Jul 16, 2013 12:11 PM EDT By Robert Leo

'Law And Order SVU' Season 15 Spoilers:ADA Rafael Barba Set To Play Bigger Role Moving Forward [VIDEO]

After quite some time without any chatter, NBC's hit crime drama Law & Order: SVU is now back in the buzz, as it just upgraded actor Raul Esparza (A.D.A Rafael Barba) to a series regular.

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After quite some time without any chatter, NBC's hit crime drama Law & Order: SVU is now back in the buzz, as it just upgraded actor Raul Esparza (A.D.A Rafael Barba) to a series regular.

Deadline first reported the news on the 42-year-old, who debuted on the show in 2012, and plays Dr. Frederick Chilton in Hannibal.

Now in its fifteenth season, Law & Order: SVU is undoubtedly trying to keep its stories fresh, which clearly has something to do with its decision to give Esparza a meatier role.

In other news pertaining to the TV show, the cliffhanger that left Mariska Hargitay's (Olivia Benson) character 's status up in the air had fans concerned she'd been killed off, and not be coming back. However, those worries were officially squashed when she gave the confirmation on her season 15 return via Twitter.

"Happy weekend. It's official. Season 15-I'LL BE BACK!" Hargitay tweeted.

Although no air date has yet to be officially announced at the current time, Law & Order: SVU is slated to make its return at some point in the fall. Be sure to keep checking back for more of the latest information on the popular program.

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