updated 05/28/2011 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/28/2011 AT 8:45 AM ET
One of TV’s longest-running – and hottest-looking – couples are to be no more.
This week brought the official announcement from NBC that Christopher Meloni, who has played Detective Stabler on Law & Order: SVU since the series began in 1999, will not be back for a 13th season this fall. Contract talks reportedly broke down.
That leaves his costar, Mariska Hargitay, partner-less. But the week also brought the unsettling news that the actress will be not be appearing in all of next season’s episodes.
Regarding the departure of her costar, Hargitay – who plays Detective Olivia Benson – said in a statement released late Friday:
– Stephen M. Silverman