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SVU's Mariska Hargitay Helps Trauma Survivors On-Screen and Off

Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay's character on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has devoted her life to helping survivors of assault and abuse, and the actress is doing her part in real life as well. Her Joyful Heart Foundation, inspired by Hargitay's experiences on the show, aims to aid and inspire people who have suffered sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Hargitay talked to TVGuide.com about the charity's pursuit of a $250,000 grant from Pepsi, what's next for her character, Detective Olivia Benson, and the odds of Benson hooking up with her partner, Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).

TVGuide.com: Tell me about Joyful Heart and why it's a cause you feel so strongly about. 
Mariska Hargitay: Joyful Heart is about...

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NBC Exec: SVU Will Return "With or Without" Its Two Leads

Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay

NBC has officially made it clear that Law & Order: SVU will continue on the network with or without leads Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni.

"The show is coming back; we hope they come back with it," said Marc Graboff, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment, at Monday's upfront presentations. But will they? Read on...

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SVU Without Mariska and Meloni?

Law & Order: SVU

The good news: NBC has renewed Law & Order: SVU, its highest-rated drama, for an 11th season. The bad news: The network is threatening to replace Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni, according to EW's Michael Ausiello.

This shocking development comes as the two leads have reportedly banded together to negotiate pay increases in the form of a share of the back-end profits. An NBC representative told TVGuide.com that it is their policy not to comment on talent negotiations. While a hard-line threat is a common tactic in salary negotiations, it seems unlikely that NBC would follow through with the firings.

But it raises the question: Could SVU exist without its two popular leads?

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SVU's Christopher Meloni Hits the Gym

Christopher Meloni courtesy Nickelodeon

Christopher Meloni is best known for depicting intense scary guys in shows from NYPD Blue to Oz and his current long-running gig as Law Order SVUs Det Elliot Stabler But hes also been known to moonlight as freaky characters in gross-out comedies like Wet Hot American Summer and the Harold and Kumar flicks Meloni again is veering off the usual path in two upcoming projects tonights Nickelodeon family movie Gym Teacher Friday Sept 12 at 8 pmET and the romantic weepy Nights in Rodanthe hitting theaters Sept 26 We talked to the busy actor during one of his SVU lunch breaks Ileane RudolphTV Guide Has tough guy Christopher Meloni gone soft First youre reading on Noggin then Gym Teacher a Nick movie Whats up with that Christopher Meloni I like to think of that as expanding my fan base Trying to capture the under-12 market I like to exercise and sometimes its nice to change up the exercise a little bit and go to different places Comedys a read more

SVU's Richard Belzer Dishes on New Season

Richard Belzer by Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage.com

As production of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit's new season kicks into full gear, TVGuide.com talked to star Richard Belzer on Tuesday in New York at the Paws for Style benefit (where he and his pup, Bebe, were strutting their stuff in Von Dutch). Coming off of his first day back on set, Belzer said "it was great to see everybody." So what can we expect from the upcoming season? Look for an exciting season premiere: "James Brolin is in it and he's a great guy," says Belzer. Brolin will be playing an ex-military man with a connection to Detective Elliot Stabler, played by Christopher Meloni. "He's got a big fight scene with Stabler, so that should be fun," said Belzer. And for all you Munch fans out there hoping he'll have more screen time, it looks promising. As for his storylines, "Well, I can't say, but there are some big surprises coming up."Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns to NBC on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 10 pm/ET. — Robyn RossRelated• The Latest Meg... read more

'Unorthodox'

For all you bloggers who want L&O:SVU to go back to investigating sex crimes I think we can all agree that the rape of a young boy is going to qualify.Now since Olivia was the featured detective in last week's episode it was pretty obvious that we'd be treated to a little Elliot Stabler tonight. But lo and behold who is that dapper chap standing next to him? Well if my eyes don't deceive me I do believe it's our long lost conspiracy minded investigator Det. John Munch. Haven't seen too much of Richard Belzer since NBC sidelined him at the beginning of this season. NIce to have him backWonder what came first though? Did the Orthodox Jew storyline logically dictate Belzer's presence or did they figure: well we're committed to putting Richard in one episode this year so let's throw his religion into the mix? If that's what its going to take I guess we won't see Munch again until SVU starts investigating hate crimes or someone defaces a synagogue. Shame. They even dumped him ... read more

Jeers: A Not-So-Special SVU

Christopher Meloni in Law & Order: SVU by Eric Liebowitz/NBC Photo

Jeers to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for cheating Christopher Meloni — and viewers — out of a potentially powerful plotline. The promos for this week's episode made it look like the Emmy-nominated star would be dealt a dramatic challenge when his character, Det. Elliot Stabler, gets blinded by a perp. As it turned out, Stabler only suffered temporary blurred vision, and the story gave miscast guest star Arye Gross (as a schizophrenic serial rapist) and generic supporting player Diane Neal (as ADA Casey Novak) showier roles. Anybody who remembers Meloni's captivating performance as sociopath Chris Keller on Oz knows he deserves better.• Read and react to Bruce's opinions on Heroes' David Anders, Curb Your Enthusiasm and more!• Share your own raves and rants about other shows on the brand-new Reader Cheers & Jeers discussion board.• We may feature your Cheer or Jeer on TVGuide.com or in TV Guide magazine! read more

Have you heard about Chris ...

Question: Have you heard about Chris Meloni's full moon in the May 8 episode of SVU?


Answer: "Full moon" is a bit of an exaggeration. From what I hear, it's more like a waning crescent.

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SVU Preview: "It's Benson as You've Never Seen Her"

Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU

Plotlines ripped from the headlines. An emphasis on crime over character. The signature "dum dum." Although these are staples of Dick Wolf's venerable franchise, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET, on NBC) has always differed from its siblings. Over the past eight years, we've gotten to know a lot about the show's two main detectives: Christopher Meloni's hunky but hotheaded Elliot Stabler, and Emmy-winner Mariska Hargitay's empathetic Olivia Benson. Although the cases they work are still the series' hook, their soap-opera-like personal sagas — Stabler's unstable home life, Benson's background as the child of rape, their undeniable sexual attraction — read more

At the Movies: Sequels to The Departed, Fockers

Talks are underway to serve up a follow-up to Martin Scorsese's The Departed, which to date has earned much acclaim (including five Oscar nods) and $125.2 million in box office. Sources tell Reuters that Departed scribe William Monahan is at work on a take that would involve Mark Wahlberg's Dignam, and introduce a new character to be played by Robert De Niro.... Teri Polo is set to reprise her role as Ben Stiller's wife in Meet the Little Focker.... Harold & Kumar 2 — which will pick up where the original left off, with Harold hot to follow Maria (Paula Garcés) to Amsterdam, but is thwarted when Kumar is mistaken at the airport for a terrorist — also has Neil Patrick Harris, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Rob Corddry, Christopher Meloni and Roger Bart on board. read more

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