Variety has heard that Kelli Giddish impending departure from “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is neither her decision nor the result of any decision made by showrunner David Graziano.
Several people with knowledge of the situation have said that the decision to shuffle things around at “SVU” came from up high. One insider has even stated that the network is always trying to make the program as current as possible. Even though the show’s star and executive producer, Mariska Hargitay, lobbied to retain Giddish on the procedural, the choice was already made.
They spoke about her future on the program and money, but they couldn’t come to an agreement.
Kelli Giddish – Law & Order: SUV
In a statement released this past Wednesday, Giddish said, “I wanted to address the discussion I’ve seen online and let everyone know that this will, indeed, be my final season on ‘Law & Order: SVU.'” One of the biggest blessings in my life has been the opportunity to play for Rollins. I feel very blessed to have spent the past 12 years working with the wonderful people at ‘Law & Order.’
Rollins is unlike any other TV character. Both she and I have matured and evolved. Since I began working on the program when I was in my late twenties, I have spent a large portion of my adult life with Rollins.
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After being tagged in tweets and postings by furious fans, new showunner Graziano, who replaced Warren Leight at the conclusion of Season 23, spoke out about the topic. Even in the age of the 140-character tweet and the emoticon, it’s important to take a step back and realize that there may be more to the story than meets the eye.
Kelli has handled this with the most delightfully exquisite comportment,” he commented in the comments section of Giddish’s Instagram post.
In my 24 years as a television writer, she stands out as one of the best professionals I’ve worked with. It makes me sad that she will soon be leaving. If I get to write to her again, I’ll consider myself really fortunate.
Season 13 premiered in 2011, and it was at that time when Hargitay, Ice-T, and Peter Scanavino were all brought on board, along with Giddish. At the close of the previous season, Carisi, played by Scanavino, started dating Rollins.
Julie Martin, the show’s producer, rushed to Twitter shortly after the couple’s departure announcement to reassure fans that they “will have a happy ending.”
The Season 24 debut airs on September 22 and is a three-hour crossover event including “Organized Crime” and the main “Law & Order” series, which will include Giddish.