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Law & Order: SVU adds familiar face to main cast following recent exits

Say hello to a new face in the squad room!

law and order svu octavio
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit actor Octavio Pisano has been promoted to a series regular following the exit of two cast members.

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The NBC police procedural has recently saw Jamie Gray Hyder and Demore Barnes, who play Officer Kat Tamin and Deputy Chief Christian Garland, say goodbye to the squad room.

WATCH: Are you a fan of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?

And it seems that to make up for their absence Octavio, who stars as undercover officer Joe Velasco, is set to have a bigger role going forward. In the past, he was billed as a recurring guest star.

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The actor first appeared on the NBC procedural earlier this season when his character found himself involved in the team's bust of Congressman Howard. He worked alongside Rollins to help track down one of the politician's victims and in the most recent episode, he was offered a permanent position at the precinct.

Viewers might recognise the 35-year-old actor from his previous roles on Coyote and If Loving You is Wrong. He also starred in the pilot for Law & Order creator Dick Wolf's revival of New York Undercover.

law and order svu octavio© NBC

Octavio Pisano has been promoted to a series regular

The news comes just weeks after Jamie and Demore made their exits during the action-packed two-hour season 23 premiere. When the news was first broken by Deadline, no reason for their departure was given. 

However, the following day on 3 September, Jamie took to Instagram to reveal that the decision to leave was not her own and "wouldn't have been [her] choice". Sharing a screenshot of the Deadline report, she wrote: "Kat's outta the bag… #SVU23 just got a lot less colorful," accompanied by a brief statement.

MORE: Law & Order: SVU star mourns heartbreaking death of close friend

Demore took to Instagram a few days later to tell his fans and the Law & Order: SVU audience. "I don't totally know why this happened."

Both Jamie and Demore first appeared on SVU in season 21. Together they were promoted to series regulars for season 22. Jamie's character, who identified as bisexual, was the second main LGBTQ character on the show, after Dr George Huang, played by B.D. Wong, who exited the series in season 12.

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