After 12 seasons playing Detective Elliot Stabler, Chris Meloni is leaving 'Law & Order: SVU,' TVLine.com reports. The actor has played the character since the show debuted on NBC in 1999.

A source told TVLine.com that talks between Meloni and studio NBC Universal broke down Tuesday. Show creator Dick Wolf is reportedly already looking for another big name to replace him. Mariska Hargitay is still scheduled to return next season.

Last week, new NBC boss Robert Greenbalt said he felt deal was in "pretty good shape" but did mention the possibility of the show continuing without its original leads. Jennifer Love Hewitt's name has been thrown around to join the cast next season as a potential replacement for Margitay.