'Law & Order: SVU' Reveals First Look at Rollins' New Love Interest

NBC shared the first photos of George Newbern on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit this weekend. The former Scandal star is playing a new love interest for Kelli Giddish's Detective Amanda Rollins.

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(Photo: Barbara Nitke/NBC)

Newbern was cast in July to play Dr. Al Pollack, a wealthy doctor who has a past with Rollins. The womanizer is hoping to change his ways and is ready to start fresh with the detective.

Pollack will make his first appearance in the two-hour season 20 premiere, "Man Up/Man Down." Other photos show Rollins with her daughter, Jesse Rollins.

According to TV Insider, the premiere will also introduce Mark Tallman (Rise, State of Affairs) as Gavin Riley, a new chief of detectives, who is not afraid to clash with everyone else in the squad. Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck) also makes an appearance as John Conway, a beverage distributor and a respected community member involved in the episode's crime.

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(Photo: Barbara Nitke/NBC)

Newbern, a Little Rock, Arkansas native, played Bryan McKenzie in 1991's Father of the Bride and its 1995 sequel. He also starred on Friends and Chicago Hope, and played BG13 agent Charlie on ABC's Scandal before landing his SVU role.

The upcoming season of Law & Order: SVU is an historic occasion for the show and NBC. It will tie the original Law & Order and Gunsmoke with 20 seasons, the most ever for a scripted primetime drama. During its run, Mariska Hargitay has been the show's constant, and the only remaining star from the first season. Ice-T, who joined in season two, is also still on the show.

In an interview with TV Insider on the show's legacy, Hargitay said she wants to see her character, Olivia Benson, find "real peace and balance and love" at the end of the series.

"She's given so much to others that I want her, as she has fought for other people, to fight for herself," Hargitay said.

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(Photo: Barbara Nitke/NBC)

"What is beautiful is that the show has evolved from 'Let's shine a light on these issues' to 'Time's up, let's make changes and stop these issues' I think the culture is catching up," Hargitay added.

As for Giddish, she told TV Insider in May she was very excited about playing Rollins for an eighth season.

"It's going to be my eighth season playing Detective Amanda Rollins," Giddish said. "I have such faith in the writers and the whole creative team that we have. It feels different this year. We're tied with Gunsmoke; we're tied with Law & Order. It's like lets dig our heels in and make this the best season ever."

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Law & Order: SVU's 20th season kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC with a two-hour episode. The following week, the show will move to 10 p.m. ET on Thursdays for the rest of the season.

Photo credit: Virgina Sherwood/NBC