By Michael Ausiello
Updated June 29, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

Phew, that was a close one.

After months of tense negotiations, Law & Order: SVU headliners Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay have inked new deals to remain on the beat for not one but two more years, sources confirm to me exclusively.

The two-year part comes with an asterisk since, as you know, SVU has only been picked up for one more season (its 11th). Basically, if NBC renews the show beyond next season, Meloni and Hargitay are guaranteed to be a part of it.

As I reported in early April, talks hit a wall when the actors attempted to go after the show’s back-end profits, something that’s almost never granted in the L&O universe. A month later, NBC co-chair Marc Graboff told me that SVU would carry on with or without its two leads, adding that “there’s an offer on the table.”

So, who budged? Neither side is commenting, but indications are that a very happy compromise was forged that sweetens the duo’s $385K-per-episode salary. In exchange, both actors agreed to add a second year to their pacts.

Relieved that Chris and Mariska are staying put? Sound off in the comments!

More Law & Order: SVU scoop:
Christine Lahti is the new ADA!