‘Law & Order: SVU’: Elliot Stabler to Return for Season 22 Premiere

Fans of Law & Order: SVU have probably heard by now that Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) will be back in an all-new spinoff series. But there’s even more news about the situation. Stabler will be returning for SVU’s new season, and that means a reunion with Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) is on the horizon.

Elliot Stabler will return for ‘SVU’s’ season 22 premiere

Christopher Meloni
Christopher Meloni | Eric Liebowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

According to showrunner Warren Leight who spoke on the SVU podcast called Squadroom, Stabler’s return will involve an appearance on Law & Order: SVU, his original home, before we see him on his own series.

“It’s pretty clear that Elliot will be in the SVU season opener,” Leight revealed. “I think that much I know. Whether we get to see his family as well remains to be seen.”

There were plans to introduce the Stablers to fans again

During a roundtable of the SVU writers on the podcast, it was revealed that there were plans to acclimate fans to Stabler and his family once again, and it sounds perfect for an episode of SVU.

“We had heard distant thunder about Chris Meloni coming back in the fall and we were going to lay a little groundwork for that,” Leight explained. “We were going to see [his wife] Kathy Stabler come back very upset. Her son had been rolled by a team of ne’er-do-wells and may have been drugged, and we were going to revisit [Benson’s half-brother] Simon’s seeming overdose and we were going to get to know the stresses on the Stablers — what had happened to the Stabler family after Elliot both left SVU and apparently left them.”

The new material was going to take place in the last few episodes of season 21 of SVU, but because of the coronavirus (COVID-19), production came to a halt. The season had to be cut short, but fans still have hopes that they’ll get to see Stabler again very soon.

“We were just going to lay some groundwork down in anticipation of Elliot’s return of course in his own series,” Leight continued. “We had the sense that the first episode of next year for SVU was going to bring Elliot back, so we were going to foreshadow that and explain a little more about what happened to Simon.”

Fans react to the shocking news of more Elliot Stabler in the future

Fans are obviously more than a little excited about what this could all mean for the future of the SVU universe. Viewers have been calling for Stabler’s return since the day he left, and it’s been a long time coming. Fans took to Reddit to discuss the return of Stabler in season 22 of SVU.

“I am excited for this. Got to say SVU is probably going to get a huge bump in ratings for this episode,” a fan predicts about the situation.

Some fans are hoping Benson will be angry with Stabler with how things ended after he just left his partner without a word. “It’ll be more interesting and realistic if Olivia is angry with him first instead of just jumping to forgive him,” a fan explained.

A lot of fans are upset with the thought of Stabler leaving his family as Leight mentioned on the podcast. “That’s a lot more dramatic than I imagined his exit to be! I feel like a divorce was bound to happen but leaving his kids is surprising,” a fan wrote about things.

Fans are ready to see more of Elliot Stabler in the future, and just knowing we’ll see him in the season 22 premiere brings a smile to the faces of many Law & Order: SVU fans.