Christopher Meloni Returning to Law and Order Fold With New Series as Elliot Stabler

Call a bus! Christopher Meloni is picking up his Law & Order badge and gun once again.

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According to Deadline, Meloni will reprise his fan-favorite Law & Order: SVU character for a new series following Elliot Stabler leading the NYPD’s organized crime unit. Deadline reports it’s a 13-episode series order as part of the massive new deal Dick Wolf signed with the company that saw SVU, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med all get three-season renewals.

Meloni played Stabler alongside Mariska Hargitay for the first 12 seasons of Law & Order: SVU. He exited the drama between season 12 and 13 when contract negotiations fell through.

In the season 12 finale Stabler was involved in a shootout in the precinct and it was explained that he retired following his leave of absence. Hargitay has remained the anchor on the long-running SVU as her character, Olivia Benson, has moved up in ranks to captain.

Despite fan fervor, Meloni has never returned to SVU, which is now in its history-making 21st season. Ahead of the season 21 premiere, SVU showrunner Warren Leight said, “someday, I would hope to see [Stabler] again.”

“I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but, yeah, that’s kind of, I think the fans and Benson and Stabler are owed that,” Leight said.

Leight, who took over as showrunner in season 13 and had to address Meloni’s exit from the show, has long maintained bringing Stabler back to SVU was above his pay grade.

Hargitay and Meloni have remained close over the years, often sharing photos of their reunions to the delight of their legions of fans. Meloni took part in The Paley Center Salutes Law & Order: SVU, a retrospective on the NBC drama, and opened up about his instant chemistry with Hargitay.

“She and I hit it off right from the get-go,” Meloni said about working with Hargitay.

In the special, Hargitay described their relationship as “instantaneous ease, chemistry, trust, comfort.

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