NBC’s ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit‘ will freshen things up a bit this coming season by sending Benson to the West Coast, welcoming back a familiar face and saying farewell to a longtime presence on the set.
For starters, ‘SVU’ will make its first-ever trip to Los Angeles at the end of August to shoot an episode in which Benson (played by Mariska Hargitay) pursues a case involving rape kits that haven’t been opened. Jennifer Love Hewitt guest-stars as a victim.
Helping facilitate the location shoot, says Access Hollywood, is the fact that Hargitay will already be in L.A. for the August 29 Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, where she is up for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
In the L.A.-based episode, airing September 29, Benson will cross paths with Detective Rex Winters, the character Skeet Ulrich will be playing on ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles.’ That will effectively set up the ‘LOLA’ spin-off, which premieres that night after ‘SVU.’
In the following episode, ‘ER’ alumna Gloria Reuben will make an encore as U.S. Attorney Christine Danielson, a role she first played in December 2007. That same October 6 outing will be the last viewers see of the SVU squad room they know and love. As reported by TV Guide Magazine, when when “all hell breaks loose” at the close of the hour, the stage is set for an extreme makeover to be unveiled the following week.