Mariska Hargitay, the Golden Globe-winning actress best known for her role on 'Law and Order Svu', will take a backseat on the show for the upcoming 13th season, reports Deadline. Mariska Hargitay has only signed on for thirteen episodes of the new series and her reduced role will allow for new arrival Kelli Giddish to establish herself.
Giddish, last seen on NBC's 'Chase', joins the cast as a series regular and will play a new detective. The actress will be joined by DANNY PINO, who was one of five actors to test for the role vacated by Christopher Meloni. The 37-year-old is best known for his role as 'Desi Arnaz' in 'Lucy: The Lucille Ball Story'. Nbc Entertainment Chief Bob Greenblatt said in a statement, "Kelli and Danny are two great actors who will join a proven cast headed by Mariska Hargitay as this exceptional series heads into a very promising 13th season". Law and Order executive producer Dick Wolf welcomed both new arrivals, saying, "I'm very pleased that we have two amazing actors joining the cast. I know this combination will give us the opportunity to explore the world of Svu with new eyes". Before the casting of Giddish, it was rumoured that Jennifer Love Hewitt was in negotiations to take over from Hargitay.
Despite her reduced role on Law and Order, Mariska Harigaty will be honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.