Philip Winchester, who plays assistant district attorney Peter Stone on the long-running drama, announced on Twitter that he won’t be returning next season. (An NBC rep declined to confirm Winchester’s exit.)
“Sadly for me, Peter Stone and his ‘the facts don’t care about you’re [sic] feelings’ attitude will not be returning,” he tweeted. “A huge tip of the hat to my amazing fans and not so big of [sic] fans. You ALL make me work harder. Thank you! See you on the next adventure.”
Winchester joined the SVU cast in Season 19 after originating the character of Peter Stone on another Dick Wolf production: the NBC legal drama Chicago Justice, which was axed after just one season. The character of Peter Stone has a strong connection to the Law & Order family, too: He’s the son of L&O‘s executive assistant D.A. Ben Stone, played by Michael Moriarty on the original series.
SVU was renewed earlier on Friday for a record-breaking 21st season, making it the longest-running live-action series in history, topping both Gunsmoke and the original Law & Order. Winchester congratulated his castmates on the renewal, saying he’s “learned much and enjoyed being part of an elite unit”:
Along with playing Peter Stone, Winchester also co-starred with Blindspot‘s Sullivan Stapleton on the Cinemax action series Strike Back for five seasons. Plus, he starred alongside Wesley Snipes on the short-lived NBC drama The Player, which aired just nine episodes in 2015.