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Attention, all Law & Order: SVU fans: Stabler is not coming back. It's not happening. Sorry to burst any bubbles. Christopher Meloni told E! News a return has never been brought up to him, and now he's looking forward to having some laughs
"From where I sit right now, I spent 12 years there. It was a great experience. I loved all the people, I loved the character, I just feel at this point and time it's kind of been done, for me," Meloni told E! News at the 2014 Winter TCA Press Tour, where he was promoting his new series, Surviving Jack.
Meloni spent 12 seasons as Detective Stabler opposite Mariska Hargitay on the long-running NBC series. The Emmy nominee is returning to TV in Fox's Surviving Jack, a new comedy from Cougar Town's Bill Lawrence based on Justin Halperin's autobiographical book "I Suck at Girls."
"It's very refreshing to wake up every day and go, ‘I'm going to try and have some laughs today. I'm going to try and play,'" Meloni said. "You carry with you if you spend the day beating someone up or whatever, as opposed to enjoying and messing around. You carry these things with you a little bit."
After Meloni left SVU, he appeared in Man of Steel and True Blood, among other projects. Meloni's former SVU costar Hargitay recently told E! News that his exit, along with Richard Belzer's and Dann Florek's, are getting her ready for an eventual exit. Belzer and Florek left during the current season, season 15.
"It's closing another chapter and it's just hard. It was so hard with Munch because these days are markers in your life. You sort of can't believe the history ... It's an energy that is missed there. But the show is evolving into what it's evolving into. That's also life," Hargitay said. "There will be a time when I leave too, so I feel like it's getting me ready."
Meloni said he's asked about returning to SVU constantly. It's a question not reserved for the actor. Ice-T, Meloni's SVU costar, addressed the actor's departure in a podcast. Meloni shared Ice's podcast, but the rapper/actor had to go one step further on Twitter.
Surviving Jack premieres Thursday, March 27 at 8:30 p.m. on Fox.