Resident angry guy Christopher Meloni may be leaving Law And Order: SVU due to contract disputes, but he won't just disappear. SVU showrunner Warren Leight confirmed that the generally continuity-adverse cop show would explain Meloni's sudden absence.
“The reasons for his absence and the effect it has on the squadroom — and Olivia (Mariska Hargitay) — will be explored in the first several episodes.” Said Leight, in an interview with TV Guide. Leight also confirmed last week that Meloni's character, Set. Stabler, wouldn't be killed off in a Charlie Sheen-like fashion.
Law And Order shows aren't heavily serialized- over the course of the original's 20 year run, cast members dropped in and out on a yearly basis, with little more explanation than a throwaway line or an "is it because I'm a lesbian?" Still, Meloni has been on SVU for all of its 12 seasons, and his loss is bound to be a major shift for the drama. Especially since it ended on something of a cliffhanger, in which Stabler shot and killed a young girl.
SVU is introducing new cast members Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish to fill the Meloni-shaped hole. But fear not, SVU fans, Stabler will live on in the millions of Law And Order reruns that air every day. And at least he's getting an actual conclusion.
Source: TV Guide