Christopher Meloni’s return to the Law & Order universe is finally taking shape. The new spinoff, called Law & Order: Organized Crime, will make its debut this fall. The show will air on Thursdays, following Law & Order: SVU, which returns for its 22nd season.
Organized Crime sees Meloni reprising his role as Elliot Stabler, who returns to the New York Police Department after a devastating loss drives him back to law enforcement. However, according to NBC, “the city and police department have changed dramatically in the decade he’s been away, and he must adapt to a criminal justice system in the midst of its own moment of reckoning. Throughout the series, we will follow Stabler’s journey to find absolution and rebuild his life, while leading a new elite task force that is taking apart the city’s most powerful criminal syndicates one by one.”
The official synopsis seems to imply the series will take into account the ongoing real-world events surrounding protests against systemic racism and police brutality after the killing of George Floyd. Amid the support for the Black Lives Matter movement, there have been discussions over how cops are portrayed on TV -- with Cops and Live P.D. canceled as a result.
“Change will start taking place on TV shows individually. There will be lip service paid,” SVU showrunner Warren Leight recently told The Hollywood Reporter, noting that he’s been making changes to his writers' room in “a conscious effort to bring in new voices, fresh voices, different voices.”
The writers’ room for Organized Crime came under fire recently, after writer Craig Core posted a series of controversial posts on Facebook about looters and curfews put in place in Los Angeles early on during the protests.
He was subsequently fired, with Law & Order creator Dick Wolf announcing he “will not tolerate this conduct, especially during our hour of national grief.”
Law & Order: Organized Crime will air Thursdays at 10 p.m. following Law & Order: SVU at 9 p.m. on NBC.