Christopher Meloni Leaving “Law & Order: SVU”

Christopher Meloni isn't coming back to NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" when it returns this fall.

The actor and Universal Media Studios were unable to come to terms on a new contract, according to a person familiar with the situation, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because NBC and the studio had not authorized public comment.

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Meloni's co-star, Mariska Hargitay, will be back for the upcoming season, the show's 13th, the person said.

Meloni portrayed Detective Elliot Stabler, a family man and veteran of an elite squad that investigates crimes with a sexual aspect.

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Hargitay was his partner, Detective Olivia Benson, who joined the squad because she was conceived in a rape. The show features Dann Florek, Tamara Tunie, Richard Belzer, B.D. Wong and Ice-T.

Copyright 2011 by Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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