Kelli Giddish Is Coming Back to ‘Law & Order: SVU’ This Season

Estimated read time 3 min read

Giddish was a regular on the series for twelve seasons before departing last season.

Kelli Giddish as Amanda Rollins in Law & Order: SVU

Image via NBC

The Big Picture

  • Kelli Giddish will return to
    Law & Order: SVU
    after her controversial departure last season.
  • Amanda Rollins, her character, has been a beloved addition to the show’s ensemble cast.
  • Giddish’s return has fans excited, with no air date set yet for the upcoming episode.

Kelli Giddish may have controversially departed Law & Order: Special Victims Unit last season, but it’s clear she’s welcome back on the long-running procedural any time. After guest-starring in the NBC cop-show flagship’s 25th season premiere back in January, Giddish will return as Detective Amanda Rollins later this season. Deadline reports that Giddish is set to star in the eleventh episode of the season, for which an air date has not yet been set.

Giddish (and her character, Rollins) departed the show in its 24th season last year. The move was unpopular with both the show’s fans and with star and executive producer Mariska Hargitay; a report in Variety attributed her departure to NBC executives’ desire “to keep the show as up to date and current as possible,” and to failed salary negotiations, but others saw the hand of misogyny in removing one of the show’s most popular female characters. Collider’s Gregory Mysogland was dismayed by Giddish’s abrupt departure, and wrote that “getting rid of both Giddish and Rollins will be remembered as one of the historic series’ major blunders, and viewers are right to feel disappointed by the decision.”

Who is Amanda Rollins?

Debuting on Special Victims Unit in its thirteenth season (although Giddish had played a different character in an episode of the series in its eighth season), Amanda Rollins was part of a new cohort of characters designed to revitalize the show after the departure of long-running male lead Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni). Initially intimidated by her experienced colleague Olivia Benson (Hargitay), Rollins soon became a valuable member of the team and a beloved addition to the popular series’ ensemble cast. Rollins had a number of personal struggles over her twelve seasons on the show, including her abusive father, her sister’s struggles with cocaine use and bipolar disorder, and her own recurring addition to gambling. A single mother of two, Rollins eventually married her colleague, assistant district attorney Dominick Carisi (Peter Scanavino) and retired from the police force to teach at Fordham University. She last appeared on the series in this year’s 25th-season premiere, where her former SVU colleagues attended the christening of her and Carisi’s baby.

Georgia native Giddish made her screen debut in the direct-to-video horror film Witches of the Caribbean, and went on to become a regular on All My Children from 2005 to 2007. After starring in the short-lived series Past Life and Chase, she became a regular on Special Victims Unit in 2011, remaining there until her departure last year.

Kelli Giddish will make a return to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in an upcoming episode of this season; no air date has yet been set. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.

Law & Order: Organized Crime poster

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

This series follows the Special Victims Unit, a specially trained squad of detectives in the New York City Police Department that investigate sexually related crimes.