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'SVU' gets more Mariska Hargitay than expected and a little T.R. Knight, too

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Christopher Meloni may be gone, but at least "SVU" fans have Mariska Hargitay.

Good news, “Law & Order: SVU” fans!  It was reported earlier that star Mariska Hargitay, who plays Det. Olivia Benson, will have a smaller role come midseason, but fans won’t have to miss her too much.

The actress, who asked for a shorter work schedule for season 13, will still be seen every week.

“Mariska will be in every episode of ‘SVU,’ “ Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “It’s my goal to make sure that continues past this season.” (Fingers crossed that he succeeds!)

The good news doesn't end there. TVLine learned that while Christopher Meloni is still leaving the show, he won't be killed off. That, of course, leaves the door open for possible Stabler visits in the future.

“I think you should just watch and see,” Greenblatt said of Meloni's departure. “It’s not a big shocking mystery.”

As reported earlier, Hargitay’s Det. Benson is expected to get a promotion around midseason. With co-star Meloni’s exit from the long-running police procedural, a new detective will step in as her new partner – “Cold Case’s” Danny  Pino. Also joining “SVU” is “Chase’s” Kelli Giddish. 

For those looking forward to familiar faces, Stephanie March (ADA Alex Cabot) and Diane Neal (ADA Casey Novak) will be reprising their roles, and Ice-T (Fin Tutuola), Richard Belzer (John Munch) and Dan Florek (Capt. Cragen) have all renewed their contracts. B.D Wong, who plays Dr. George Huang, announced last month that he won’t be back.

And there’s still more talent news.

“Grey’s Anatomy” fans who still miss getting their weekly dose of T.R. Knight will at least get one chance to see the man behind Dr. O’Malley on "SVU" this fall. According to TV Guide, the actor is set to play the part of a serial rapist in an upcoming episode.

The appearance marks Knight’s first time back on the small screen since he left “Seattle Grace” behind back in 2009.

The 13th season of “SVU” premieres Sept. 21 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

Despite all the shake ups, are you looking forward to the show's return? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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