‘Law & Order: SVU’ stars Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay sign on for two more years
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The stars of ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ are staying put.
After months of contract negotiations, sources tell Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello that Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay have reached deals keeping them on the cop drama for at least two more years.
Asked about having to wait out the negotiations, ‘SVU’ executive producer Neal Baer told Show Tracker that he always ‘trusted things would work out.’
‘It takes time to work these things out,’ he said. ‘But I’m thrilled to be starting our 11th year with the stars of the show who have made it such a great hit.’
According to Ausiello, the Meloni and Hargitay had been getting $385,000 per episode prior to the new agreement, but Variety reports the figure as closer to $375,000, with the actors asking for a bump up to $400,000. No word on what the final numbers look like, but the pact ensures the pair will remain on ‘SVU’ should it be renewed after this, its 11th season.
NBC ordered production on Season 11 in April, announcing the series would go on with or without its leads, who were reportedly demanding higher salaries and back-end deals at the time.
Baer also revealed that Christine Lahti, would be joining the series for the season’s first four episodes -- premiering September 23 -- as a new ADA. ‘She’s from Appeals and she’s tired of having rape cases overturned because of misidentifications,’ Baer said. ‘She’s coming to clean things up.’ Stephanie March will return in episode 5.
-- Denise Martin