'Law & Order: SVU' season 18 spoilers, plot news: Mariska Hargitay's return presents new possibilities, Rick Eid back to franchise after a decade

For "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" season 18, Warren Leight is handing the showrunner torch to Rick Eid, who has considerable knowledge of the long-running police procedural crime drama.

Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Tucker (Robert John Burke) guide the way for the former's son in "Law and Order: SVU." | Michael Parmalee/NBC

Eid worked as an executive producer for the original "Law and Order" for three years. He also served an executive producer and supervising producer in two of the show's spinoffs— "Conviction" and "Trial by Jury," respectively.

The "Law and Order" veteran went on to executive produce other hit shows, but he returns home for "Law and Order: SVU" season 18, almost a decade after he parted ways with the franchise.

Eid will help Julie Martin with the showrunner duties for "Law and Order: SVU" season 18. She is most excited about the prospect of seeing Eid do his usual "Law and Order" magic again.

"It's always great to have people come in who haven't been doing it for years and they have a fresh perspective and they have a different take on things and a different energy and just infuse what we have with some new blood," she told The Hollywood Reporter.

Leight, who took on the showrunner role in the past five years, steps down from "Law and Order: SVU" season 18 for his commitment to Sony Pictures Television.

Following his footsteps is Agent Dodds (Andy Karl), who met his demise in the season 17 finale after being shot by corrupt corrections officer Gary Munson (Brad Garrett).

Although Karl won't be in "Law and Order: SVU" season 18, Mariska Hargitay, who plays lead character Olivia Benson, is happy to be back for a whole new run.

"Once I found out that Mariska was very invested in coming back, I was really excited about the possibility of things that we could do," Martin said regarding Hargitay's return in "Law and Order: SVU" season 18.

"She and I work together very well and have a lot of the same sensibilities... This could be a new partnership going forward," she continued.

The show is expected to explore Benson's deepening romance with Tucker (Robert John Burke), who has been keeping her company as she changed, evolved and "learned what she can handle."

Speaking to E! Online, Hargitay said that Burke's character "energetically matches" Benson and that both characters are strong. Their relationship is expected to be delved into in "Law and Order: SVU" season 18.

"Law and Order: SVU" season 18 is expected to air this Fall.