'Law and Order: SVU' Season 15: Mariska Hargitay signs on to continue as Olivia Benson

mariska-hargitay-svu-season-14.jpgWhew, that was a close one!

Less than two months before filming is set to begin, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" star Mariska Hargitay has closed her deal to return to the series for an impressive fifteenth season.

Hargitay has been with the show since the beginning, sticking around even after her longtime on-screen partner, Christopher Meloni, exited in 2011.

The news is definitely a relief to fans. In the final moments of "SVU's" Season 14 finale on Wednesday, Hargitay's character, Det. Olivia Benson, was seen on the wrong end of a pistol... just before the scene faded to black. Fans were left wondering if she'd survive the summer hiatus, particularly since Hargitay's deal had yet to close.

Now we can be reassured that she's back on board for her fifteenth year as Det. Benson.

Hargitay confirmed the new deal on Saturday, with a tweet.







Photo/Video credit: NBC