Nearly a decade after leaving Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Christopher Meloni is set to reprise his beloved role as Elliot Stabler in a new NBC drama from power producer Dick Wolf.
NBC has given a 13-episode order to the spinoff series, which will find Stabler leading the NYPD’s organized crime unit. The character was written off of SVU following the show’s 12th season, which ended with Stabler abruptly retiring from the police force. I guess duty called, because Stabler is back on the force, albeit in a different division. The role earned Meloni his sole Emmy nomination back in 2006.
The Stabler show is the first to come out of Wolf’s new nine-figure, multi-platform deal with Universal Television, which included multiple series commitments. Wolf will executive produce with Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski, and Deadline reports that Matt Olmstead is being eyed as writer-showrunner after serving the same function on Wolf’s hit series Chicago P.D.
Though nothing is confirmed at this time, it’s safe to assume that the Stabler series will allow for crossover episodes with SVU, meaning that we could see a reunion between Stabler and his former partner, Olivia Benson, who continues to be played by the magnificent Mariska Hargitay. Together, they were like the Mulder and Scully of New York sex crimes.
Meloni is a solid actor who has bounced around your TV set quite a bit since leaving SVU in 2011, but Stabler remains the character he’s most closely associated with, all due respect to my fellow Wet Hot American Summer and Oz fans out there.
This is the best news I’ve heard in weeks, and right now, it’s important to celebrate the little things. With that in mind, I’ll raise a glass in Stabler’s honor tonight, and pray for a quick ending to our current pandemic so production can resume in New York, and this show can get into my eyeballs that much sooner.
For more on what Meloni has been up to since leaving SVU, click here to check out our interview with the actor in support of his Syfy series Happy!