Emmy award winner Mariska Hargitay and her LAW + ORDER: SVU co-star Christopher Meloni have renewed their contracts with the hit TV series, making them two of the highest paid stars on television. The actors signed two-year deals with substantial raises that will mean annual salaries of more than $6.5 million (GBP3.3 million) each. The increase will make Hargitay one of the highest-paid actresses in television. According to Daily Variety, Hargitay's paycheck per-episode will be in the $300,000-$340,000 (GBP154,000-GBP174,000) range and given her co-lead status with Meloni, it is estimated that his earnings are in the same range. Series creator DICK WOLF says, "I'm thrilled that Chris and Mariska have decided to stay with the show that they've made an indelible stamp upon, as we move into our ninth season." Hargitay and Meloni have been with the show since its debut in 1999. The actress has won an Emmy award and a Gold Globe award for her role as Detective OLIVIA BENSON, while Meloni was nominated for an Emmy. US network NBC announced last week (begs15JAN07) that the show would return for another season.