Diane Neal, Law & Order: SVU

When Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns, the show will hark back to earlier seasons, Diane Neal says.

"It's back on track to what the original SVU was intended to be, which is about sex crimes and crimes against children," Neal says. "It's got more of a nitty-gritty feel."

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Neal, who plays ADA Casey Novak, left the series after Season 9, but returned for one episode last year and will be back for more in the upcoming Season 13. She says having her and Stephanie March (Alex Cabot) back provides a familiarity for viewers now that original cast member Chris Meloni is gone. "I think they should put us in the court room together!" she says about March.

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In the interview below, Neal talks about the on-set vibe with the new detectives played by Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish and why she hopes Novak will never change.

The new season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit premieres Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 10/9c on NBC.