Negotiations with both actors had gone on for months, broke down in the spring, and started up again a few weeks ago. Despite not having reached an agreement with the show leads, earlier this year NBC announced that it was renewing the show for another season and made it clear that the show would continue even without Meloni and Hargitay.
The actors, who have both starred in the drama since its debut in 1999, conducted the negotiations as a unit, making similar contract demands.
Award-winning actress Christine Lahti will also be joining the duo next season as a guest star during the first four episodes. [Variety]