'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' casts Kelli Giddish and Danny Pino as new detectives
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" will bring in new blood to the police department when the show returns in the fall for its 13th season.
"Chase" actress Kelli Giddish and former "Cold Case" actor Danny Pino have signed on as series regulars and will star as new detectives, according to NBC.
"I'm very pleased that we have two amazing actors joining the cast. I know this combination will give us the opportunity to explore the world of 'SVU' with new eyes," series creator Dick Wolf said in a statement.
The casting of both Giddish and Pino comes after series star Mariska Hargitay, who plays Detective Olivia Benson, will take a reduced role on the series and Christopher Meloni exited his role as Detective Elliott Stabler in May.
Hargitay will still make $385,000 an episode and for 13 episodes her character will continue in her detective role. After that Detective Benson will then be promoted to a supervisor position and Giddish will likely take her place. Hargitay asked for her role to be scaled back for season 13 because she and husband Peter Hermann, an actor, adopted a baby girl named Amaya Josephine.
A spokesperson for Meloni told confirmed the actor's departure to OnTheRedCarpet.com in May saying, "12 very happy years with the show. On to the next chapter." The actor is reportedly in talks for a role in the upcoming "Superman" reboot.
Giddish starred in a 2007 episode of "Law & Order: SVU." It would not be the first time one of the the show's guest stars returned to play a series regular. Actress Diane Neal, who played Assistant District Attorney Casey Novack for five seasons, had previously guest starred in the third season of the show in a smaller role.
Rapper and actor Ice-T announced on June 10 that he renewed his contract for two years. He has played the role of Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola since 2000.