Chris Meloni Addresses Rumors About Him Returning to ‘Law & Order: SVU’: ‘No Idea Where That Came From’

Will it be Stabler and Benson again? Former Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Chris Meloni sat down with HuffPost Live on Monday, March 7, to discuss recent rumors that his fiery Det. Elliot Stabler would possibly return to NBC’s long-running crime drama opposite star Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson.

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“No, I heard that rumor along with everybody else,” the 54-year-old actor said, shooting down the possibility with a sigh. “I have no idea where that came from or what that’s about.”

Reports started circulating after showrunner Warren Leight told The Hollywood Reporter last month that he had considered bringing back the fan-favorite character — along with other key alums — should the current season, 17, be the series’ last.

“If we weren’t coming back, there were a couple of things I was absolutely going to do,” Leight told THR. “We had been talking [about], had this been the last episode, we would have tried to bring [Meloni] back.”

Meloni had been with the show since its 1999 launch, but left abruptly after season 12, leaving the series and fans without a proper send-off for Stabler. NBC renewed the drama for an 18th season in February, which will make the show the fourth-longest running scripted prime-time series.

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When asked if he thought SVU should end after next season, Meloni replied that he didn’t know. “I haven’t been keeping tabs on it,” admitted the now-bearded actor, who is starring on WGN America’s new series Underground. “Look, it’s a business. It’ll stay on as long as people are watching it, you know? And it doesn’t matter if the people are having fun except for the people who are watching it.”

Law & Order: SVU airs on NBC Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET. Underground premieres on WGN America Wednesday, March 9, at 10 p.m. ET.

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