‘Law & Order: SVU’ season 16 finale: Mariska Hargitay, Danny Pino on surprising exit

Law & Order: SVU logoIt is never easy to say goodbye to a series regular on a long-running TV show, but it is even harder when it is someone seemingly as well-liked and professional as Danny Pino. We had the pleasure of talking with him once about “Law & Order: SVU,” and he did seem to be passionate about the work. While this may have made some sense creatively to see Nick Amaro get a fresh start somewhere new, it does leave a gaping hole in the cast going into season 17.

After the season 16 finale aired on NBC last night, though, Pino displayed nothing but gratitude on social media, thanking Dick Wolf, the show, and pretty much every person who works on it for having such a great experience the past four years. Pino had big shoes to fill coming in after the exit of Christopher Meloni, but he managed to completely own a part without ever suffering from those expectations.

In addition to sharing this, his co-star Mariska Hargitay also shared a photo of herself and Pino on social media. It’s a warm tribute from one key player on the show to another.

In the end, we imagine that “SVU” will once again twist and evolve just as it always has. Hargitay is the only person to appear in over 360 episodes of the long-running show, and to be a regular ever since the beginning. Ice-T is in second position in terms of cast seniority, having joined a year into the series’ run. He is credited in more than 340 episodes.

(Photo: NBC.)

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