Law & Order: SVU Premiere No Longer Featuring Christopher Meloni's Return

Law & Order SVU’s premiere will no longer feature Christopher Meloni’s return. For all the fans out there looking forward to seeing Eliot Stabler, this has to be a little disappointing. But, SVU showrrunner Warren Leight offered an explanation on Twitter about the upcoming episodes. 2020 is the year of the unexpected and now Law & Order: Organized Crime will be pushed back to 2021. So, it makes very little sense to reintroduce Stabler before the new show is introduced. The reunion between Meloni and Mariska Hargitay is still on the way, but it’s going to take some time. Earlier this year on The Law & Order: SVU Podcast, Leight had a preview of what to expect from Stabler next season.

“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 recalled. “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.”

When Law & Order: Organized Crime was announced, executives from NBC talked about how excited they were to be undertaking the spinoff.

“Thanks to the ingenuity of our creative teams and our partner studios, NBC has assembled a remarkably stable schedule at a time when stability is called for,” said Paul Telegdy, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “With the reopening of the Universal lot for select productions this week, we are confident that our schedule will premiere intact later this fall. We design shows for longevity and this schedule remains a powerful propulsive force for shows to start here and carry on entertaining across generations.”

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Telegdy added, “Our brand has always championed positive programming, and the events of this year have allowed us the time to take pause, examine our business with a new lens and take some immediate action. Since many of our writers’ rooms have not yet opened, we are taking this opportunity to offer all of this season’s showrunners the chance to enrich their team with an additional diverse writer at any level. It is not the solution by any means, but it is something we can do right now to take a positive step.”

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