12:20pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Christopher Meloni to Reprise 'Law & Order: SVU' Character in NBC Spinoff
Christopher Meloni is returning to the Dick Wolf fold.
The former Law & Order: SVU star is set to reprise his role as Elliot Stabler in a new drama from procedural king Dick Wolf. The as-yet untitled SVU offshoot has been picked up straight to series at NBC with a 13-episode order.
Representatives for NBC, producers Universal Television and Wolf Entertainment declined comment.
The series is the first to stem from Wolf's recent massive five-year, nine-figure overall deal that included multiple series orders for various platforms within the NBCUniversal fold. The project revolves around an NYPD organized crime unit led by Stabler. The new series will also be set in New York, paving the way for crossovers with SVU and a reunion with his former co-star Mariska Hargitay and her iconic detective Olivia Benson.
Wolf will executive produce alongside Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski. Former Chicago PD showrunner Matt Olmstead will likely serve as head writer and showrunner.
The series brings Meloni back to the Wolf and L&O fold after he departed SVU following season 12. Since then, he has starred in multiple series including Syfy's Happy and the Fox comedy Surviving Jack, among others.
The Meloni-led Law & Order series expands an already impressive roster of scripted originals for Wolf and his prolific company. Wolf currently has six scripted shows on the air: NBC's Law & Order: SVU, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire and Chicago Med; and CBS' FBI and its spinoff FBI: Most Wanted. SVU, it is worth noting, is currently in the midst of its record-breaking 21st season, making the series the longest-running primetime live-action show in American TV history. NBC last year also handed out a straight-to-series order for an SVU spinoff, L&O: Hate Crimes, though that project remains in purgatory. Sources say NBCU's forthcoming streaming service Peacock (set to launch in April) has shown interest in Hate Crimes. All three Chicago shows, as well as SVU, were renewed last month for an additional three seasons each.
It's unclear when the Meloni-led series will air, given the industry's massive production shutdown amid the coronavirus crisis. This is NBC's fourth new series and first drama commitment for the 2020-21 broadcast season. It joins half-hours Young Rock, starring Dwayne Johnson; an as-yet untitled L.A. mayor comedy featuring Ted Danson; and The Kenan Show, which is being redeveloped after it was ordered for the 2019-20 season. Returning shows set for NBC's lineup next season also include The Blacklist, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Amsterdam, Superstore and This Is Us.
Deadline first reported the news.