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Christopher Meloni Leaving 'Law and Order: SVU'

In Celebs by KGaz , on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 10:20 AM (PDT)
christopher meloni
Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni on set of Law and Order: SVU - INFDaily.com
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As Mariska Hargitay asks for less work.

If you're a "Law and Order: SVU" viewer, get ready for a major shakeup: a report exploded Tuesday to reveal that Christopher Meloni is leaving the show, just as co-star Mariska Hargitay is about to scale back her hours significantly -- here's why.

We reported last week that apparently Jennifer Love Hewitt is in talks to take on the lead female role on "Law and Order: SVU." It happened as Mariska Hargitay asked writers to write her character a little less into the script so that she can focus on raising her two young children. Hargitay's salary, however, will remain at $385,000 per episode.

But demands haven't been fulfilled as smoothly for Hargitay's co-star, Emmy nominee Christopher Meloni, who's leaving the show for good. It sounds like Meloni was asking for an increased salary to play Det. Elliot Stabler, but we're hearing reports that contract negotiations "fell through" for the star. Imagine filming 272 episodes over 12 seasons and not getting the paycheck you're asking for?

Look at Christopher Meloni's Salary: Greedy, a Little?

CBS is said to be in a serious pickle, as "Law and Order: SVU" is one of their longtime ratings shoo-ins...plus, with "Two and a Half Men" opting to bring Ashton Kutcher onboard to take Charlie Sheen's space, CBS execs are almost certainly floundering over predictions for next season's profit stream. Meanwhile, it gets worse: Mariska Hargitay will have a reduced role for season 13, but Huffington Post reports via TV Line: NBC president Bob Greenblatt has admitted that by season 14, Mariska could be gone for good.

Get more "Law and Order" and fast-paced TV updates behind the blue links.

Read: Mariska Hargitay Out at 'Law and Order'?

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