Why Danny Pino Left Law & Order: SVU

Season 13 of Law and Order: SVU saw Danny Pino brought in as Detective Nick Amaro, Olivia Benson’s new partner. The actor had huge shoes to fill, as he replaced fan-favorite Christopher Meloni, who left his role as Elliot Stabler (until his return in Law and order: organized crime, which now has Stabler breaking dirty cops). Pino was no stranger to crime dramas, having played Det. Scotty Valens on Case closed for several years and having played in The shield.


Amaro was charismatic, but like Stabler and Hank Voight on Chicago PD, he had underlying anger issues that often got him into trouble with his superiors. It took him a while to settle into the unit, and Olivia had to put the brakes on him on occasion, but the charming detective quickly won the hearts of fans. His personal life never quieted down — including a crumbling marriage and an implied Justice League affair with co-star Amanda Rollins — until in Season 16, Amaro was injured and Pino left the show. What led to its release?

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Who was Nick Amaro in Law & Order: SVU?

Nick Amaro joined the Special Victims Unit in Season 13. His wife Maria was serving in the military and deployed overseas, and he had a tumultuous childhood raised in an atmosphere of domestic violence. best of him, but he also had an innate charm that he used to put people at ease. He was particularly sympathetic to children and victims of mental illness, which meant he often had trouble with the nature of SVU’s work, and was involved in several different incidents which got him into trouble with the department, including by assaulting Dean Winters’ character, Brian Cassidy.


Amaro, his wife, separated after taking a job in Washington DC; they eventually divorced, Maria moving to California with their daughter Zara. In Season 14 Episode 17, “Undercover Blue”, Amaro found out he had a son from a short-lived affair he had while undercover for narcotics. He reconnected with the child and his mother, and then there was Amaro’s probable affair with Rollins. Whatever happened between them, they remained close as Rollins updated the team on Amaro’s status after leaving the NYPD.

In Season 16 Episode 23, “Surrendering Noah”, Amaro not only learned that he would never be promoted due to his reputation in the department, but was shot by suspect Johnny D. Although Amaro killed Johnny, he realized that his injuries might be the last straw needed to force him into early retirement and chose to quit with the intention of moving to California to be closer to his family.


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Why did Danny Pino leave Law & Order: SVU?

Danny Pino’s departure was a combination of the actor wanting to try new things and producers feeling like Nick Amaro had run his course. In an Entertainment Weekly interview following Pino’s final episode as a series regular, SVU Executive producer Warren Leight said the actor wanted to “stretch his wings a bit” and the producers also felt it was the right place to end Amaro’s story due to the many issues he faced. over the years. “Amaro’s character is at a real standoff with the NYPD,” Leight said.


However, he was already planning for the character’s return, as in the same interview, Leight revealed that “If we’re lucky, we’ll see Danny again next year.” Pino returned for an appearance in SVU500th episode. Fans had a reunion between him and his former partner Olivia while getting a glimpse of a more stable and happy Nick who was content with a new career and a new relationship. Since he was still in the business of solving crimes – he returned to reopen an old case – it’s possible Amaro will make more appearances in the future. Pino has since starred in Seasons 1-3 of Mayans MC and featured guest on One day at a time and The good fight.


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