Christopher Meloni Denies Rumor That He's Returning to SVU

03/08/2016 AT 10:55 AM EST

The NYPD's dream team isn't returning to the small screen anytime soon.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit alum Christopher Meloni broke fans' hearts Monday during an appearance on HuffPost Live, saying reports that he'll come back to the beloved crime series alongside star Mariska Hargitay are false.

"No. I heard that rumor along with everybody else," Meloni, 54, said with a bemused smile. "I have no idea where that came from or what that's about, but I don't know."

Christopher Meloni Denies Rumor That He's Returning to SVU| Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, TV News, Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay

From left: Richard Belzer, Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay and Dann Florek on SVU


The buzz began in February, when showrunner Warren Leight told The Hollywood Reporter he considered writing Meloni into an episode but ultimately scrapped the plan.

Meloni, who played Det. Elliot Stabler for 12 seasons, abruptly left the series – and his partner Det. Olivia Benson (Harigtay) in the lurch – in 2011. SVU was recently renewed for season 18.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns March 23 on NBC.
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