Warren Leight Exiting As ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Showrunner After Season 17

SVU - BensonLaw & Order: Special Victims Unit is losing its showrunner.

Franchise veteran Warren Leight, who also served as showrunner on Law & Order spin-off Criminal Intent, will step down from his duties as SVU showrunner at the end of its upcoming seventeenth season, Leight revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Leight – whose list of TV credits also includes HBO’s In Treatment and Dick Wolf’s Chicago P.D. – took over as showrunner in 2011. He is widely credited for “creatively rebooting” Special Victims Unit for its thirteenth season, which was the first not to feature original cast member Chris Melloni, who exited his role as Detective Stabler at the end of season twelve after failing to reach a new deal with NBC.

The news that Leight will be exiting SVU is not entirely unexpected, in fact he was set to exit ahead of this season after inking an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television back in March. “Sony has loaned me back to Law & Order for the season is essentially how that worked out but I’m a loaner”, Leight told THR. “It’s a strange process but barring a collapse of the entire Hollywood system, I imagine this is my last year at Law & Order”.