Did You Catch This ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Alum in New Hallmark Christmas Flick?

by Suzanne Halliburton

Fans of Law & Order: SVU hated it when Kat Tamin abruptly quit the team early in season 23.

But actress Jamie Gray Hyder landed on her feet, or shall we say en point. Hyder was part of the three-month-long Christmas celebration on the Hallmark Channel. The network introduced 41 new holiday movies that started running before Halloween.

Hyder, the former Law & Order: SVU detective, played the opposite of her well-known character. She was the lead in Sugar Plum Twist, a romantic movie about the making of the Nutcracker.

Hyder portrayed Natalia Haddad, a former ballerina who comes back to her hometown to work as a choreographer. The local ballet company is dancing the Nutcracker. But Natalia, working with Vivi, helps give the traditional production a Latin beat as Vivi adds salsa to the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Of course, since it’s a Hallmark movie, Natalia falls in love. That’s what people do during the holiday season.

“I’ve just come off of working two years on SVU and dealing with such dark and heavy subject matter that the idea of doing something lighter and more uplifting really appeals to me and my brain. So, I said yes,” Hyder said. “We talked about things that were important to me, as far as my character goes, using my ethnicity for the character. They were all ears and super accommodating and we found a place that we both liked and decided to work together.”

If you’re still in the Christmas mood — and who isn’t — you can watch the former Law & Order SVU alum and her holiday movie via Hallmark’s streaming channel.

N(Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Fans Learned Hyder Was Leaving ‘Law & Order: SVU’ in Early September

Fans found out that Hyder no longer was with Law & Order: SVU in early September. The actress then retweeted a screenshot on an article with the caption: “Kat’s outta the bag… #SVU23 Just got a lot less colorful.”

In her official statement, Hyder said the decision to leave Law & Order: SVU wasn’t her idea.

“The decision was made above my pay grade and wouldn’t have been my choice,” she wrote on Twitter. “But hey, that’s showbiz for ya.”

Hyder, like her character on Law & Order: SVU, is bisexual. She also tweeted: “To anyone who felt represented by any part of Kat’s being or mission, please know that you will always have representation in me.”

Law & Order: SVU got rid of two characters to start season 23. Demore Barnes, who portrayed deputy chief Christian Garland, also was written out of the show.

Hyder joined the cast as a recurring character in season 21 and was promoted to full-time for season 22. She was in 36 episodes. Her last episode was Never Turn Your Back on Them. In that episode, Kat nearly died after she was shot in the chest. Although she survived the attack, she decided to leave the NYPD after the incident as she questioned whether police work was where she should dedicate her life.

Law & Order: SVU returns with a new episode on Jan. 6.