Law & Order: SVU Finds Its Replacements for Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni

... With Mariska Hargitay returning to Law & Order: SVU in only a limited role and Christopher Meloni's recent announcement that he's saying "Peace, Audi 5000!" for good, the series had to act fast to replace its two lead detectives. Actress Kelli Giddish, formerly of NBC's short-lived Chase and Fox's Past Life, and Danny Pino, formerly of CBS' Cold Case, have joined the most popular of Law & Order's spin-offs, lowering the overall age and increasing the handsomeness of the cast. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Don't shed a tear for Chris Meloni, though. The SVU veteran will play a major role in the forthcoming Superman movie from Hollywood hack Zack Snyder. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Survivor guru Jeff Probst has turned talking about dirty people who stab each other in the back into quite a career. But in 2012, he'll be talking about new things without smelling like a three-day old piece of bologna. Probst and CBS have cut a deal that will see the Survivor host helming his own daytime talk show, where he'll chat about newsmakers and lesser-known stories. Probst will still remain host of Survivor, though. [THR]

... Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Michelle Trachtenberg is continuing her guest-starring binge with a stint on Weeds. She'll play a ganja peddler who catches the eye of Silas and becomes a business rival of Nancy's. Television: where pot dealers look like Michelle Trachtenberg and not a muppet who delivers pizza in his downtime. [EW]

... FX's Powers, based on the comic series of the same name, continues its casting frenzy after booking Jason Patric and Lucy Punch as its leads. Carly Foulkes, better known as that hottie in the T-Mobile ads who looks pretty in pink, gets her big break as Retro Girl, a superhero at the heart of the mystery series' first big case. This show is already sexier than 90 percent of television. []

... Television might get 1000-percent worse after next year. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has announced that the fifth season of the AMC show, which will likely air in 2012, could very well be its last. [Collider]

... In similar news, Weeds creator Jenji Kohan has said that this current season of the Showtime drama, the show's seventh, could also be its last. Maybe then Mary-Louise Parker will have more time to provide me with those locks of hair I demanded from her. She will be mine. [EW]

... AMC's The Walking Dead has cast both Herschel and Maggie, two of the comic series' more popular characters (read: they don't die right away). Scott Wilson, the veteran actor from 1967's In the Heat of the Night who more recently appeared as an old bank robber in Justified, will play elderly farmer Hershel. The fetching Lauren Cohan, Supernatural's Bela and The Vampire Diaries' Rose, will play his daughter Maggie. [TV Guide]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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