Christopher Meloni has reportedly quit his role in hit cop drama Law And Order: Special Victims Unit after 12 years on air.

The actor, who plays Detective Elliot Stabler opposite Mariska Hargitay in the long-running series, is said to have dropped out of the show's upcoming 13th season after negotiations with TV bosses broke down, according to

The website reports series creator Dick Wolf is now searching for a suitable replacement, while Hargitay is expected to return for series 13.

Hargitay, who recently adopted a baby girl, is expected to cut back her role in upcoming episodes and her character will eventually be phased out so she can spend more time with her family.

TV bosses are reportedly considering Jennifer Love Hewitt as the show's new female lead.


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