Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is going to be down a detective in Season 24.
In a surprising move, Kelli Giddish has announced she is leaving her role as Detective Amanda Rollins after 12 seasons on the series.
This announcement comes just as NBC had announced a major crossover for all three Law & Order series to premiere on September 22.
The departure closes out Rollins’ fantastic run on the show, which saw her go from a newbie cop to a mother of two and a relationship with ADA Carisi (Peter Scanavino).
There is no word yet on when Giddish’s last episode will air or if she will have a replacement on the series.
The actress has made it clear this was her choice and is departing the show on good terms. Her exit will majorly shake up Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in the future.
Why is Kelli Giddish leaving Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?
The sudden announcement of Giddish’s departure comes as a surprise as there had been little hints of her wanting to leave the series.
The actress broke the news on her Instagram page with a special statement on why she was leaving and thanking the producers for all their support over the years.
Amanda Rollins debuted on the Season 13 premiere in 2011 as one of the new detectives taking the place of the departing Elliott Stabler (Christopher Meloni).
Rollins had her problems over the years, from her troublesome sister to a gambling problem but still handled the job. She also managed to raise two children.
Season 23 saw Rollins and Carisi finally embarking on a relationship that seemed to have them in a good place.
How will Law & Order: Special Victims Unit handle Rollins’ departure?
Giddish gave no word as to when her final episodes will be. It’s thus uncertain if she will last through Season 24 or depart earlier.
There’s also the question of how Rollins will depart, from transferring to a new department to quitting the force or a more dramatic exit. There’s also how it will affect her relationship with Carisi.
The show recently added Molly Burnett as a new detective, who may become a regular member to replace Rollins.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner Julie Martin tweeted out her support for Giddish and wished her luck in the future.
“Thank you to the beautiful, kind, smart and outrageously talented KelliGiddish. Words can’t describe what a joy and a privilege it has been to be by your side, learning and growing with Amanda Rollins for the past eleven seasons. The road will bring us together again. XO”
The news is another twist to the upcoming Season 24, which begins as part of a huge crossover between Law & Order and Law & Order: Organized Crime.
So far, there is no word from Giddish’s co-stars, although it’s likely many will chime in on their feelings over her surprising exit.
While details are scarce, it’s now sure that Season 24 will involve the SVU team having to bid farewell to a long-standing squad member who sparked the show for over a decade.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 24 premieres Thursday September 22 at 9/8c on NBC.