& Order: Special Victims Unit" won't be so reduced after all.
 
All spring and summer there had been rumors -- rumors confirmed by NBC executives on the network's upfronts conversation with reporters -- that Hargitay's Olivia Benson would work a full case load for the first half of the "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" season, but would then be at least partially phased out, possibly entirely, in the second half of the season, with a new female detective being introduced as a potential replacement.
 
Never mind. 
 
During his statements to reporters at Monday's (Aug. 1) Television Critics Association press tour, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said, in no uncertain terms, "Mariska is there in every single episode, and it's my goal to make sure that continues past this season."
 
Last month, Hargitay earned her eighth consecutive Emmy nomination for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." She won the Emmy in 2006.
 
Clarifying those comments later, Greenblatt acknowledged that while Hargitay has slightly lightened her work load in recent seasons, that has amounted only to the number of filming days, which won't change.
 
"[T]he show is going into its 13th year, so I think it's not unreasonable to think she might want to lighten her workload. If you haven't noticed it to this point, I don't think anything is really going to change on screen."
 
There will still be many changes on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" this season. 
 
Behind the scenes, Warren Leight will be taking over as showrunner, replacing Neal Baer, who had been with the show for a decade. 
 
In front of the camera, Hargitay's long-time co-star Christopher Merloni will no longer be on the beat. A pair of new detectives, played by Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish, will be joining the show.
 
Viewers either will or won't notices the differences with "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" premieres on NBC on Wednesday, September 21.