Producers are putting the “order” firmly back into Law & Order: SVU for the procedural’s upcoming 15th season.
Raul Esparza, who recurred last year as ADA Rafael Barba, has been promoted to a series regular, Deadline reports.
Barba, known for his sharp suits and his sometimes brash methods, is the first ADA to be included in the regular cast since Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) in Season 11.
Esparza made his debut on the show early in Season 14 after having worked with showrunner Warren Leight on the short-lived Broadway musical Leap of Faith. “Making him a series regular is a small way of acknowledging his enormous contribution to our show,” Leight said in a statement.
Although the news is good for SVU fans, it might be harder to swallow for Hannibal viewers. Esparza recurred as Frederick Chilton, and series creator Bryan Fuller recently told TVGuide.com he wanted “a lot more of Raul Esparza” in Season 2.
Law & Order: SVU’s two-hour season premiere airs on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 9/8c on NBC. Are you excited to see more Barba?
Resolving a months-long behind-the-scenes cliffhanger, Mariska Hargitay has inked a new deal to return for Law & Order: SVU‘s 15th season, the actress trumpeted on Saturday via Twitter.
NBC execs, which renewed SVU earlier this month while negotiations with Hargitay were still going on, aren’t the only ones breathing a sigh of relief. The show’s fans — who watched as Hargitay’s alter ego Olivia Benson literally dodged a (potential) bullet in the closing seconds of last week’s season finale — can take comfort in knowing their favorite heroine will survive the ordeal.
The financial terms of the deal are TBD, but it’s safe to say that Hargitay — who pocketed a cool $500,000 per episode for Season 14 — will hold onto her title as TV’s highest-paid actress.