It’s been 10 long years since Christopher Meloni graced our screens as the hot-headed but dedicated detective Elliot Stabler, and ever since his departure from the franchise, fans have been clamoring for his return.
Now, after a too-long delay, Christopher is reclaiming his role as Stabler in an all-new spin-off, Law & Order: Organized Crime.
With eight spin-off shows, the Law & Order franchise shows no signs of slowing down, and its latest iteration is finally giving fans the moment they’ve been waiting for for years: the return of Elliot Stabler.
So, when is Law & Order: Organized Crime's release date, and who, other than Christopher, is in the cast? Keep reading for everything you need to know about NBC's newest police drama.
When does 'Law & Order: Organized Crime' premiere?
Nearly 10 years after the beloved protagonist left Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Elliot Stabler is back at the NYPD for his very own spin-off show. But with Organized Crime having been first announced back in April 2020, many fans are wondering just how long they'll have to wait to have Elliot back.
The show was originally slated to be released sometime in the fall of 2020 but ran into several production delays. First, there was the COVID-19 pandemic which halted filming the world over and pushed back the release dates of numerous projects.
Then, Matt Olmstead, who worked on Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and helped develop Chicago Med, left his position as showrunner of the new spin-off. According to Entertainment Weekly, figuring out how to spin Stabler’s character into his own stand-alone show proved to be trickier than Matt had expected and he soon left the project to pivot to something else.
Ilene Chaiken (of Empire and The L Word) took over the showrunner position in December, which put the series back on track for a spring 2021 release.
On Feb. 4, NBC announced that the series would premiere on April 1 at 10 p.m., immediately following SVU's 9 p.m. slot.
Who’s in the cast of 'Law & Order: Organized Crime'?
Needing no introduction, Christopher Meloni will be reprising his role as detective Elliot Stabler, a character that he played for 12 seasons across Mariska Hargitay in Law & Order: SVU, until his departure from the show in 2011.
Fans of Benson and Stabler’s partnership can also rejoice as Mariska’s expected to make an appearance or two on the spin-off show as Stabler’s former partner, Olivia Benson. Mariska confirmed the news to fans when she posted behind-the-scenes photos from the set of Law & Order: Organized Crime, and has additionally been teasing fans by posting adorable pictures of her and Christopher for some months now.
Dylan McDermott is the latest big name to join the cast of the spin-off, although the details of his character haven’t yet been revealed. Best known for his role in the ABC legal drama The Practice, it would make a lot of sense for the actor to be cast as a lawyer in the spinoff show, but audiences will just have to wait and see.
What is 'Law & Order: Organized Crime' about?
Nearly a decade after Stabler suddenly retired, he’s back at the NYPD after suffering “a devastating personal loss.”
But while he’s been away, the city and its police department have undergone significant changes, which will force Stabler to adapt to a new system 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.”