Stabler Spinoff ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ Gets Fall 2020 Premiere

Christopher Meloni Law Order Elliot Stabler Spinoff Title Details
Virginia Sherwood © NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler will be back on the small screen very soon.

NBC announced that the Law & Order: SVU spinoff series, titled Law & Order: Organized Crime, will be part of the upcoming fall 2020 schedule. In fact, it’s taking over his original series’ timeslot. With Organized Crime set to air Thursdays at 10/9c, SVU is moving to 9/8c for its record 22nd season. (Shouldn’t that make it easy for at least one two-show crossover in the 2020-21 season?)

The network also released a synopsis detailing what it is exactly that brings Stabler back to the NYPD and to the organized crime unit: “a devastating personal loss.” It’s been a decade since he was last on the force — he left SVU after its 12th season — meaning “he must adapt to a criminal justice system in the midst of its own moment of reckoning.” The series will follow Stabler’s journey “to find absolution and rebuild his life, while leading a new elite task force that is taking apart the city’s most powerful criminal syndicates one by one.”

The original finale planned for SVU Season 21 — before production shut down early due to coronavirus — was going to tease Stabler’s return to the franchise. “We had heard distant thunder about Chris Meloni coming back in the fall, and we were going to lay a little groundwork for that,” showrunner Warren Leight explained during the Squadroom podcast. “We were going to see Kathy Stabler come back, very upset. Her son has been rolled by a team of ne’er-do-wells and may have been drugged.”

Mariska Hargitay Christopher Meloni Law Order SVU Benson Stabler

(Virginia Sherwood © NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection)

The finale also would have revealed that Stabler left his family when he left the squad. Does this mean that Law & Order: Organized Crime might begin with Stabler’s son’s death? We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s going to be so good to see Meloni back as Stabler — and hopefully see him and former partner Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), together again sooner rather than later.

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Fall 2020, NBC