Two Major Stars Exit Law & Order: SVU

In a bit of shocking news, the upcoming 23rd season of NBC's primetime staple Law & Order: SVU will be missing two major characters, who are both exiting the series. According to Deadline, Jamie Gray Hyder and Demore Barnes will be leaving the series, and sources say that their exits will be revealed during Season 23's premiere on Thursday, September 23rd. Hyder plays Officer Kat Tamin, who is the newest member of Captain Olivia Benson's (Mariska Hargitay) SVU team, while Barnes plays Deputy Chief Christian Garland. It's unknown why they are leaving, but looks like we don't have to wait long to find out what the storyline reasons are.

Both Hyder and Barnes were introduced relatively recently, as they came on board in season 21. They were then promoted to recurring roles and then series regulars in season 22, so it is odd that they would be departing so soon, though their shorter stints with the show are far from the shortest in the history of the show and Law & Order in general.

The first episode of the two-hour premiere is titled "And the Empire Strikes Back", and will focus on the testing of loyalty between Benson and Garland as well as Rollins and Carisi as they all try and keep their witnesses headed to court and alive when a powerful congressman is listed as a suspect. Guest stars include Ben Rappaport, Terry Serpico, and Octavio Pisano.

The second episode is titled "Never Turn Your Back on Them", and puts Fin and Kat in the spotlight, though Garland and Benson will also be in the mix there as well. Fin and Kat will be attempting to track down a missing witness into dangerous territory, while Chief McGrath applies pressure on Garland and Benson to make sure they get a conviction and that it sticks.

While 2 seasons is a shorter stay on the show, it's not the shortest by far. In fact, in previous seasons of SVU and the original Law & Order there have been frequent change-ups of partners and ADAs, sometimes with ADAs only lasting a few episodes (and in one memorable case, one episode).

We'll have to wait and see who comes in to fill those roles, but we'll definitely miss both stars, as they've been great over the past two seasons.

Are you sad to see them exit the series? Let us know in the comments and as always you can talk all things Law & Order with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!