Bradley Whitford is going up against Olivia Benson. The actor will guest star as a professor struggling with early-onset dementia who confesses to a murder on the Feb. 23 episode of NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU.” The episode will be directed by Mariska Hargitay.
Whitford currently stars as Commander Lawrence in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” He made his directorial debut during Season 5’s penultimate episode, “Allegiance.” He will next star in AMC’s “Parish.”
Whitford is the latest addition to an ever-changing “Law & Order: SVU.” The procedural drama, currently in its 24th season, recently said goodbye to longtime cast member Kelli Giddish, who played Detective Amanda Rollins for more than a decade.
“I started playing her in my late 20s, so I’ve played her in three decades of my life, which is nuts. It’s insane. This is a show unlike any other,” Giddish told Variety after her final episode aired in December. “Shows don’t last 12 years, much less getting to play a character. With playing someone as multi-faceted as Rollins, I got to play all kinds of different things — down and out, on top, joyful, doubtful, scared, triumphant. I got to do the gambit.”
Multiple sources confirmed to Variety that the exit wasn’t her choice, but a decision made by Dick Wolf.
“It’s time in the Rollins storyline. I felt like where it was heading, and where it headed last night, just seemed the right place to leave it right now,” she said. “I am so excited about things going on in my personal life and kind of the mirroring of what’s going on in my personal life and in Rollins’, there’s a lot of joy to be experienced.”
The series has also changed showrunners multiple times. Michael S. Chernuchin ran the series for Seasons 19 and 20, Warren Leight (who previously ran the show from Seasons 13 to 17) served as showrunner from Seasons 21 to 23. In Season 24, David Graziano took over.
“Law & Order: SVU” airs on NBC Thursdays at 9 p.m.