Christopher Meloni not returning to 'Law & Order'

By LYNN ELBER | May 24, 2011 | 7:28 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Christopher Meloni isn't coming back to NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" when it returns this fall.

The actor and Universal Media Studios were unable to come to terms on a new contract, according to a person familiar with the situation, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because NBC had not authorized public comment.

Meloni's co-star, Mariska Hargitay, will be back for the upcoming season, the show's 13th, the person said.