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Jennifer Love Hewitt May Join 'Law & Order: SVU' as New Detective

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Detective Elliot Stabler will have a new partner midway through the new season of Law & Order: SVU.

According to, producers have granted Mariska Hargitay's request to cut back on her on-set hours for the upcoming 13th season, and Jennifer Love Hewitt is the leading contender to sign onto the squad to replace Hargitay's Det. Olivia Benson, who will reportedly be promoted mid-season, clearing the way for Hewitt's character.

At this point, reports TVLine, nothing's definite.  If true, though, it's a sweet deal for Hargitay, whose $385,000 per episode salary remains intact.  Meloni reportedly has not yet signed a deal and is rumored to have asked for a raise.

If Hewitt were to join the SVU cast, it wouldn’t be her first time on the set.  Last fall, the actress guest-starred as a rape victim in an episode of the show.

Her last series was The Ghost Whisperer, which ended its five-season run on CBS last year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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