After 12 seasons starring on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Christopher Meloni will exit the NBC drama this fall.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, news of Meloni's departure comes after protracted negotiations.

Meloni's co-star Mariska Hargitay will be back this fall, but will be limiting her time on the show after recently adopting a baby girl. According to THR, Jennifer Love Hewitt is among the leading female possibilities to join the cast.

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