Christopher Meloni is returning to his old Law & Order stomping grounds on NBC with the premiere of his Organized Crime spinoff, but the Law & Order landscape looks a lot different than when he left SVU in 2011. Since Stabler's last episode of SVU at the end of Season 12, a whopping five more hit Dick Wolf shows have joined the shared universe. So, with Organized Crime premiering in April 2021 after some delays, it's time to look at how the new spinoff connects to not only SVU, but also One Chicago's Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med on NBC as well as FBI and FBI: Most Wanted over on CBS.
Honestly, if not for the ends of some of the other Law & Order series, this would be much more complicated. Still, six shows over the nine seasons since Chicago Fire premiered back in 2012 can weave a confusing web of connections, so I've broken down how each of the shows originally tied together and how they stay connected. Buckle up for a journey through the Dick Wolf world of TV and read on!
Law & Order: Organized Crime (2021) Connects To SVU (1999)
The connection between Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime is pretty straightforward. Christopher Meloni shared the SVU spotlight with Mariska Hargitay as the Elliot Stabler to her Olivia Benson for the first 12 seasons of that show. Organized Crime is going to debut on April 1, 2021 with a two-part crossover, starting with an episode of SVU Season 22 at 9 p.m. ET and leading into the series premiere of Organized Crime at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. Benson and Stabler will share the screen again for the first time since 2011, and frequent crossovers between the New York-set SVU and Organized Crime aren't impossible.
Law & Order: SVU (1999) Connects To Chicago P.D. (2014)
And here's where things start to get a little bit more complicated. NBC confirmed that SVU and Chicago P.D. share a TV universe in 2014 with a two-part crossover, starting with Sophia Bush's Erin Lindsay of P.D. showing up in an episode of SVU Season 15, and then Kelli Giddish and Ice-T as SVU's Rollins and Fin making the jump to Chicago P.D.'s first season. SVU and P.D. have crossed over several more times over the years, sometimes with Chicago Fire in the mix as well, but it all started in 2014.
Chicago P.D. (2014) Connects To Chicago Fire (2012)
As soon as Law & Order: SVU crossed over with Chicago P.D., it started sharing a universe with Chicago Fire as well, even though Chicago Fire actually premiered before P.D. That said, future P.D. characters appeared throughout the first season of Chicago Fire, starting with Jon Seda's Antonio Dawson as the brother of Fire leading lady Monica Raymund's Gabby Dawson. Jason Beghe's then-dirty cop Voight followed, with Jesse Lee Soffer's Jay Halstead turning up undercover as well. P.D.'s backdoor pilot aired as a Fire episode at the end of its first season in 2013, and thus began One Chicago, but there was still room for (one) more.
Chicago Fire (2012) Connects To Chicago Med (2015)
Although the earliest roots of Chicago Med are actually in Chicago P.D. Season 2 with the introduction of Nick Gehlfuss as Dr. Will Halstead, Med itself got its shot as a solo series with a backdoor pilot episode in Season 3 of Chicago Fire in Spring 2015. The backdoor pilot featured Gehlfuss' Will, Laurie Holden (who left before the series premiere of Med), Yaya DaCosta's April, S. Epatha Merkerson's Goodwin, Oliver Platt's Dr. Charles, and more as well as the Fire cast. The Med backdoor pilot also featured some P.D. characters, including Jesse Lee Soffer as One Chicago's original Halstead, which brings us to...
Chicago Med (2015) Connects To Chicago P.D. (2014)
Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med have a family connection in the form of Jesse Lee Soffer's Jay Halstead and Nick Gehlfuss' Will Halstead, and Jay has dropped by Med often enough that Med almost created a super weird love triangle involving the brothers and Torrey DeVito's Dr. Natalie Manning. Will also debuted in One Chicago as Jay's brother on P.D., so the ties are pretty much as tight as possible for two lead characters on different shows, especially now that Gabby and Antonio Dawson are both gone from Chicago Fire and P.D., respectively. And there's still one more example of P.D. expanding the Dick Wolf universe, and the next one is a big one.
Chicago P.D. (2014) Connects To FBI (2018)
The 2019-2020 TV season delivered something very exciting on the Dick Wolf front: a crossover between Chicago P.D. on NBC and FBI on CBS. With both shows created by Dick Wolf and run by Rick Eid, the crossover created one shared universe over two major networks. Tracy Spiridakos' Upton, who is Halstead's partner on Chicago P.D., traveled to New York to work what was intended to be a run of multiple episodes on FBI before returning to P.D.. Unfortunately, Spiridakos' arc of episodes was cut short, but FBI now shares a universe with One Chicago and therefore all Law & Order series. And that's not all!
FBI (2018) Connects To FBI: Most Wanted (2020)
CBS wasted no time in ordering an FBI spinoff, based primarily in New York City and called Most Wanted. It started with a backdoor pilot at the end of FBI Season 1 and premiered as a solo series in January 2020. The two series managed to squeeze in one big two-part crossover before production had to shut down early, with a couple of mini crossovers as well. Those Most Wanted crossovers with FBI mean that all of these CBS characters are now in the same world as the NBC Dick Wolf shows. Including Law & Order: Organized Crime once it debuts in April 2021!
And that is how the six existing shows in this shared universe connect leading up to the premiere of Law & Order: Organized Crime. While the Dick Wolf shared universe as a whole might not be straightforward, it is impressive for a number of long-running shows spanning two networks and continuing to expand with new spinoffs. From Law & Order: Organized Crime to Law & Order: SVU to Chicago P.D. to Chicago Fire to Chicago Med to Chicago P.D. again to FBI to FBI: Most Wanted, there may be a lot of degrees of separation between Organized Crime and FBI: Most Wanted, but the shows all connect, and the Dick Wolf universe isn't going anywhere.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).