March, who played ADA Alexandra Cabot full-time from Season 2 to Season 5 and then again in Season 11, said in a 2004 interview that she had “zero complaints” about her first run on the show and simply wanted to move on. “You get to a point where you feel like, as a character, you kind of said everything you can say. And then it becomes quite redundant,” she added.
Danny Pino, 94 episodes
Pino was a full-timer from Season 13 to Season 16, starring as Detective Nick Amaro. Upon the character’s exit, executive producer Warren Leight told Entertainment Weekly the breakup was amicable. “Danny did seven years of Cold Case and The Shield and then four years here,” he said. “Even last year, he was beginning to want to spread his wings a little. I understood that.”
Philip Winchester, 36 episodes
Winchester, who originated the role of ADA Peter Stone on Chicago Justice before bringing the character to SVU for Seasons 19 and 20, announced his departure from the show on Twitter in May. “Sadly for me, Peter Stone and his ‘the facts don’t care about [your] feelings’ attitude will not be returning,” he wrote.
Michelle Hurd, 25 episodes
Hurd’s Det. Monique Jeffries disappeared midway through Season 2. Sources told Fox 411 that Richard Belzer (Det. John Munch) “didn’t want to partner with her on the show” since she was “getting a lot of the attention and the storylines.” Creator Dick Wolf, however, told the site that he had never had a situation “where one actor has dictated of influenced the fate of another actor.”
Michaela McManus, 22 episodes
McManus played ADA Kim Greylek in a series regular role for Season 10. Former executive producer Neal Baer later stated that her exit was a mutual decision, per E! News.
Adam Beach, 21 episodes
Beach starred as Detective Chester Lake for only the show’s ninth season. “I very much enjoyed my year on Law & Order: SVU,” he said at the time of his 2008 departure. “Now I’m looking forward to new adventures.”
Mariska Hargitay and the rest of the 'SVU' team reveal what's new in the historic season — from job changes to new hires.
With the news that Jamie Gray Hyder (Officer Kat Tamin) has been promoted to a full-time cast member for the NBC show’s record-breaking 21st season, we thought we should pour one (or six) out for the series regulars that didn’t stick around long — by SVU standards, at least. Flip through the gallery above to see these retired cops and lawyers.