own mind, which of course turned out to be a gift, as any sort of growth is. But I was scared; I was sad.”
Meloni told People: “She was left in the familiarity of what we were. And I’m sure there were echoes, constant reminders, everywhere.
“But for me, it was about how things fell out – and the word I’ll use is that it was inelegant.
“At the end of the day, how it was handled was, ‘Okay, see you later.’ So I went, ‘That’s fine. We’re all big boys and girls here. See you later.’
“And I was off on new adventures and doing what I wanted to do. Telling the stories I wanted to tell.
“I couldn’t have been happier. But she and I, we stayed connected.”
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/news/2481090/law-and-order-svu-cast-mariska-hargitay/