After whispering to ghosts and playing a masseuse in a summer TV movie, Jennifer Love Hewitt is taking on the most serious role of her career. "In our third hour, airing September 29, Jennifer will be playing a woman named Vicki who has been raped multiple times and is afraid to leave her house," Law & Order: SVU executive producer Neal Baer tells me exclusively. "One of the reasons we wanted to do this episode is because it addresses Mariska Hargitay's passion for rape kits, which can help gather evidence to convict the rapists. But for some reason these kits have been sitting around unopened in cities all over the country."
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Mariska, who has brought attention to the value of rape kits through her Joyful Heart Foundation, will also be shooting scenes in Los Angeles for this same episode. Since this will be the lead in to Law and Order: Los Angeles' premiere, it seems likely that Mariska's Olivia will be interacting with the new franchise's cast to help lead viewers into Dick Wolf's latest franchise. No comment from Baer on that.