Christopher Meloni Will Return To The 'Law And Order' Universe To Star In An Elliot Stabler Series

Hot-tempered cop Elliot Stabler is back, baby! Christopher Meloni is returning to his iconic Law and Order: SVU role for a new spin-off series focused on Stabler, a character who abruptly departed SVU after 12 seasons. This new series will find Stabler heading up the organized crime division of the NYPD, and will also presumably feature plenty of scenes where Meloni scowls and possibly violates a suspect's civil rights, as he was wont to do back in the day.

Multiple outlets, including Variety, are reporting a new Elliot Stabler series is in the works, with Christopher Meloni returning to the role he vacated back in 2010. Stabler was a major character on Law and Order: SVU, partnered up with Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson for the first 12 seasons of the show. While Benson was the more empathetic of the two, Stabler was often portrayed as a violent loose cannon – the type of cop who wasn't above leaning on (and in some cases, flat-out beating) potential suspects. If he were a real cop his actions would be reprehensible. But in the safe world of TV, Stabler was a fan-favorite (I'll confess I stopped watching SVU not too long after he left).

The Stabler series will follow the cop "as he heads up the organized crime division of the NYPD." Technically speaking, Stabler retired from the NYPD after shooting a young woman who had opened fire in the SVU squad room. Stabler was cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting, but the experience left his character open to future Internal Affairs investigations. Rather than deal with that, Stabler quit the force. But I guess at some point he came back, since he's about to have his own show.

Like all Law and Order-related shows, this new series springs from the mind of Dick Wolf. Matt Olmstead is being considered as a writer and showrunner on the series, while Wolf will executive produce along with Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski.

I'm not entirely sure that Stabler as a character can work without Benson by his side to balance him, but I like Meloni as an actor, and I'm willing to give this series a shot whenever it arrives at NBC, who have already given the Stabler show a 13-episode order.