Law And Order: SVU's Christopher Meloni Talks Stabler's Evolution For New Spinoff

law and order svu stabler and benson

Of all the big TV revivals and comebacks in recent years, few have stoked the kind of excitement that surrounds Christopher Meloni's impending return to the Law & Order franchise as the one and only Elliot Stabler. Not only will Meloni be showing up for an official reprisal within Law & Order: SVU proper, but he's also heading up his own spinoff, subtitled Organized Crime. What's more, fans should expect a slightly different take on Stabler that has evolved with the times.

Knowing full well how hard TV audiences are going to flip when he makes his long-awaited return, Christopher Meloni addressed the unknowns surrounding Stabler's exit and comments on the character's evolved nature. Here's how it put it when speaking with the hosts of The Talk:

There are a lot of unanswered questions about how he left, why the silence vis-à-vis Olivia Benson. I think, in real terms, society, and what we are dealing with in society, has changed dramatically. It’s just changed. So, I think you have to address that. And, I think the person Elliot was... I think we all evolved. I think all those things are going to be put into play when you see his return.

With Christopher Meloni talking about real-world changes in society and what we're currently dealing with, it sounds like he might be implying that Stabler left the SVU because he was getting fed up with violent and/or otherwise shady policing tactics. Considering all the protests still happening across the country as July comes to a close, it's obvious that Law & Order: Organized Crime won't be able to sidestep such serious issues to deliver a traditional approach to TV cop shows. But will that actually be what inspired Stabler's absence? (Obviously we're just talking about plotting here, and not Meloni's personal choices to leave the series.)

Details about Law & Order: Organized Crime are few and far between, considering the creative process is currently ongoing, so not even Christopher Meloni can provide exhaustive information about what fans can expect. We do know that his Elliot Stabler will be dealing with a major loss of some kind – presumably a death – and that he'll be attempting to find absolution while rebuilding his life.

Naturally, it isn't just Christopher Meloni's return in general that has fans pumped, as everyone is extremely eager to see Stabler officially reuniting with Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson. The former co-stars recently got together and shared a pic that had many hearts aflutter, though I can't imagine the normally clean-cut Stabler will be rocking the kind of facial hair that Meloni has grown in recent months.

Though the pieces are still being put into place, Meloni did seemingly confirm that Mariska Hargitay is already set to make a cameo on Organized Crime whenever that gets into the filming process. Here's how he put it:

Oh yeah! How much? I don't know, because I hear she has her own day job. I think whatever we can slice away. Whatever the writers come up with. I think we will both be looking forward to playing with each other in each other's sand box.

That will likely be one of the most-watched sandboxes of the year. Though Law & Order: SVU's nightly artins aren't nearly what they once were, the show is heading into its 22nd season and is still a huge draw for syndicated TV. And viewers will no doubt want to know the aftermath of Season 21's unofficial finale.

Law & Order: Organized Crime doesn't yet have a released date locked down for Peacock, and viewers might be waiting a while, considering there's no telling when filming will be allowed to begin in earnest. While waiting to hear more about it, check out our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to see what will be debuting on the small screen soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.