Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt is reportedly in talks for a detective role on the NBC drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."
Hewitt guest starred on the show in a November episode this season playing a rape victim. The actress could be up for a detective role because a new deal signed by series star Mariska Hargitay, who plays Detective Olivia Benson, will have her character take on a reduced role.
TV Line said that during recent contract negotiations, Hargitay asked that her workload be reduced on the show for the series' upcoming 13th season.
The actress has officially signed on for the new season and will still make $385,000 an episode. The site reports that for 13 episodes, Hargitay's character will continue in her detective role. After that she will then be promoted to a supervisor position with a new female detective hired on to take her place.
The new female detective would be partnered alongside Christopher Meloni's Detective Elliot Stabler character, pending the actor's contract negotiations with the network for season 13. NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt confirmed to the Associated Press that the network was "circling" Hewitt for the role.
Hargitay recently revealed that she and husband Peter Hermann adopted a baby girl, Amaya Josephine. Their daughter, who is the couple's second child, is a week old and was born in the United States.
Hargitay, 47, and Hermann, a 43-year-old actor, are also parents to son August, who is 4.Hewitt has appeared on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" before. She played rape victim Vicki Sayers on an episode that aired in 2010.
If Hewitt becomes a cast member on the series, it would not be the first time one of the the show's guest stars returned to play a series regular. Actress Diane Neal, who played Assistant District Attorney Casey Novack for five seasons, had previously guest starred in the third season of the show in a smaller role.