‘Law & Order: SVU’ season 17: Mariska Hargitay definitely on board

Law & Order: SVU logoWhile there was probably never any real doubt here as to whether or not this was going to happen, it is still nice to get a little bit of official word now: Mariska Hargitay is going to be returning for the 17th season of “Law & Order: SVU.”

This news was tucked away today in a new report from Deadline, discussing the many ways in which shows have to prepare for possibilities revolving around one or two potential series leads running away. This is something that “SVU” faced years ago when Chris Meloni opted to depart, but this show has managed to figure out how to stay strong and has found new, interesting challenges for Olivia Benson now that she is the series’ sole lead.

There was never any real doubt about whether or not Hargitay would return for another season. She had expressed hope that she would earlier this year before the season 17 renewal was official, and we never heard anything that she was considering saying goodbye. Benson has become an iconic TV role, and given the actress’ involvement in the Joyful Heart Foundation and as an advocate against domestic violence, being a part of this show is one of the best possible platforms for her to continue to do good work.

The great news that comes with Hargitay making an early decision is that it doesn’t force the show to sweat anything out. Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion have yet to sign new deals with “Castle,” and “Bones” and “Criminal Minds” are each facing lengthy contract negotiations with some of their stars.

(Photo: NBC.)

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