There's nothing like the Television Critics Association's (TCA) winter press event when it comes to the broadcasters, cable networks, and streamers rolling out the big names to promote the big shows coming up later this year. Even when it's not an announcement or a panel, you can usually count on something on social media to get a respective show's fanbase psyched for what's to come. A perfect example of that was earlier today when Mariska Hargitay (Benson) posted some on-set images of her and Christopher Meloni on the set of Meloni's upcoming Dick Wolf-produced series Law & Order: Organized Crime – meaning we might be getting a one night, two-hour "Law & Order" event with the SVU crossover episode leading into the premiere of Organized Crime.
Now, Meloni's returning the favor with a post on Instagram showing him peeking out from inside his Law & Order: Organized Crime office to reassure viewers that the work's getting done:
Law & Order: Organized Crime features Meloni returning to his Law & Order: SVU role as Elliot Stabler, rejoining the NYPD to battle organized crime after a devastating personal loss. However, the city and police department have changed dramatically in the decade he's been away, and he must adapt to a criminal justice system in the midst of its own moment of reckoning. Throughout the series, viewers 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. Wolf executive produces along with Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski for Wolf Entertainment and Universal TV, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios.
During an interview on the Variety After-Show in July 2020, Meloni had the opportunity to discuss the spinoff series- including how it came about. Revealing that "they just came out of the blue with a new show" when he was only expecting a multi-episode arc to wrap Stabler's storyline on SVU, Meloni was more than willing to stay a little longer in Stabler's world: "I think I maybe wanted to be less of a journeyman or a nomad because I've been doing that. It's been great…but after a while, you're like, 'Let's look for a home base again for a while."
While Meloni believes Stabler has a strong sense of his faults as well as justice, he also knows that society's views on law enforcement have changed since Stabler was back in the precinct full time: "I think he was a guy on the right side of justice. Nowadays that's commendable, but you can't use that as an excuse to go outside the boundaries just because you think my cause is the just cause because these lines have been — not blurring — they have been broken and people are fed up."
This is why Meloni believes it will be a different Stabler that viewers are introduced to when they see him- especially when they see him reunited with Benson. Meloni had this to say when he appeared on 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."