Meloni not returning to ‘SVU’

NBC to search for new co-star of longrunning show

Christopher Meloni will not be returning to “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for a 13th season after failing to come to an agreement with NBC.

The network is looking to bring in a new actor who would play a character to replace Meloni’s Det. Elliot Stabler.

“SVU” was already in state of creative flux, with NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt announcing last week that another character would be brought in along with Mariska Hargitay, who was resigned to appear in half of the episodes for the coming season.

Greenblatt had expressed optimism that a deal would be reached to return Meloni but acknowledged that the Universal Media Studios series needed to be creatively rejuvenated. “We want to refresh these concepts the older that they get,” he said.

The coming season will be the first with Warren Leight aboard as showrunner, replacing Neal Baer, who exited for an overall deal with CBS TV Studios.

NBC declined comment.