Chicago PD co-creator Matt Olmstead eyed for Stabler SVU spinoff

Actor Christopher Meloni (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
Actor Christopher Meloni (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb) /

Law & Order: SVU alum Christopher Meloni is returning as Elliot Stabler in a spinoff, and Chicago PD co-creator Matt Olmstead may be running the show.

Law & Order: SVU fans are finally getting Elliot Stabler back—but on his own show, and with the co-creator of Chicago PD potentially running things behind the scenes.

Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Christopher Meloni, who played Stabler for the first twelve SVU seasons, has agreed to reprise his role but it won’t be on that series. Instead, Dick Wolf will be launching a spinoff in which Stabler is now in charge of the NYPD’s Organized Crime Unit.

It’s not clear how the show will explain Stabler’s return to the police department and his being promoted to unit leader, since the character was said to have retired from the force at the start of season 13.

Making things more interesting are two important aspects: the series will not air on NBC but on NBC’s new streaming service Peacock, meaning that fans will have to pay an additional subscription fee to see it.

And Matt Olmstead, who created Chicago PD with Wolf and ran that show until 2017, is reportedly the top pick to become showrunner. If that happens, he move would bring Olmstead back into the Wolf universe after he left to pursue other opportunities.

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All things considered, this nonetheless be good news for everyone involved. Fans of the Law & Order franchise have been clamoring for Christopher Meloni to return as Elliot Stabler ever since he left the series in 2011.

And while he’s been busy post-SVU, he hasn’t had the same kind of TV success. He starred in the sitcom Surviving Jack, which only lasted one season, and the black comedy Happy! that ran for two seasons on SyFy. He also joined the main cast for the second (and final) season of Underground.

With Christopher Meloni back on the market this pilot season and Wolf looking for new projects to develop on Peacock under his massive new NBCUniversal contract, everything lined up for Elliot Stabler to return—which then opens the door for him to reunite with Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and company on SVU, as well as potential One Chicago crossovers later down the line, too.

A plausible course of action is that the spinoff gets set up as a backdoor pilot episode of SVU, thus giving fans the Benson and Stabler reunion that everyone wants to see, and enticing NBC viewers to subscribe to Peacock to watch more. But nothing has been announced yet, and details may be slow to come. All we know for certain is that at least one, maybe two big names have just come back onto the team.

dark. Next. Law and Order SVU renewed through season 24

For the latest SVU season 21 spoilers and news, plus more on all of Dick Wolf’s other series, follow the Dick Wolf category at One Chicago Center.