Will Christopher Meloni Return to ‘Law & Order: SVU’ to Play Detective Stabler?

Diehard fans of NBC’s hit crime drama, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, will remember Christopher Meloni played Detective Elliot Stabler. He was a pivotal member of Law & Order: SVU for 12 solid seasons. He completely captured our hearts, caught the bad guys, and was the perfect counterpart to fan favorite, Detective Olivia Benson. (Mariska Hargitay)

Law & Order: SVU centers around the career of Detective Olivia Benson, who has moved up the ranks in the New York Police Department over the course of the show’s life. Law & Order: SVU has just been renewed for its 21st season on NBC, so it must be doing something right.

Do ‘Law & Order: SVU’ fans miss Elliot Stabler?

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

One of the things that Law & Order: SVU has definitely done well over the years is excellent casting choices. Although, some of our favorites have come and gone. Benson and Stabler were a dynamic duo working in the NYPD’s Sex Crimes Unit. The two helped tackle some of the most difficult and heart-wrenching cases faced by the NYPD.

Why fans miss Detective Stabler

Their pairing was perfect. Benson and Stabler worked well as a police partnership and had fans hoping for some romantic sparks to fly too. 

Meloni has often reflected on the great onscreen chemistry the two almost instantly possessed. The pair just clicked, both on and off screen, and remain, close friends, though Meloni has moved on to other acting projects. Meloni’s performance as Stabler was more than just compelling. It left fans heartbroken when, at the end of Season 12, his contract was not renewed for a 13th season.

Christopher Meloni hangs out with his former co-stars

Hargitay and Meloni often post selfies of themselves when they get together simply because they like to see the reaction of their fans. (And that reaction is big, this recent snapshot of the two on Hargitay’s Instagram received over 177,000 likes!) Every time they post a photograph together fans begin to speculate if there is potential for NBC to bring back Elliot Stabler.

Will Christopher Meloni return to ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit’?

As much as fans hope to see him return to play the beloved Stabler. It doesn’t look promising. Meloni has recently been working on his SyFy show Happy and according to his Tweets, seems pretty invested in it.

Although in 2017, Meloni told Entertainment Tonight that if circumstances were right he’d be interested in a return to the show.

“I have always said I would be open to it,” he confessed to ET,”[The] circumstances have to be right, that is all.”

But, what circumstances are those? He doesn’t sound all that confident that the stars will align for a Law & Order: SVU appearance to happen. When asked about perhaps starring in the series finale he says: “We will see [if I return for the series finale]…It has never been brought up to me, so that is the kind of question that’s kind of out of my hands.”

What is Christopher Meloni doing?

Meloni has most recently been working on Syfy’s adaptation of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Happy. The series centers around ex-cop Nick Sax. In the wake of a rough patch, Meloni’s character is drunk, working as a hit man, and living a life of debauchery when his life is forever changed by a relentlessly positive, imaginary horse named Happy

Aside from starring in Happy, Meloni was recently cast in Hulu’s popular drama The Handmaid’s Tale. He is set to star as Commander Winslow in the upcoming 3rd season, which is in production now. Handmaid’s Tale season three will air on June 5th.