Everyone’s favorite hot-headed cop with a heart of gold is back.
On Tuesday, Variety reported that Law & Order: SVU alum Christopher Meloni would reprise his role as Detective Elliot Stabler for a spin-off series at NBC. Representatives for Law & Order: SVU declined Mashable’s request for comment.
Per Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the untitled series has been picked up for a 13-episode order and will reportedly center on Stabler’s work within the organized crime division of the NYPD. Franchise creator Dick Wolf will executive produce alongside Law & Order and Chicago vets Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski. Stumptown showrunner Matt Olmstead, who helms Chicago Fire as well as Chicago P.D., is reportedly being considered to lead the series.
Meloni last appeared as Stabler in a 2011 episode of Law & Order: SVU before his character was unceremoniously retired off-screen at the start of Season 13. Canonically, Stabler left the force due to the emotional toll of the job. In 2017, Meloni confirmed that he departed the series amid stalled contract negotiations with NBC — and reiterated that he had no plans to return in a 2018 tweet.
Since leaving the show, Meloni has starred in numerous series for other networks, including Syfy’s Happy! and Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. Meloni has also held supporting roles on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, HBO’s Veep and True Blood.
That said, the beloved actor has remained in close contact with his former Law & Order: SVU co-stars — posting photos of him and Mariska Hargitay (aka Captain Olivia Benson) to his Instagram and Twitter with some regularity. Earlier on Tuesday, Meloni once again confirmed he was still chatting with his former cast mates, telling a fan he had “Big love and respect for them all.”
Meloni did not tweet about the rumored series.
With Benson and Stabler once again investigating the same city, it seems a “Bensler” reunion could be close at hand. However, production stalls across Hollywood amid the global COVID-19 outbreak have left fans speculating about a delivery timeline.
No word on when we can expect the series to begin filming or airing — though the July 15 launch of NBC’s Peacock streaming service promises an overdue Stabler binge isn’t too far off.
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