Man, they're dropping like flies this week on the procedurals. Less than 24 hours after I reported that Gary Dourdan and CSI would be parting ways by season's end, word comes that Diane Neal has given notice at Law & Order: Special Victims Unit!
A show spokesperson confirmed the actress' departure, saying, "Diane spent five years on SVU and was a tremendous addition to the SVU team. She is looking forward to new opportunities and she will be missed."
Neal, who will make her final appearance in next month's season finale, joined SVU in 2003 as ADA Casey Novak, replacing Stephanie March. She had previously appeared in a Season 3 episode as a different character, a female rapist by the name of Amelia Chase.
The search for a new ADA is already under way, and, sadly, bringing March back doesn't appear to be an option. Word is that Dick Wolf is looking to fill the void with an up-and-comer. No disrespect to Neal, but, for my money, SVU is unlikely to ever find an ADA as arresting as Alex Cabot.
Source: Ausiello Report, TVguide.com
I don't know about anyone else but I am proper gutted!