Diane Neal by Virginia Sherwood/NBC
Man, they're dropping like flies this week on the procedurals. Less than 24 hours after I reported that Gary Dourdan and
by season's end, word comes that
has given notice at
Law & Order: SVU
A show spokesperson confirmed the actress' departure, saying, "Diane spent five years on
and was a tremendous addition to the
team. She is looking forward to new opportunities and she will be missed."
Neal, who will make her final appearance in next month's season finale, joined
in 2003 as ADA Casey Novak, replacing Stephanie March. She had previously appeared in a Season 3 episode as a different character, a female rapist by the name of Amelia Chase.
The search for a new ADA is already under way, and, sadly, bringing March back doesn't appear to be an option. Word is that Dick Wolf is looking to fill the void with an up-and-comer. No disrespect to Neal, but, for my money,
is unlikely to ever find an ADA as arresting as Alex Cabot.