Law and Order SVU (Special Victims Unit) may have started its life as a spin-off but has gone way beyond anyone’s expectations, becoming one of the longest ever running police procedurals. The NBC series will be back on Thursday, September 23, for the start of season 23 which is going to kick off with a two-hour special. Here’s everything you need to know about who is in the cast and who will be making their exits.
Who is joining the cast of Law and Order SVU season 23?
Olivia Benson – Mariska Hargitay
Olivia Benson is the commanding officer of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit and has been in the drama from the very beginning.
She was half of the famous duo, Benson and Stabler, alongside actor Christopher Meloni until he made his exit in season 12.
Actress Mariska Hargitay has been the star of the show since then but has appeared in other series as well.
Some of which include Can’t Hurry Love, ER, Prince Street and the latest Law and Order spin-off, Organized Crime.
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Sergeant Odafin Tutuola – Ice-T
The second longest-running character in the NBC drama is Sergeant Odafin Tutuola, portrayed by actor and rapper Ice-T.
Prior to his acting career, Ice-T made his mark in the music world as his debut album Rhyme Pays, was the second ever to receive the Parental Advisory label, following Banned in the U.S.A. by 2 Live Crew in 1990.
Besides Law and Order SVU, Ice-T has been in Players, Final Voyage, Gangland, Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn and The Ghetto, just to name a few.
Last year, it was revealed the former rapper was Disco Ball in the reality series The Masked Dancer.
Sadly, season 23 will also see the exit of two of its key characters.
Earlier this year, it was announced that both Jamie Gray Hyder and Demore Barnes would be leaving their roles of Kat Tamin and Deputy Chief Christian Garland respectively.
Hyder and Barnes joined the cast in season 21 and were upped to series regulars for season 22.
From the sounds of it, it was a creative choice to axe Kat and Christian.
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Taking to Instagram to confirm the news, Hyder wrote: “It is with a heavy heart that I confirm Kat’s departure from the squad room.
“The decision was made above my pay grade, and wouldn’t have been my choice, but hey – that’s show biz for ya.
“To anyone who felt represented by any part of Kat’s being or mission, please know that you will always have representation in me.
“Thank you to the SVUniverse for welcoming me with open arms.
“It’s been an experience that I have grown from greatly, and will never forget.”
Kat and Christian will be leaving during the two-hour special of SVU season 23.
How both of them are going to be making their exits though, remains a secret for now.
Also returning for the next series will be Kelli Giddish as Amanda Rollins, Tamara Tunie as Melinda Warner and Peter Scanavino as Dominic Carisi Jr.
Law and Order SVU season 23 premieres on Thursday, September 23, on NBC in America. A UK release date is yet to be announced.
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