Is Christopher Meloni Returning to Law & Order: SVU?

 NBC/courtesy Everett Collection

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans were thrown for a loop when series costar Christopher Meloni revealed he'd be exiting the series in 2011 after 12 years as Det. Elliot Stabler, but now the True Blood actor says he might entertain the idea of reuniting with Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson — if the time was right.

"I'm always willing to consider. I had 12 great years on the show. I loved the people and I loved that character," Meloni, 51, responded when asked by a fan during a panel at Saturday's Comic-Con in San Diego, according to

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Contemplating a return for the show's eventual series finale, Meloni confirmed he's still on good terms with his former cast members, including Hargitay, Ice-T and Dann Fiorek. "There's no bad blood there. We'll just see when it comes. It's still doing OK, I guess," he continued.

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Hargitay, for one, would welcome Meloni's SVU return. "For the past 12 years, Chris has been my partner and friend, both on screen and off," the actress told TVLine at the time of Meloni's departure. "He inspired me every day with his integrity, his extraordinary talent and his commitment to the truth. I love him deeply and will miss him terribly — I'm so excited to see what he'll do next."

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns for its 14th season September 26 on NBC.

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