Addressing reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said he “wanted to get clear” that Hargitay will appear in every episode of the show’s 13th season. Rumors have swirled for a few months that Hargitay was reducing her involvement in the show, but Greenblatt says Detective Olivia Benson won’t be going anywhere.
“Mariska is there in every single episode, and it’s my goal to make sure that continues past this season,” he says.
Greenblatt does allow that Hargitay, who recently adopted a baby with her husband, Peter Hermann, may reduce her filming schedule a little bit. “I think you won’t notice anything,” he says. “In the past couple years, it’s my understanding, I think she’s lightened her load in terms of the number of days per week she films. … And the show is going into its 13th year, so I think it’s not unreasonable to think she might want to lighten her workload. If you haven’t noticed it to this point, I don’t think anything is really going to change on screen.”
There have also been reports that Olivia may become more of a supervisor to the other detectives in Special Victims Unit, including the new characters played by Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish. Greenblatt says that may happen, or it may not.
“That remains to be seen,” he says. “It’s something we’ve talked about, and I don’t know if that’s actually where it’s going in the latter half of the season. But that could happen.”
“Law & Order: SVU” is scheduled to premiere Wednesday, Sept. 21.