It's almost time to welcome back Detective Elliot Stabler to the NYPD!
That's right: Nearly ten years after the beloved character departed Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Elliot Stabler is officially returning for his own spin-off show on NBC, titled Law and Order: Organized Crime. Of course, since news of the spin-off first broke in April 2020, longtime SVU fans have been patiently awaiting the premiere of the new Dick Wolf crime drama series (we've been praying for a Stabler-Benson reunion for a decade, after all!).
Thankfully, it seems as if Stabler's return is now just around the corner — and we certainly expect it to be worth the wait. If you're looking for all the juicy details on this exciting new spin-off series — including what to expect of a certain long-awaited reunion — here's everything to know about Law and Order: Organized Crime, including the latest information on the show's premiere date, cast, spoilers and more.
When will Law and Order: Organized Crime premiere?
Law and Order: Organized Crime is expected to premiere on April 1, 2021 and will air on NBC on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET, right after the 9 p.m. time slot of Law and Order: SVU. The spin-off has also been confirmed to have a total of 13 episodes in the season.
Who will be in the Law and Order: Organized Crime cast?
Christopher Meloni is set to reprise his role as Elliot Stabler, a character he played for a total of 12 seasons alongside Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson on Law and Order: SVU from 1999 to 2011. The actor will thus be returning to the Law and Order universe about a decade after he exited the show (though he's since appeared in more recent TV shows such as The Handmaid's Tale, Pose and Veep).
And there's good news for Benson-Stabler fans: Mariska is also expected to make an appearance as Olivia Benson, Stabler's former partner, in Organized Crime! The SVU star confirmed her involvement in the spin-off when she shared some behind-the-scenes photos of the Organized Crime set on Instagram in January. The photos included a selfie with Chris as well as some snapshots of their chairs on set, which featured their characters' names on the front and the words "Law and Order: Organized Crime" on the back. "It’s all happening ..." Mariska wrote in the caption.
Dylan McDermott has also been confirmed to star alongside Chris, though it's still unknown who the actor will portray in the series. Dylan is best known for his role in the hit ABC legal drama The Practice, and has also starred in the 2020 Netflix series Hollywood and in American Horror Story on FX, among other TV and film roles.
What's more, Bones alumna Tamara Taylor will be a lead opposite both Chris and Dylan in the spinoff series, per Deadline. Apart from her role as Camille Saroyan in Bones, Tamara is known for acting in Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Netflix's Altered Carbon and the sci-fi drama October Faction.
In February, Deadline also announced that Danielle Moné Truitt will star opposite Chris, Dylan, and Tamara in the spinoff. Danielle started her career in theater and later scored a leading role in the BET drama series Rebel. She was also a series regular opposite Stephen Dorff in the Fox drama series Deputy.
So when is Stabler coming to SVU, then?
Originally, Chris was supposed to make his grand return as Elliot Stabler in the SVU season 22 premiere, but this plan was scrapped when the production of Organized Crime was pushed back. While there's no official news yet as to when Stabler will make his appearance on SVU, the plan is still to connect his highly-anticipated return to the premiere of Organized Crime (whenever that will be).
What will Law and Order: Organized Crime be about?
Longtime fans of SVU may remember that we last saw Elliot Stabler at the end of season 12, when he was involved in a deadly shoot-out with a young girl who opened fire in the SVU precinct; later, in the season 13 premiere, we learn that the detective had abruptly retired from the force. Now, nearly a decade after his retirement, the new spin-off series will find Stabler returning to the NYPD to lead the Organized Crime unit after suffering a "devastating personal loss," according to the official synopsis from NBC.
"The city and police department have changed dramatically in the decade he's been away, and he must adapt to a criminal justice system in the midst of its own moment of reckoning," the synopsis continues. "Stabler will aim to find absolution and rebuild his life while leading an elite new task force that is taking apart the city's most powerful crime syndicates one by one."
What do we know about the Stabler-Benson reunion?
Fans of the Stabler-Benson duo have only been waiting for about a decade for this — literally! Thankfully, we can expect a lot from the long-awaited reunion between the two former partners (who undeniably had lots of chemistry, though they were never actually a couple). In fact, Chris himself teased that the reunion would have "lots of emotion" in an interview with TV Insider back in July.
"As you can imagine, it's going to be heavily-laden with 10 years of stuff and a lot of emotion," he said. "I personally think that because there was so much gray in there and so much unsaid between these two people, it gave it such a profoundly larger life and thus has allowed it to withstand 10 years of being separated."
Are there any other Law and Order: Organized Crime spoilers?
There's unfortunately not much we know yet about the show's actual plot (Chris himself is staying tight-lipped on what "devastating personal loss" Stabler will experience), but fans can expect a lot of exciting possibilities in the spin-off series — including the possibility of several crossover episodes with Law and Order: SVU (beyond the initial reunion), as well as new developments in Stabler's and Benson's relationship, in the continuing future.
"Benson and Stabler are inextricably linked, locked and connected," Chris told New York Post back in July. "I think there is truly and deeply a worthwhile, inherent drama in exploring that relationship and the complexity of how Stabler left — the unresolved emotions both characters feel and how the fans feel." Speaking about the likelihood of crossover episodes between the two shows, Chris then continued: "How my character left was really unsatisfying, I think. It almost feels that we won’t do one or two [crossover] episodes and move on our merry way."
Well, we'll definitely have our fingers crossed for continuous crossovers between the two shows (one reunion episode is simply not enough, we say!).
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