Photo Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Twelve seasons on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is apparently the limit for star Christopher Meloni, who says he will leave the show after next season.
"I think 12 years is enough, a good number," the actor told Australia's Courier-Mail newspaper. But Meloni doesn't know if his character will live or die. "The writers will have fertile ground to figure out how to arc [Det. Eliot Stabler] out to another place -- whether it's this world or the next."
As for his future, Meloni, 48 (who's been with the series since its premiere), says he's ready to turn his attention to theater and film, hoping to do some "guerilla-style sleeper" movies.
"It will be a very difficult transition," he admitted. "I mean, Jesus Christ, every day when you get used to getting up early and working these hours," he said.
And where does Meloni's departure leave costar and onscreen partner Mariska Hargitay? "I don't think she could be without him. She loves him, he's her other half," she told the paper.
Meloni's last season of SVU begins production later this year, and the episodes will run through spring 2011.
Will you miss Christopher Meloni on Law & Order: SVU? Chime in below!