As much as we're fans of his turn as Nick Sax in Happy! (and still holding out a glimmer of hope that we get a third season somewhere), we'll readily admit that we can't wait to see Christopher Meloni's return as Elliot Stabler to Dick Wolf's "Law & Order" franchise. A return to Law & Order: SVU would be great all by itself, with fans waiting for a Stabler-Benson (Mariska Hargitay) for years now. Not only are they going to get that with the long-running series' 22nd season opener, but Wolf will be spinning Stabler's story off into its own series (more on that below).
So the dumpster fire of speculation that is my brain could help but get fired up when Meloni posted the following quarantine update over the weekend, but the focus on personal grooming. Over the course of five "episodes", we got to track Meloni's journey back to "Stabler hair" but we're going to throw in our two cents when it comes to the goatee. Definitely keep it. Totally badass. It has that look that says he can lead an NYPD unit with intelligence and wisdom, but also unplug a camera in an interrogation room and introduce someone to the taste of their own teeth and blood. Now, could it be just a regular haircut? Sure, and it probably is. But with things starting to get a little heavy with social distancing and home lockdown, couldn't hurt to have a little fun playing, "What If?".
Wolf's new series is set to focus on Stabler and the NYPD organized crime unit he will be leading and marks the first project resulting from Wolf's five-year, nine-figure, multi-platform deal with Universal Television. While more details on the series will be forthcoming – obviously, production matters are sketchy with the coronavirus pandemic creating problems with productions across the pop culture landscape. Wolf is set to executive produce alongside Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski for Wolf Entertainment and Universal TV, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios. Former Chicago P.D. showrunner Matt Olmstead is being considered for writer-showrunner.
Wolf's Law & Order: SVU doesn't seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. Last season scored as television's most-watched series, with more than 150 billion minutes viewed across NBC, USA, and Ion. For the 2019-20 season to date, the series holds the top spot in its Thursday 10-11 p.m. timeslot versus regular ABC and CBS competition in the Adults 18-49 demo and in total viewers. In LIVE+7 ratings, SVU is averaging a 1.5 rating in the Adults 18-49 demo and 6.5 million viewers overall. Adding digital and linear delayed viewing into the mix, and the show's season premiere episode climbed to a 3.9 in the Adults 18-49 demo – and 11.1 million viewers overall.