Christopher Meloni Will Finally Be Returning To 'SVU' In Season 22

Christopher Meloni Will Finally Be Returning To 'SVU' In Season 22

Fans of the show will see the actor reprise his role as the memorable Elliot Stabler ahead of a new spinoff.

Fans of Law & Order: SVU, rejoice! The beloved Christopher Meloni will be returning to the show. You can spot him in the premiere of the 22nd season, reprising his role as the unforgettable Elliot Stabler. Earlier this year, in March, it was announced that the actor would be returning for an SVU spinoff developed by longtime producer Dick Wolf. However, it turns out that we won't have to wait until the spinoff gets here to see him in our favorite show. In the latest episode of The Law & Order: SVU Podcast, showrunner Warren Leight revealed that Meloni will be back in the SVU universe sooner than we thought, Entertainment Tonight reports.


"It’s pretty clear that Elliot will be in the SVU season opener," Leight stated in the podcast. "I think that much I know. Whether we get to see his family as well remains to be seen." Will Stabler reunite with Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson? Well, we will just have to find out. Nonetheless, the show's insiders shared quite a bit of information to get fans excited for Meloni's reappearance. Leight and the show's other writers (including Julie Martin, Denis Hamill, and Monet Hurst-Mendoza) claimed they had plans to slowly reintroduce Stabler and his family members into the series. This, they hope, will ease the former detective's transition back into the world of Law & Order.


Leight explained, "We had heard distant thunder about Chris Meloni coming back in the fall and we were going to lay a little groundwork for that. 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." This all sounds incredibly exciting, especially as viewers were supposed to see all this drama unfold in the final few episodes of season 21. Sadly, the season had come to an abrupt halt due to the ongoing pandemic.


In even more tragic news, the deadly illness has caused the untimely death of one of the show's crew members. Leight added, "We were just going to lay some groundwork down in anticipation of Elliot's return of course in his own series. 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 what happened to Simon." While the pause in production was rather hasty, it has been beneficial to the show's writers, who can now pull Stabler into Wolf’s larger vision of launching a new series. 


Of course, bringing Meloni back to the show will be quite the thrill for fans of SVU, his role reprisal is an important stepping stone for the upcoming spinoff. "It's not just about the SVU season opener," Leight stated. "It's how do we help launch the new series and how much crossover will there be between Elliot and Olivia as the season goes on." The new series will tag along behind the former detective as he returns to the force, where he will lead the Organized Crime Division of the New York Police Department. Though there's a lot of "back-filling" for the writers to do as they will have to explain to viewers what happened during Stabler’s absence, Meloni's return is definitely a welcome addition. This is especially true as Law & Order: SVU has just been renewed through season 24. Fans cannot wait to see what's in store for them.


Recommended for you