On June 27th, it was announced that Danny Pino (Cold Case) and Kelli Giddish (Chase) will be joining the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for its 13th season. Pino and Giddish will be replacing Christopher Meloni (who decided to leave the series after the 12th season) and Mariska Hargitay (who is only scheduled to appear in the first 13 episodes of the upcoming season).
Through reruns over the past couple of months, I have become a huge fan of L&O: SVU. Two of the prime reasons are Meloni and Hargitay. However, new blood can be a good thing and I am looking forward to seeing what Pino and Giddish bring to the aging series. Given their track record of starring in police procedurals, the decision to hire Pino and Giddish for L&O: SVU looks like an excellent one on paper. As to whether or not it plays out on screen, we'll see when the show returns this fall on NBC.
Update: I just learned from a reliable source that Mariska Hargitay will be with the show for the entire season. She will continue her role as Detective Benson for thirteen episodes before her character is promoted to a supervisory role. Since Mariska asked for a lighter workload, she will likely be receiving less screen time after her character gets promoted. Please accept my apologies for the confusion.
What are your thoughts on Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish joining the cast of Law & Order: SVU?