Law & Order: SVU to welcome back familiar face - and fans are freaking out

New episodes can't come soon enough!

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit may be taking a hiatus from screens, but viewers have an extra special treat to look forward to when the long-running police drama returns next month.

MORE: Law & Order: Special Victims' Unit star opens up about when series will end

It's been revealed that the NBC drama is bringing back a former star for some of the remaining episodes of season 23. Demore Barnes, who bowed out of the show last year, is set to make a comeback as fan favorite Deputy Chief Christian Garland.

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

Although the network has not yet announced Demore's comeback, showrunner Warren Leight confirmed the exciting news by retweeting a report and adding: "So happy to have Chief Garland return to #SVU. Welcome back, @DemoreBarnes."

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Fans were quick to react to the news, with hundreds taking to Twitter to share their delight. One wrote: "@DemoreBarnes thank Goodness! So incredibly glad & happy to see u back! We have missed you! I hope they make your return permanent! Can't wait! Congrats!"

Another added: "So excited that @DemoreBarnes will be back for an episode of #SVU. He had great chemistry with the cast, especially @Mariska and @PeterScanavino," while a third chimed in: "Awesome news!"

Demore Barnes will be reprising his role as Deputy Chief Christian Garland 

Demore first joined the cast of the Mariska Hargitay-led series in a recurring capacity back in 2019 as SVU's new deputy chief taking over from Peter Gallagher's William Dodds. He was promoted to a series regular for the 22nd season before exiting in the season 23 two-hour premiere alongside fellow star Jamie Gray Hyder, who played Officer Kat Tamin.

MORE: The reason why this controversial Law & Order: SVU episode was pulled from screens will shock you

When the news of their joint exits was first announced, Jamie revealed in an Instagram statement that the decision to leave was not her own, which prompted a huge uproar from fans.  

Demore has remained tight-lipped as to whether he likewise had been fired from the show or whether the decision was his own. In the aftermath, Demore shared a video statement to Instagram in which he expressed his gratitude to SVU bosses for his time on the show. He said: "It is almost every actor's desired rite of passage to appear on just 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."

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