NBC Exec: SVU Will Return "With or Without" Its Two Leads - Featured

NBC has officially made it clear that Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will continue on the network with or without leads Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni.


"The show is coming back; we hope they come back with it," said Marc Graboff, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment, at Monday's upfront presentations.


Hargitay and Meloni are currently renegotiating their contracts with the network, and sources have characterized the discussions as aggressive. Asked if SVU would cast new leads if those contract talks stall, Graboff added only, "The show's coming back - with or without them."


Is this just a shrewd negotiation strategy on NBC's part or might they actually recast? Stay tuned. Representatives for both Hargitay and Meloni did not immediately respond to TVGuide.com's requests for comment.


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RachelLEditor
May 5, 2009 8:00PM EDT

While I don't watch this show at all...I know that Hargitay in particular has quite the fan following. I don't see the show surviving without her, so either NBC is bluffing or they are really, really stupid!

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sylviasoven
May 5, 2009 11:30PM EDT

I'm willing to wager they're bluffing. This show couldn't possibly continue without Meloni and Hargitay. Just look at the uproar over the new DA. While the show could pull minimal ratings on crime-i-ness alone it doesn't have anywhere near the web presence of say Gossip Girl, so there's hardly a chance in hell it could withstand a drastic ratings dip without the plug being pulled.

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sylviasoven
May 5, 2009 11:34PM EDT

Furthermore, wasn't this exactly the same stunt the network pulled prior to this season? Seems to me the execs aren't playing with full decks. What happens if their big stars turn away? Re-runs on Bravo is my prediction.

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May 6, 2009 12:49AM EDT

I agree. I love this show, but I just don't see how it could go on without Benson and Stabler. I love the other detectives (Munch and Finn) as counterparts, but i don't think they coud carry the show, and I think recasting would be a mistake.
As it is, I was really upset when L&O:CI brought it another set of detectives to swap each week with Goran and Eames, but I reluctantly accepted it once I learned it was due to illness on D'Onofrio's part, making him unable to continue being the lead every week.

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May 6, 2009 4:19PM EDT

This has to be a stunt on the exces part. Benson and Stabler are the show, no way I'd continue to watch the show if Hargitay and Meloni was in it.
While I like the other stars of the show none of them could carry it.And new leads?
Big no no.

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May 19, 2009 4:37PM EDT

One thing for sure, Im not watching it without them, especially Elliot!

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