Law and Order SVU season 20 adds Rise’s Mark Tallman

RISE -- "The Petition" Episode 108 -- Pictured: Mark Tallman as Detrell Thorne -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
RISE -- "The Petition" Episode 108 -- Pictured: Mark Tallman as Detrell Thorne -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC) /

Law and Order SVU continues to expand its recurring cast, recruiting Mark Tallman from NBC’s musical drama Rise to play a role in SVU season 20.

The Dick Wolf universe has picked up another actor from a canceled NBC show, with Law & Order: SVU casting Mark Tallman after his recurring role on Rise.

Tallman will similarly appear in multiple episodes during SVU season 20. His character Gavin Riley is the politically-minded Chief of Detectives, looking to make his name known, per a casting report from Deadline.

Presumably, Riley’s shameless ambition won’t endear him to Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and her Special Victims Unit squad.

When Tallman will make his debut and how many episodes his character will appear in were not disclosed in the casting announcement.

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Mark Tallman recurred during Rise season 1 as Detrell Thorne, the father of Robbie Thorne (Damon J. Gillespie), who butted heads with his son when the star quarterback of Stanton High School decided to pursue his passion for theater.

But in the season—and series—finale “Opening Night” that aired in May, Detrell was the first person to start a standing ovation for Robbie and his fellow castmates.

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While NBC decided to cancel Rise after the sole season, Tallman will now get to sink his teeth into a much more adversarial role on SVU.

The character description makes it obvious that he’s not going to be friendly with Benson and company, but the question is how much trouble he’ll cause and what will make him different from other high-ranking officers they’ve come into conflict with in the previous 19 seasons.

The detectives have had problems with supervisory characters before, and in a variety of ways given how long SVU has gone on. From the few lines we’re given about Gavin Riley, he doesn’t seem much different from the normal “out of touch boss” archetype that TV fans have seen on a lot of police dramas. It will be up to Tallman to make him someone different, but beyond that, for the scripts he’s given to provide something for him to work with.

Tallman’s casting follows the hirings of Dylan Walsh and George Newbern, who are also coming aboard the show in the upcoming season.

dark. Next. Dylan Walsh returning to SVU next season

For more Law & Order SVU season 20 news and spoilers, plus more on all of Dick Wolf’s other shows, follow the Dick Wolf category at One Chicago Center.