'Law and Order: SVU' Season 13 Preview Guide: Cast Changes Make Own Headlines
'Law and Order: SVU' Season 13 Preview Guide: Cast Changes Make Own Headlines
Last season, on Law and Order: SVU season 12, Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) got back together with his wife and, in an episode set on her college campus, his daughter helped him with a case. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) thought she found her half-sister and ended up becoming close with the son of the woman who, it turned out, was not related to our favorite female TV cop. Maria Bello guest-starred as the mother, Jeremy Irons showed up as a suspect and then returned to help with a case and Marcia Gay Herndon returned when her FBI agent character Dana Lewis was raped. All of this while the squad continued to solve some of New York City's toughest sex crime cases, all "ripped from the headlines" and Law and Order: SVU remained the last of its franchise to continue to attract viewers.

What's set to happen in Law and Order: SVU season 13?

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What will happen on this last season of is sure to be upstaged by the cast changes for Law and Order: SVU season 13. These drastic casting changes have become their own headlines ever since it was announced that Mariska Hargitay would cut down her time as Olivia Benson. And in a movie even more unpredictable than any of the twists in last season's episodes, Chris Meloni decided to leave Law and Order: SVU after 12 seasons.

'Law and Order: SVU' Will Return Without Christopher Meloni >>

Rumors have it that Stephanie March will return as Alex Cabot and Diane Neal's Casey Novak will be back. But we won't be seeing BD Wong's Dr. Huang in Law and Order: SVU season 13.

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Recently, it was announced that Danny Pino (previously of Cold Case) and NBC's Chase star Kellie Giddish will play the cops replacing Stabler and Benson. These two cops will be promoted in Law and Order: SVU season 13, meaning less face time for this year's Emmy nominated Hargitay.

Take our Law and Order Trivia Challenge >>

Law and Order: SVU season 13 premieres Wednesday, September 21. And while I predict a Casey Anthony-like episode (and maybe a mock Tea Party Scandal) this season, the real headline is going to be whether or not the only Law and Order franchise left will continue to succeed. What do you think? Will you continue to watch Law and Order: SVU? Can the show survive without Stabler and Benson?

(Image courtesy of NBC)

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