- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 24, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Christopher Meloni isn’t coming back to NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” when it returns this fall.

The actor and Universal Media Studios were unable to come to terms on a new contract, according to a person familiar with the situation, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because NBC and the studio had not authorized public comment.

Meloni’s co-star, Mariska Hargitay, will be back for the upcoming season, the show’s 13th, the person said.

Meloni portrayed Detective Elliot Stabler, a family man and veteran of an elite squad that investigates crimes with a sexual aspect. Hargitay was his partner, Detective Olivia Benson, who joined the squad because she was conceived in a rape. The show features Dann Florek, Tamara Tunie, Richard Belzer, B.D. Wong and Ice-T.