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Christopher Meloni Returning As SVU Character Elliot Stabler To Anchor New Dick Wolf Drama

Meloni has not appeared in a ‘Law & Order’ episode since his departure in 2011.

Christopher Meloni Elliot Stabler Law Order SVU
Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler, ‘Law & Order: SVU’ [NBCUniversal]

Detective Elliot Stabler is getting his shield back. It was announced today that Christopher Meloni will be reprising his iconic role as Elliot Stabler, an NYPD detective from the long-running Dick Wolf series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. As first reported by Deadline, the 13-episode show has been ordered by NBC, with Meloni as the lead. In the series, his character Elliot Stabler returns to the NYPD to head up an organized crime unit.

With Stabler still in New York, the new show creates many possibilities for cross-over action with SVU, in typical Dick Wolf fashion. More importantly, an on-screen reunion with his former partner, now-Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). One of the biggest components of SVU was the dynamic between Benson and Stabler, and fans have been itching for a reunion for years.

Back in February, show creator Dick Wolf inked a landmark five-year, nine-figure deal that

Christopher Meloni Mariska Hargitay Benson Stabler SVU NBC
Christopher Meloni (left), Mariska Hargitay (right) [NBC]

will see SVU as well as Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med all renewed for three more seasons.

Chris Meloni played Detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order SVU for 12 seasons. His performance in the role earned him an Emmy nomination in 2006 for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Meloni left the show in 2011 supposedly over issues with his contract. 

From there, he found success starring in the series Happy! on SyFy. While the show was cancelled after just two seasons, it received mostly positive reviews from critics and Meloni was praised for his performance. He also landed starring roles on FOX’s Surviving Jack and the highly-acclaimed WGN America series Underground. Guest appearances on True Blood and The Handmaid’s Tale also kept Meloni busy.

On SVU, Stabler was nothing short of a tough cop. He hated the criminals he faced more than most, and sometimes his temper got the best of him. Given the nature of his character’s new gig leading an organized crime unit, a lot of fans are certainly hoping that Dick Wolf will unleash Stabler in a fashion similar to Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) on Chicago P.D.

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