Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stephanie March, Diane Neal Return

Fans of Dick Wolf’s longrunning crime procedural Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will be greeted by two familiar faces when the show premieres its 13th season this fall. Actresses Stephanie March and Diane Neal, best known for their roles as Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) Alexandra Cabot and Casey Novak, respectively, will be returning to the halls of Manhattan SVU after several seasons of casting musical chairs on the show.

Entertainment Weekly confirmed the news this week; according to the trade paper, the two legal ladies will be back for “an undetermined amount of episodes.” Cabot starred as the unit’s prosecuting ADA from Season 2 to Season 4 and appeared part-time in Seasons 5, 6, and 11. Novak appeared full-time for four seasons before the character was temporarily disbarred and fired from the District Attorney’s Office in Season 9.

Neal and March’s return follows the recent additions of Cold Case alum Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish of Chase fame to the SVU cast, which will undergo several changes over the next year. Longtime series star Christopher Meloni departed the role of Det. Elliot Stabler at the end of the show’s 12th season on the heels of a salary dispute with producers. He’ll instead pursue other projects, including a role in the upcoming box office blockbuster Superman: The Man of Steel. Fan fav Mariska Hargitay will take on a reduced role as Det. Olivia Benson in order to spend more time with her recently-expanded family. Ice-T has also renewed his contract for the show and is guaranteed to continue as Det. Fin Tutola for the next two years.

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