Meloni & Hargitay Too Expensive For Law & Order: SVU?

The 16th Precinct of the New York City Police Dept. might have to make do without detectives Stabler and Benson solving those especially heinous crimes.

Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, the stars of NBC ratings powerhouse Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit, might price themselves out of the series during negotiations with NBC/Universal for a prospective 11th season of the popular crime drama.

The contracts for both performers have expired, and speculation is running rampant that neither NBC/Universal or Law & Order czar Dick Wolf will cave to the actors’ demands for higher salaries. Each signed two-year contracts in 2007 that were worth about $13 million each, according to the A.P.

Meloni said in a 2008 interview that other creative opportunities have somewhat diminished his passion for the show. Meloni’s spokeswoman and NBC had no comment  to the A.P. on the negotiations Thursday. A representative for Hargitay, according to the AP, did not return calls or e-mails.

Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit averages about 9.5 million viewers weekly.

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