Christopher Meloni is trading his detective gear for a set of freshly-sharpened fangs.

The former Law & Order: SVU star is going supernatural for season five of HBO'True Blood, and will play "an ancient, powerful vampire who holds the fate of Bill and Eric in his hands", according to executive producer/creator Alan Ball.

Lest you have qualms about whether the actor can hold his own in Bon Temps, we'll remind you that Meloni also had a six-year-stint as a bisexual inmate on HBO's hit prison drama, Oz, and played a kinky vietnam war vet who has a thing for a can of vegetables on Wet Hot American Summer.  So, rest assured, he'll fit the sexually-ambiguous bill just fine.

 [via E! Online]