Kelli Giddish is leaving Law & Order: SVU after 12 seasons: 'No other character on TV like Rollins'
Kelli Giddish, who's been a mainstay on Law & Order: SVU since her first appearance as Det. Amanda Rollins back in season 13, surprised fans Wednesday by announcing her departure from the long-running crime drama. The show is about to start airing its 24th season this fall on NBC.
"I wanted to address the chatter I've seen online and let everyone know that this will, indeed, be my last season on 'Law & Order: SVU,'" Giddish said in a statement posted to Instagram. "Playing Rollins has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life. I've been so fortunate to be a part of the 'Law & Order' family for the last 12 years. There is simply no other character on TV like Rollins. She's grown and changed, and I have as well. I started on this show when I was in my late 20s and I'm grateful I got to spend so many of my adult years with Rollins in my life."
Giddish went on to thank Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf, star and producer Mariska Hargitay, executive producer Peter Jankowski, NBC, Universal Television, and all her costars and crew members for their "incredible work together these last 12 years."
Virginia Sherwood/NBC Kelli Giddish on 'Law & Order: SVU'
She concluded, "I'm so excited to take all the things I have learned in my time on 'SVU' and put them toward everything that's next to come…"
It's unclear precisely when Giddish's final episode as Rollins will air, but sources tell EW it will be midseason.
Giddish first appeared on SVU back in 2007, as a victim in the season 8 episode "Outsider." The actress was later cast in the more prominent role as Rollins and made her debut as the character with the season 13 premiere in 2011.
NBC announced hours before Giddish's big news that all three of its Law & Order dramas — SVU, Organized Crime, and the original L&O — would be crossing over for the first time ever in a three-hour special in September. The event will mark the season 24 premiere of SVU and kick off NBC's fall season.
TV Line reports that Rollins will experience a traumatic event early in season 24, which will lead to Giddish's character being written off the show. A rep for NBC declined to comment.
Other casting shakeups in the world of Law & Order include Anthony Anderson not returning for season 22 of the original series, Mehcad Brooks joining Law & Order, and Molly Burnett joining SVU as a new detective in season 24.