Is Amanda Rollins Coming Back to SVU For Good? See What Kelli Giddish Said
Ever since Kelli Giddish exited Law & Order: SVU in 2022, we’ve all been wondering: Is Amanda Rollins coming back to SVU for good? Read on for all the details about the beloved detective’s anticipated comeback and when we’ll see her again onscreen.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (also known as Law & Order: SVU or just SVU), is the police procedural drama following trained detectives in the New York City Police Department as they investigate sexually related crimes. Created by Dick Wolf’s production company, SVU is the first spin-off of Law Order and the second in the Law & Order franchise alongside Law & Order: Organized Crime. The TV series debuted in September 1999, starring Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni, and is currently in its 24th season.
On SVU, Kelli Giddish portrays the role of Amanda Rollins, a detective in the Special Victims Unit of the NYC Police Department. Her character first appeared in Season 13, Episode 1, “Scorched Earth,” and was introduced as a transfer from Atlanta. Her work partner is Detective Fin Tutuola (Ice-T) and Rollins has two daughters, Jesse and Billie, both from previous relationships. Giddish ultimately decided to exit the series at the beginning of season 24 after 11 years of playing Rollins. The actress was previously known for her roles in All My Children, Past Life and Chase.
In an interview with Smashing Interviews Magazine in October 2021, Giddish talked about how she first landed the detective role on SVU. “I had a meeting with someone in the Dick Wolf Productions arena, and then they pulled me out to come screen test. I was living in Los Angeles at the time. I had just finished a show called Chase. It was on for a season, and I was the lead on that,” she explained. “It was such a great time, and I was figuring out what I wanted to do next. I got a call that Chris Meloni was leaving the show, and they were looking for maybe a male and a female to step in his shoes at Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. I said, ‘Oh, that sounds pretty interesting.’ I’d lived in New York, and I loved New York, so I came out here to screen test. I did the screen test with Mariska with Dick Wolf watching. Now, 11 seasons later, I can’t believe I’ve been on the show for 11 years!”
Following Giddish’s exit in season 24, is she coming back to reprise her role? Keep reading to learn everything we know about Amanda Rollins coming back to SVU.
Is Amanda Rollins coming back to SVU?
Is Amanda Rollins coming back to SVU for good? The answer is no. However, Rollins did return to guest star in Season 24, Season 21, “Bad Things,” as well as the penultimate episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 in May 2023. Rollins was also pregnant with her third when she came back to the series, as she expanded her family with her husband, Assistant District Attorney Dominic “Sonny” Carisi (Peter Scanavino). When fans last saw Giddish as a series regular, Rollins married Carisi in a romantic courthouse ceremony surrounded by her coworkers. She decided to step down from SVU to accept a teaching position as a professor at Fordham University.
Though Giddish isn’t returning as a series regular, she told Variety in December 2022 that the “door is un-shut” for her Rollins to come back for good and hinted that she would be open to starring in another Dick Wolf production. “The door is un-shut,” sh said. “The world that Dick Wolf has created with all these shows now — I mean, the crossovers that happen, the people that come back. Chris Meloni was gone for 12 years and then his character came back. S. Epatha [Merkerson] is on Chicago Med. These these characters are so beloved and so well-defined, because you get to see them day in and day out. We’re in people’s living rooms. So the audience loves these characters, they know us. Dick Wolf has got such a fertile universe that’s going on, that people can pop up in different places. That’s really a cool thing that he’s created.”
Why did Kelli Giddish leave SVU?
Why did Kelli Giddish leave SVU? In real life, Giddish announced that she would exit the long-running series ahead of the Season 24 premiere. Her exit was not her choice or a decision made by series showrunner David Graziano, according to our sister publication Variety, but was “a call made from above.” The publication also noted that “salary negotiations and her future on the show were part of the conversation and, ultimately, a compromise couldn’t be made.”
In a statement from Giddish provided by NBC, she said: “I wanted to address the chatter I’ve seen online and let everyone know that this will, indeed, be my last season on Law & Order: SVU. Playing Rollins has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life. I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of the Law & Order family for the last 12 years. There is simply no other character on TV like Rollins. She’s grown and changed, and I have as well. I started on this show when I was in my late 20s and I’m grateful I got to spend so many of my adult years with Rollins in my life.”
Variety caught up with Giddish in December 2022 to talk about her exit and why now was the perfect time to say goodbye. “My side of things is just that it’s time in the Rollins storyline. I felt like where it was heading, and where it headed last night, just seemed the right place to leave it right now,” Giddish explained to Variety. “I am so excited about things going on in my personal life and kind of the mirroring of what’s going on in my personal life and in Rollins’, there’s a lot of joy to be experienced.”
She also talked about what it’s been like playing a fan-favorite like Rollins in three decades of her life. “I started playing her in my late 20s, so I’ve played her in three decades of my life, which is nuts. It’s insane. This is a show unlike any other. Shows don’t last 12 years, much less getting to play a character,” she added. “With playing someone as multi-faceted as Rollins, I got to play all kinds of different things — down and out, on top, joyful, doubtful, scared, triumphant. I got to do the gambit.”
There’s also a chance that we could see Amanda Rollins again beyond season 24. NBC recently announced that Law & Order, SVU and Organized Crime had all been renewed for new seasons. Law & Order and SVU will have 22 episodes, while Organized Crime will have 13. “All of us at SVU feel honored to be able to continue telling these essential stories, and we are proud that the family we’ve become has grown stronger, bolder and more united with each season,” Hargitay told Variety in an exclusive statement. “While we have seen significant changes in our culture, injustice persists and too many voices still go unheard.”
Law & Order: SVU airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.
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