The Law & Order franchise may consist of procedurals, but there's always room for some character development, and Special Victims Unit just cast a Scandal alum as a love interest that should give one character some extra depth in the upcoming twentieth season. George Newbern of Scandal fame is joining Law & Order: SVU in the fall, and he'll be a love interest for none other than Detective Amanda Rollins. Here's what you need to know.
George Newbern will play a character by the name of Dr. Al Pollack, who is a former flame of Amanda Rollins' that turns up in her life. As a wealthy doctor with good looks and no shortage of charm, Pollack comes across as an very eligible romantic partner, but Amanda knows that he has a wandering eye that has gotten him into trouble in the past. While their relationship was "tumultuous" in earlier attempts, perhaps things will go differently if they give it one more chance. Or maybe it will be as much of a trainwreck as before. Deadline describes Pollack as a "past and future love interest," so we can bet he's not simply coming on as a former flame. In fact, he won't go anywhere after just one episode. Dr. Pollack will be a recurring role for Newbern.
Not too many details are currently available about Dr. Pollack or what will bring him back into Amanda's life. Given that this is SVU we're talking about, however, I wouldn't be shocked if he turns up because he's a witness to a sexually-based crime or is perhaps called upon for his medical expertise. If Amanda is unlucky, maybe she'll reunite with him when he's a suspect for a rape or murder or some other heinous crime.
Personally, I'm curious to learn if George Newbern's character will be around the same age as he is in real life. At 53, he's significantly older than the 38-year-old Kelli Giddish, who plays Amanda. Given that Amanda has been with the SVU since 2011 and never mentioned Pollack before, it's probably safe to say that he's from way in her past, presumably before she left Georgia for New York. Could Pollack have been an older man whose relationship with a younger Amanda was a bit sketchy? Was their relationship tumultuous because their ages complicated things? Or will Newbern's age have absolutely nothing to do with Pollack and the relationship with Amanda? We'll have to wait and see.
Whatever happens, we have to hope that the story is a hit with viewers. Law & Order: SVU executive producer Michael Chernuchin has said that he hopes SVU stays on the air long enough to hit 21 seasons and break the record currently held by the original Law and Order. Unless viewers abandon the series and ratings take a big dive, SVU could easily break the record. Maybe SVU could celebrate by bringing in more veterans of the original Law & Order!
Amanda won't be the only character with some new stories. Fin will stick around despite the promotion that should have taken him out of the SVU and therefore out of the show, Olivia will undoubtedly face more challenges as a mom, and Carisi will probably have some interesting reactions to the new man in Amanda's life.