Law and Order: SVU fans 'devastated' as show announces huge change ahead of season 24

The police procedural's next season will see a major shakeup

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit will be returning later this year with its 24th season, making it one of the longest-running series in TV history.

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

However, fans can expect the new episodes to perhaps be a little bit different as longtime showrunner Warren Leight has announced that he is stepping away from the series. Warren has had two stints as the man in charge of the hit NBC police procedural; he previously served as showrunner from seasons 13 to 17 before returning for the show's 21st season back in 2019.

Loading the player...

WATCH: Are you a fan of the NBC police procedural drama?

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday after wrapping up production on the show's current 23rd season, he announced that he would once again be leaving the show.

MORE: See the cast of Law & Order: SVU and their real-life partners

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

"The final day of shooting is always bittersweet. Today was a little more than that. As some of you have already figured out, I am stepping down at the end of #SVU23. The last two years of show running during a pandemic have been arduous, and I've decided to take a break," he wrote.

The show will be returning in the fall with it's 24th season

In a series of follow-up tweets, he thanked the show's stars, including Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino and Octavio Pisano, as well as the "all the former regulars and guest stars".

He also recounted the many setbacks the show has had since the start of the pandemic. "At least once a week this year a brick came thru [sic] the window. This person quarantined, that location lost, another show fell behind and our guest star was no longer available. Each time casting, camera, design, wardrobe, locations, h/mu, props, drivers came up with a save."

He concluded his statement by thanking the drama's fans for their support. "You've stayed loyal to the show, and vocal in your support and occasional dismay, for 23 years," he wrote. "No other show can say that, and so you know, EVERYBODY at #SVU is grateful to you for that commitment."

MORE: Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay opens up about terrifying injury she suffered on set

Fans were quick to react to the news, with many taking to the replies to share messages of gratitude and support. However, many couldn't help but express how sad they were to see Warren go. As one wrote: "Oh so sad to see you go, good luck to you and whatever you are going to do next, you will be missed especially all the great storylines and guest stars you bring on."

Another said: "You've kept this show afloat during the most difficult of times! We're all so grateful for that. You deserve a break, Warren," and a third added: "I'm devastated you're leaving."

Read more HELLO! US stories here

Like this story? Sign up to our What to Watch newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

You're on HELLO!'s global site. Click to return to HELLO! India Go back