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Mariska Hargitay, Chris Meloni

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In the entertainment journalism system, Law & Order: SVU reunions are considered especially enjoyable. Former SVU partners Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni reunited for one happy selfie. Yes, that's Elliot Stabler under that big beard. Meloni's sporting the facial hair for his role on WGN America's Underground.

"Meeting peeps NYC #hanginWithAFriend," he tweeted Friday.

Hargitay and Meloni starred on Law & Order: SVU for 12 seasons together. Meloni left between seasons 12 and 13 after contract negotiations went bad, but Hargitay is still locking it down as Olivia Benson. SVU, now in season 17, has already been renewed for season 18.

Mariska Hargitay, Chris Meloni, Law & Order: SVU, Old Couples

NBC

Executive producer Warren Leight recently revealed he had toyed with approaching Meloni for a guest spot when it wasn't clear SVU would return after this season. "We had been talking [about], had this been the last episode, we would have tried him to bring him back," Leight told The Hollywood Reporter. "In hindsight, NBC, Dick [Wolf], Universal and Chris all know they could have handled that better," Leight said. "But I think Chris, over time from what I hear, began to realize that the fans were owed a little more."

SVU will be back, but Leight won't. The showrunner is exiting after signing a new deal with Sony. Law & Order and CSI veteran Rick Eid will take over the show with season 18. He's also worked on Hostages and two other Law & Order spinoffs, Conviction and Law & Order: Trial By Jury.

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)