Apparently Det. Elliot Stabler’s departure is going to have a profound effect on the “Law & Order: SVU” squadroom. Stabler’s fate was sealed last spring when series mainstay Christopher Meloni failed to reach an agreement for a new contract after 12 years on the show. As a result, last season’s finale had the veteran cop shooting, and killing a young girl, a scenario that placed Stabler’s future in a dark cloud with plenty of leeway for the show’s writers. While it’s not yet clear how his departure will be explained, an exclusive report from TVLine.com indicates it will weigh heavily on Stabler’s former colleagues. “The reasons for his absence and the effect it has on the squadroom — and Olivia (Mariska Hargitay) — will be explored in the first several episodes,” new showrunner Warren Leight told TVLine. As was previously reported, the show signed Kelli Giddish (“Chase”) and Danny Pino (“Criminal Minds”) as series regulars to replace Stabler.
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