Christopher Meloni Is Returning as Detective Stabler of ‘Law & Order: SVU’ in New Show

Fans fell in love with Law & Order: SVU by watching Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) solving crimes together. They were then heartbroken when Meloni decided to leave the show.

Many still held out hope that the former partners would somehow reunite. Now that might be possible because Meloni is returning to the role in a new series.

Christopher Meloni left ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Christopher Meloni
Christopher Meloni | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

Meloni played the detective from season 1 to 12. He then decided to leave and his last episode was “Smoke.” Stabler decides to shoot a woman after she gets her revenge by shooting criminals that were kept in a cell. Season 13 revealed Stabler decided to retire after being put on mandatory leave after the incident.

The actor was asked if he regretted leaving the show on Watch What Happens Live. “Not a day,” he answered. Andy Cohen asked him when he decided to quit. “When negotiations broke down,” he said.

The Hollywood Reporter reported Meloni rejected getting a pay cut from $400,000 per episode to $300,000 per episode to return. He has since moved on to other roles in TV and movies.

There was hope given that he’d return

Showrunner Warren Leight talked to TV Line last year about whether Stabler could come back to SVU in season 21. Leight did give fans some hope of a return in the future.

“Look: I assume that if some year, some decade, couple decades from now, we get to the last SVU, [Meloni] would have to come back before we do the last episode or before the show signs off,” answered the showrunner.

Leight did make sure to note that there was nothing in the works at the moment. “However, I don’t think we’re at that point in the show’s run,” he said.

Hargitay also shared her opinion on a possible reunion between Stabler and Benson. “He’s on a show right now and he’s super ‘happy’ — literally — he’s happy, I’m happy,” she told TV Insider. “I’ll speak for myself: I think it would be fun to have ‘one last hurrah.'”

He is returning as Stabler in a new show

Fans are now getting what they want because Meloni is returning as Stabler in a new NBC series by creator Dick Wolf. The series will get 13 episodes showing the detective leading an organized crime division as part of the New York Police Department, according Entertainment Tonight.

Deadline reports that there is talk of former Chicago P.D. showrunner Matt Olmstead being considered for the role of writer and showrunner of the new series. It’s unknown when the show can be expected to premiere.

There are still many other details unknown about the series. One of the biggest questions is if there will be a crossover in the first season with SVU. There is hope since Meloni and Hargitay recently reunited. Hargitay posted a picture of them together on Instagram a few months ago with the caption “Sunday night dinner.”

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Sunday night dinner….

A post shared by Mariska Hargitay (@therealmariskahargitay) on