Unfortunately, Law & Order fans will have to wait a bit longer to see Elliot Stabler make his grand return, as the SVU spinoff Law & Order: Organized Crime has been delayed. The show as originally pegged to launch as part of NBC's fall schedule, but according to THR's sources, the show's showrunner Matt Olmstead has exited the series due to creative issues. No other details were given, but despite the switch in showrunners NBC still expects the series to hit sometime in the 2020 to 2021 season. Olmstead is expected to land at another Dick Wolf produced project, so it seems to be an amicable split.
The series had already experienced production delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, and because of that, a decision was made to alter original plans, which had Stabler making his return to the Law & Order world in the SVU season premiere. That's been changed because it doesn't make sense to introduce him so far before his show is ready, but the plan is still to have him involved in SVU at some point.
Fans have been waiting since season 12 to see Stabler reunited with Olivia Benson, and there would be pitchforks raised if that didn't ultimately happen.
As for the original plan, SVU showrunner Warren Leight revealed it on an episode of The Law & Order: SVU Podcast. “It’s pretty clear that Elliot will be in the SVU season opener,” Leight said. “I think that much I know. Whether we get to see his family as well remains to be seen.”
Leight and fellow SVU writers Julie Martin, Denis Hamill, and Monet Hurst-Mendoza would go on to reveal that this wasn't the original (original) plan, as they had hoped to reintroduce Stabler and his family slowly and over time, deciding to lay the groundwork when they heard he might be coming back. The original plan was to have Elliot's wife Kathy come back first, bringing a case involving her son to the SVU, and that would start the ball rolling.
“We had heard distant thunder about Chris Meloni coming back in the fall and we were going to lay a little groundwork for that,” Leight said. “We were going to see [his wife] Kathy Stabler come back very upset. Her son had been rolled by a team of ne'er-do-wells and may have been drugged, and we were going to revisit [Benson’s half-brother] Simon's seeming overdose and we were going to get to know the stresses on the Stablers -- what had happened to the Stabler family after Elliot both left SVU and apparently left them.”0comments
Now that plan is changing yet again, and here is hoping that this time is the one that sticks.
Are you excited for Stabler's return? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things Law & Order with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!