Law And Order: SVU Favorite Is Returning to Series

Law & Order: SVU fans were understandably upset when Demore Barnes and Jamie Gray Hyder were written off the show and not brought back for the newest season, but now one of them is coming back. The Law & Order team has revealed that Barnes, who played Chief Christian Garland, will reprise his role at some point during the season. This was made official when Barnes posted a photo on Instagram from the set, adding the caption "What? You didn't think there'd be an encore? #svu #christiangarland #notallheroeswearcapes #seeyousoon"

Then SVU showrunner Warren Leight welcomed Barnes back to the cast and confirmed Chief Garland is part of the mix once again, writing "So happy to have Chief Garland return to #SVU. Welcome back, @DemoreBarnes. Then Barnes wrote back "Thank you. Great to be back, boss. #SVU23"

It was quite a shock to fans when Barnes and Hyder were both written off the show, and after taking some time to deal with a death in the family, Barnes spoke to the fans about the situation in a heartfelt statement, which you can find below.

"Hi everyone, thanks so much for your understanding and patience. I wanted to ensure that I'm able to bring my level best in this statement. To the SVU crew, my castmates, NBC, Wolf Entertainment, and all of you, and yet in the midst of what's transpired there are things I know and things I don't," Barnes said.

"What I know is that it is almost every actor's desired right of passage to appear on one episode of SVU, and yet here I am. I've not only gone on to do more than one episode, but I know I've done it with style," Barnes said. "I also know, now on the other side of our having made it through this past season of filming in the minefield of COVID with fear and without fallen colleagues, that I am honored and proud to have helped this storied franchise bridge its most difficult year in its record-breaking run, and that the show did it with style."

"I also know that I played a significant role in SVU achieving its highest ratings this past season than it's had in several years and that both Garland and I were so very well-loved and embraced by you from day one. I am also so very proud to have portrayed the first black deputy chief in SVU history. I also know I love and respect my castmates. Ice, Pete, Kelli, Jamie, and Mariska, and grateful they love and respect me back. The SVU crew, I'm grateful for you and for your skilled, humble, and steadfast way you led our show from behind and helped the cast and myself shine. The SVU writers room and producers, I loved giving form, and voice, and soul to your words and to Garland. Warren Light and Julie Martin, collaborating and brainstorming with you was a joy and I'm proud of our work and impact. Thank you for your leadership and invitation into your creative process," Barnes said.

"Mariska, for spearheading my shift to series regular alongside Warren, Julie, and Jonathan Strauss, and for your love and generosity on and off camera, thank you. NBC, for giving myself and SVU a coveted primetime slot and launch pad to create, entertain, and amplify the voice of survivors, thank you. Wolf Entertainment, for this that I said to you personally and now say again publically, I know none of this would have been possible had you not signed off on my joining the cast, thank you," Barnes said.

"Now, don't get me wrong. Do not hear that I was just happy to be here, that's not what I'm saying. Because while I know you're happy I was here, and I'm happy I was here, I also know you're sad and surprised, and I am too. I don't totally know why this has happened, but, I also know that I hope. I hope Wolf Entertainment's leadership in giving me opportunity to amplify a vital voice in story will result in many studios continuing to open doors of opportunity for others to do the same. This must continue, so please, everyone, continue to do your part to support change and amplify the voices and stories that injustice in its many forms seeks to silence. Chief Garland and I would not have it any other way. I love you all. Thank you for loving me back. I'll see you soon," Barnes said.

No word yet on which episode Barnes will return for, but we can't wait to see Garland back in the fold, so the sooner the better.

Are you excited for Barnes' return to SVU? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things Law & Order with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!