NBC is staying in the chung-chung business.
The network has sealed a deal with producer Dick Wolf to bring Law & Order: SVU back for an 11th season, sources confirm to me exclusively.
But there’s a catch: The pact covers the show but not leads Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, whose contracts expire in May. NBC is only now starting negotiations with both actors, and if history is any indication, it could be a tense, protracted affair.
Back in 2007, you’ll recall, shortly after the pair inked new two-year
deals worth more than $330,000 an episode, Meloni posted a terse
message on his personal website calling the talks “unpleasant to say
the least.” He added that “I’ll have much more to say about that when
my responsibilities to the show are done.”
My beloved Mariska, meanwhile, raised eyebrows last fall when she
seemed to suggest in an interview with Ladies’ Home Journal that she
was looking forward to life after SVU so she could spend more time with
her son, August. (At the time, a source close to the actress said her
comments were taken out of context.) Her recent health problems also
may factor into her decision to stay or go.
NBC declined to comment, but an SVU insider says the net is expected to make a formal
announcement about SVU’s renewal early next week. Maybe
the net’s waiting until they have pickup deals in place with the other
In any case, what are your thoughts on SVU’s unofficial renewal? Could
you see the show going on without Chris and Mariska? (I can’t!) Sound