Hot-tempered cop Elliot Stabler is back, baby! Christopher Meloni is returning to his iconic Law and Order: SVU role for a new spin-off series focused on Stabler, a character who abruptly departed SVU after 12 seasons. This new series will find Stabler heading up the organized crime division of the NYPD, and will also presumably feature plenty of scenes where Meloni scowls and possibly violates a suspect’s civil rights, as he was wont to do back in the day.
Multiple outlets, including Variety, are reporting a new Elliot Stabler series is in the works, with Christopher Meloni returning to the role he vacated back in 2010. Stabler was a major character on Law and Order: SVU, partnered up with Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson for the first 12 seasons of the show. While Benson was the more empathetic of the two, Stabler was often portrayed as a violent loose cannon – the type of cop who wasn’t above leaning on and in some cases, flat-out beating potential suspects. If he were a real cop his actions would be reprehensible. But in the safe world of TV, Stabler was a fan-favorite I’ll confess I stopped watching SVU not too long after he left.
The Stabler series will follow the cop “as he heads up the organized crime division of the NYPD.” Technically speaking, Stabler retired from the NYPD after shooting a young woman who had opened fire in the SVU squad room. Stabler was cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting, but the experience left his character open to future Internal Affairs investigations. Rather than deal with that, Stabler quit the force. But I guess at some point he came back, since he’s about to have his own show.
Like all Law and Order-related shows, this new series springs from the mind of Dick Wolf. Matt Olmstead is being considered as a writer and showrunner on the series, while Wolf will executive produce along with Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski.
I’m not entirely sure that Stabler as a character can work without Benson by his side to balance him, but I like Meloni as an actor, and I’m willing to give this series a shot whenever it arrives at NBC, who have already given the Stabler show a 13-episode order.
Christopher Meloni will reprise his beloved Elliot Stabler character from “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in a new Dick Wolf spinoff series.
Deadline reported that NBC has given a 13-episode series order to the crime drama, which will revolve around the New York Police Department organized crime unit led by Elliot. The series will be executive produced by “Law & Order” franchise creator Dick Wolf, Arthur W. Forney, and Peter Jankowski for Wolf Entertainment and Universal TV.
It is unclear when the Meloni-led show will air and other details about the project are unknown, though Deadline's report noted that the series had the potential for crossovers with “SVU.” The tone of Deadline's article suggests that the project is still in its early stages: The series might be branded as part of the “Law & Order” franchise and Matt Olmstead “Chicago P.D.” is being eyed as writer-showrunner, according to the publication.
An NBC spokesperson did not return a request for comment.
Meloni served as the male lead of “SVU,” opposite of Mariska Hargitay, for the series' first 12 seasons. Meloni has appeared in several television shows since departing “SVU,” including a starring role in Syfy's “Happy!,” which ran for two seasons. He also appeared in several episodes of “True Blood,” “Pose,” “The Handmaid's Tale,” and “Harley Quinn,” and is expected to appear in an upcoming episode of CBS All Access' “The Twilight Zone.”
Deadline reported that formal conversations about Meloni's upcoming series began around January. Though NBC's upcoming Peacock streaming service, which will launch on July 15, will stream many of Wolf's shows, Meloni's show will reportedly air on NBC.
Meloni's upcoming series will mark yet another addition to Wolf's bustling NBC portfolio. Wolf's current NBC shows include “Law & Order: SVU,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Fire,” and “Chicago Med.” Wolf also has “FBI” and spinoff “FBI: Most Wanted” at CBS.
The Meloni-led series will mark the first show to come out of Wolf's massive five-year, nine-figure deal with Universal Television that was revealed in February. Wolf's deal includes multiple series commitments. “SVU” and Wolf's three “Chicago” series all received three-year renewals as part of Wolf's pact.