‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Octavio Pisano Says Warren Leight’s Exit Caught Cast and Crew By Surprise

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Longtime “Law & Order: SVU” showrunner, Warren Leight, announced his departure from the series ahead of its 24th season on Tuesday. And while his reasoning is sound, “SVU” star Octavio Pisano shared Leight’s exit caught the cast and crew off guard.

According to The Wrap, few “Law & Order: SVU” personnel were aware of Leight’s intention to leave. On Wednesday, Joe Velasco actor Octavio Pisano said, “I saw him yesterday on set, but it was a surprise to us all.”

Pisano only joined the long-running show at the beginning of season 23. However, the “Law & Order: SVU” star still seemed heavily impacted by Warren Leight’s exit. He further shared, “I expressed my gratitude to him yesterday, and I wish I would have known [he was leaving]. I would have gone a little bit deeper.”

Leight’s latest exit marks his second departure from “Law & Order: SVU.” As per the outlet, the showrunner first joined the series during its 13th season. He maintained his position through season 17. He later returned for “SVU’s” 21st season, seeing the series achieve a major milestone. The 21st season of “Law & Order: SVU” officially made the crime show TV‘s longest-running live-action series.

The Joe Velasco actor shared further praise for Warren Leight following his exit from “Law & Order: SVU.” Pisano said, “[Warren Leight’s] really an actor’s writer. He really likes to think about things that are not in the script, whether it be backstory or motivation.”

Pisano also shared Leight put him in contact with genuine NYPD detectives in order for him to better familiarize himself with his role.

Warren Leight Attributes ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Leave to Stresses of the Job

Warren Leight’s decision to exit the series a second time came as a surprise to the cast and crew. However, it’s easy to see why the “Law & Order: SVU” showrunner decided to leave after a post on Tuesday.

In addressing his departure, Leight tweeted, “The final day of shooting is always bittersweet. Today was a little more than that.”

The “SVU” showrunner continued, “The last two years of showrunning during a pandemic have been arduous, and I’ve decided to take a break.”

In his post, he revealed, “At least once a week this year a brick came thru the window. This person quarantined, that location lost, another show fell behind and our guest star was no longer available.”

While the cast and crew of “Law & Order: SVU” managed to find a solution every time, as per Warren Leight’s post, the uncertainty has clearly taken its toll.

The outlet reports that while Leight has officially announced his departure from the series, NBC made no comment regarding the showrunner’s leave, his future involvement with “SVU,” or who could potentially step in as new showrunner.